Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

Chinese divers displayed once more their supremacy in the second day of the 2018 FINA/CNSG Diving World Series’ leg, taking place in Fuji (JPN). Olympic champion in Rio 2016 Ren Qian (CHN), and Zhang Jiaqi (CHN) winner in the first meet of the series in Beijing competed in the women’s 10m Platform. Ren had performed very consistently in the semi-final, while Kim Mi Rae (PRK), who finished fourth in the FINA World Championships 2017, was better than the two Chinese stars. 

In the decisive final, 14-year-old Zhang performed a very solid third dive, earning 87.45 points, including a perfect 10. This was the turning point of the final and proceeding quite consistently, she totalled 390.35 to win the gold. 

“I feel very excited about this event and I was quite nervous. There were some dives that I needed to improve. I feel we were lucky because in the first round we didn’t do very well. From the second round on, we could catch up on better and better. I hope I can win in the upcoming event. Though I got the gold medal in this competition I need to improve,” Zhang said.

 
Japan’s Itahashi Minami, who settle for 8th in the 10m Platform at the Rio 2016 Olympics, was fifth after round 2, but managed to improve throughout the final to eventually earn bronze in 368.70 points.

“When I saw the rank, I was very surprised. I'm very happy to have a bronze medal in an individual event. I was confident ahead of the final. I will continue training to aim further,” an ecstatic Minami said.

Men's 3m springboard

 

Although two Chinese divers struggled for the 1-2 lead in the men’s 3m Springboard (as it happened in Beijing), the outcome this time was different.

World Championships gold medallist Xie Siyi (CHN) led the way in Beijing, but in Fuji, Olympic Champion in Rio 2016 Cao Yuan (CHN) blew away. In the first round, Cao got a mark of 90.10 (407C), and stretched his lead over Xie by collecting over 90 points three more times. He naturally got his first victory of these series with 537.75 points.

“I got more focused in Fuji than in Beijing. I performed as well as when I am training. I have competed in a lot of competitions, so I can manage my nerves easily,” he said.

 
Ilia Zakharov of Russia claimed the silver with 518.15 by collecting over 100 points in his final combination (109C). Xie settled for bronze, 4.8 points behind Zakharov.

Mixed 10m platform

In the mixed 10m Synchro Platform, five pairs out of six performed the same selected dives. Lin Shan and Lian Junjie, from China, were the strongest in the final, as it had happened in the previous leg in Beijing. They scored 86.40 (407C) for their fifth dive and won with 355.74 points.

“I am happy and excited because I did very well. I also expect to be successful in the individual 10m event,” Lian said.

 
Japan’s Itahashi also competed in the event, and with Kabuki Murakami, they managed to get the bronze, thanks to a successful final effort of 79.68 points (5253B) in their last dive.

China has now accumulated seven gold medals in Fuji, winning all the finals at stake so far. The last day of the competition takes place this Saturday in Fuji (JPN).