Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

Chinese divers showed their incomparable strength in the inaugural day of the second leg of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series 2018, taking place for the first time in Fuji (JPN), from March 15-17.

In the women’s 10m Synchro Platform, China’s Zhang Jiaqi and Zhang Minjie, who had also convincingly won last week in Beijing (CHN), claimed the gold with 335.70, leading the final from the very first dive.

Their scores fell short of the 368.22 points they had netted in Beijing. Therefore, they didn’t appear to be totally satisfied with their result.

“I couldn’t repeat my good performance from Beijing because I had to adjust my condition to this venue. But I believe I will have time here in Fuji to perform better,” Zhang Jiaqi said, expressing her conviction that she will improve in the 10m individual event on Saturday.

Men's 10m synchro

In the men’s 10m Synchro Platform, China’s duo, Chen Aisen and Yang Hao who won the FINA World Championships’ title in Budapest 2017, were also the leaders of the final from the first dive, eventually earning gold with 449.91. Although Chen Aisen injured his arm and Yang Hao hurt his leg, they could train in good conditions for the event and beat their main challengers.

“I don’t believe we are at our best in this competition because we both have injuries. So, before the morning session, our warm-up just consisted in running to move our muscles and make us excited for the event,” Chen said.

 

The women's 3m synchro podium

In the Women’s 3m Synchro Springboard, China’s Chang Yani, the world champion in Budapest 2017, and Shi Tingmao shone once more and could keep their main challengers at large during the entire final. Only the duet of China scored over 300, and won the title with 319.80 ahead of other competitors.

“I feel relaxed for this competition. As we train a lot every day, we have a good mental condition to face this competition in the best possible way. For the individual event, just like with synchro, I will try to be in my best condition and use my mental strength to succeed,” Shi considered.

In the men’s 3m Synchro Springboard, although Cao Yuan and Xie Siyi of China made a slight error with the second dive (301B), they could get enough points to claim the gold in 433.02, following the previous success in Beijing.

Local divers Ken Terauchi, 37 years old, and Sho Sakai had the dive with the highest difficulty (3.4), and managed to perform without major mistakes. They did not lose their concentration until the end and accumulated 391.29 points to claim bronze.

“I think we managed to control our performance until the last round. The support of the audience was also very nice and definitively helped us. The level of the competition was very high and this gave us a lot of confidence,” Terauchi said.

At the opening ceremony taking place before the evening session, the FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu showed his appreciation for the organisation of the event: “Thank you very much for being able to do this important competition in Fuji!”

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu