Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Russia

FINA/NVC Diving World Series Leg 3 came to a close on Sunday evening at the Aquatics Palace of Kazan, Russia to register one more convincing win of the favorites.

Tingmao Shi won 3m springboard

The favorite of the final was 2016 two-time Olympic champion Tingmao Shi, and actually there was no surprise, that she booked her win early in advance. Tingmao nailed dives one after another, and her scores never dipped below 70. Her best scoring attempt, which was a Back 2.5 somersaults 1 twist pike, brought her 81.00 points, and the overall total of 381.90 had 18.05 ahead of her nearest challenger. It turned out to be her teammate, Han Wang, which convincingly won silver at 363.85.

All the rest field was left occupied chasing bronze. Australian Maddison Keeney and Jennifer Abel of Canada were changing each other in the paint and kept everyone in suspense with their gap between 1 to 3 points. The denouement came with the last dive of Abel, when she executing Back 2.5 somersaults pike and got 72.00, 4 points more than Keeney. Canadian won bronze to leave her opponent at one step to the podium, 347.15.


Han Wang, silver medalist of the women's 3m springboard event in Kazan

“I am very happy with the medal, - confessed Jennifer Abel with a joy in her eyes as she was twice on fourth at the previous stops in Beijing and Guangzhou. – My opponents were very very strong, and I realize, I will have to work hard to dive to peak in Budapest. My next trip will be to Windsor, and I hope to be there pretty competitive”.

“It was a tough competition. Everyone dived well, and I am pleased I have won this time, - said Tingmao Shi. – I was not in my best shape, as some of my dives should be improved. I will have to work more to make them better. Very often in diving the competition is not to conquer the rival, but to conquer yourself. I think this is the key to success”.

Daley vs. Chinese

For the first time in Kazan one could see someone not representing China atop of the chart. The scores of the Round 1 of the men’s 10m platform reflected Thomas Daley of Great Britain 1.70 ahead of the victorious Aisen Chen. Posting 307C to open up the list, he awarded a high 98.60 mark with some perfect 10s for execution. Who knew, but it was a start of an outstanding show. Divers unveiled their thirst for excellence and shone bright with their skills. Another over 100 score came from Hao Yang, diving a Armstand back 3 somersaults pike on his 2nd attempt, which placed him among the pace-makers, ahead of Daley, on second. Aisen took the relay button on Round 4 to register 102.60 for Back 3.5 somersaults pike. The old good Daley did what he could, posting high scoring Forward 3.5 somersaults 1 twist pike and 626B, but it was not enough either to get or to push down the Chinese.


Men's 10m platform event in action

In the end, Aisen Chen won his third 10m platform title at the Diving Worlds-2017. A beautiful dot was marked by the Back 2.5 somersaults 2.5 twists pike, scored by 104.40 for the overall total of 580.60. Hao Yang collected silver, 574.80, as Tom Daley landed bronze, 543.80.

“I was really happy with the way it went today, - said Thomas Daley of Great Britain. – The competition was very tough, and in my dives there was anything inconsistent, anything neither amazing nor too bad. I just need to work on and sharpen up a little bit some of my dives. I think provided I perform it my best, I will be pretty competitive to claim gold in Budapest”.

“I felt very well today, - confessed Aisen Chen. – As a result, I was able to show a good list. My opponents were very strong too, but I have managed to survive on first. I liked to dive here in Kazan, the Aquatics Palace is very nice, and the crowd if very warm. I will work on and by FINA World Championships will have to show a stronger program”.

Three nations on top in mixed 3m synchro

Team China completed their pure gold collectibles of Kazan, earning one more mixed 3m synchro springboard title.


Spectators at the Aquatics Palace of Kazan

It all started amazingly, as 4 teams posted 50.40 dives for Inward dive pike to open the contest. They were China, Italy, Mexico and Russia. However, Round 2 entered a number of changes in the chart, as Italy and Mexico were not at all perfect, and China, Australia and Russia stayed in the top 3. By the close, there was actually the only leader on top again, Han Wan/Zheng Li of China, which never ceased posting good dives. At the same time, their winning total, 322.50, was just 1.74 ahead of Canadian Jennifer Abel/Francois Imbeau-Dulac. On their last attempt, the duo executed Forward 2.5 somersaults 2 twists pike to record the best score of the day, 85.68, though it was not enough to chase gold.

The third pair on the podium were British Grace Reid/Thomas Daley, which had been in the shade for fully 4 rounds. On their last dive, they sliced Back 2.5 somersaults pike and got a low 65.70. Astonishing, their total of 299.82 overtook narrowly both Dolores Hernandez Monzoni/Rommel Pacheco Marrufo of Mexico and Nadezhda Bazhina/Viktor Minibaev of Russia.

“It was a long day, I got up at half past 6 this morning, - said Grace Reid looking at her bronze tenderly. – But all is paid off, and I am very pleased with the result. Opponents are very strong, but not all of our dives were perfect, so it will be better to train after this and make some fixes before the last leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series in Canada. Thomas is amazing as a partner, - she added. – I am very grateful to him for our chemistry”.

“The competition went pretty well after the first two dives, - confessed Francois Imbeau-Dulac of Canada. - The compulsories were not that great, but we managed to recover and finished on third. The medal will be a good souvenir from Kazan”.


Awarding ceremony in mixed 3m synchro springboard event

China on top, 6 more nations at the podium

Chinese divers once again proved a class in Kazan as they swept away all 10 title on offer, repeating the success story of the Leg 2 in Guangzhou, as the inaugural event in Beijing, staged on March, 3 – 5, saw their nine victories. Besides gold, they collected 4 silver medals out of 10 at stake.

The most medal winning divers in Kazan were Qian Ren, Yuan Cao, Tingmao Shi and Aisen Chen, who celebrated 2 victories each. Thomas Daley of Great Britain collected 3 bronze medals, Russian Ilia Zakharov won at home 2 bronze medals as his teammate Iuliia Timoshinina collected one silver and one bronze. Other countries on the podium included Russia (2 silver and 3 bronze medals), Great Britain (1 silver and 3 bronze medals), Australia (2 bronze medals), Canada (2 silver and 1 bronze), Germany (1 silver) and Mexico (1 bronze).

The FINA/NVC World Diving Series 2017 is set to reach climax in Windsor, Canada, hosting the last fourth leg of the circuit on April, 21 - 23.

Competition results. FINA World Diving Series 2017. Leg 3.
April, 2 Day 3

3m springboard women
1. Shi Tingmao (CHN) 381.90
2. Wang Han (CHN) 363.85
3. Abel Jennifer (CAN) 347.15
4. Keeney Maddison (AUS) 341.90
5. Ilinykh Kristina (RUS) 304.65
6. Reid Grace (GBR) 301.80

10m platform men
1. Chen Aisen (CHN) 580.60
2. Yang Hao (CHN) 574.80
3. Daley Thomas (GBR) 543.80
4. Minibaev Viktor (RUS) 487.05
5. Auffret Benjamin (FRA) 486.30
6. Bedggood Domonic (AUS) 485.65

Mixed 3m synchro springboard
1. Wang Han/Li Zheng (CHN) 322.50
2. Abel Jennifer/Imbeau-Dulac Francois (CAN) 320.50
3. Reid Grace/Daley Thomas (GBR) 299.82
4. Hernandez Monzom Dolores/Pacheco Marrufo Rommel (MEX) 298.74
5. Bazhina Nadezhda/Minibaev Viktor (RUS) 298.14
6. Qin Esther/Carter Matthew Alexander (AUS) 283.80
7. Bertocchi Elena/Verzotto Maicol (ITA) 258.33