Olga Kamardina, FINA correspondent in Ukraine

After 8 thrilling days of action it was perhaps the only appropriate climax. World’s elite junior divers played out the remaining 2 sets of medals on offer, 9 Youth Olympic Games-2018 quotas on platform, and celebrated favorites reigned on top. A number of changes entered the 2018 world’s ranking order, reflecting new trends and faces, and very early prospect for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

GIRLS A/B 3M SYNCHRONISED SPRINGBOARD

Photo: credit to Pavlo Kubanov

Chinese opened another fruitful day at their office, posting a Girls A&B win on 3m springboard. Surprising was to see the start of the competition. Rin Kaneto and Mai Yasuda of Japan had veen dominating for fully two rounds, and then Ma Tong/Zhang Rui returned back on track. Halfway mark saw them on their day-high with the Inward 2.5 Somersaults pike. It brought them 63.00 points. Since then, impossible to reach and beat, Chinese rookies registered 265.50 points overall. For the first time in Kyiv their lead was pretty modest, consisting of a little more than 10 points.

“I think, we were lucky today to secure this win, - confessed Ma Tong of China. – We have not been pace-setting, and it was a sort of a challenge for us. We have been tracking marks on the scoreboard and saw we had to get better focused. My teammate was a little nervous, because our list has not been perfect at all. We have been diving synchro just for 2 weeks to go, and still were not able to do our best”.

Photo: credit to Pavlo Kubanov

Another pleasant surprise came for the team Russia. Two initial rounds saw them ranking just 6th out of 14 duos in the competition. However Uliana Kliueva and Vitalia Koroleva, reigning European champions, never gave up. Recovering on round 3, they stayed competitive all the way to the ultimate attempt to register decent 61.20 on Forward 2.5 Somersaults 1 Twist pike for the overall 255.00.

“We are very proud to end up with silver, but it could have been gold, - noted Uliana Kliueva of Russia. – Everyone in the competition did a lot of mistakes today. Unfortunately, we have not been an exception in this case. It was surprising we had a Forward dive pike done not that well. Now we have a lot of food for analyses, and a lot of work to be done. Silver is a good motivation to win a medal of a better color”.

Japanese were close to produce a sensation, but could not get hold to the pace set. They went down as the final unveiled more complicated dives to finish on 254.28 points. However, commenting on the bronze, they could not keep positive emotions.

“We are very happy, - Kaneto and Yasuda said smiling. – This is a big achievement for our nation and us as well”.

Photo: credit to Pavlo Kubanov

Margo Erlam/Mia Vallee of Canada, Maria Coburn/Bridget O’Neil of the USA and British Scarlett Mew Jensen/Yasmin Harper were seen claiming podium, but could not do at least one dive each to rank within 10 points on 4 – 6 places respectively.

BOYS A PLATFORM

Unpredictable scenario with predetermined denouement highlighted the Boys A platform final, which was the ultimate offer at the 22nd FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Kyiv. 2016 Boys B 3m springboard world junior champion and Boys B platform bronze medalist Ruslan Ternovoy was surprisingly seen on top after the initial rounds. Top-scoring on attempt 2, he was the second to earn the excellent 10 points mark this week-end, however theachievement could hardly keep him competitive for long. Getting just 47.85 points on the next - Armstand Back Triple Somersault tuck - round, he left the door open for his chasers. Chinese junior and senior world champion Lian Junjie took his chance flying.

Photo: credit to Pavlo Kubanov

Lian consistently executed the rest of his program of a high degree of difficulty, including the day’s high - Forward 4.5 Somersaults tuck, bought at 94.35 points. His overall reached a solid 589.30, some 45 points to the silver medalist.

“This is not my best score ever, of course, - Lian commented on the best dive of the day. – At the National competitions in China I managed to execute 107C, which was over 100 points mark. Today though it was A DIFFERENT STORY. I had a slow start, which made me work very hard to rank atop of the podium”.

Russian Ternovoy tried also hard to return his winning position, but in vain. Were these emptions playing or for some other reasons, but he had a number of faults in the execution of elements, which significantly reduced his chances on being first. As a result, he finished on 543.90 points to earn silver.

“I am happy on the medal, but I am not happy with the scores and the dives I posted today, - said Ruslan Ternovoy. – This is my second FINA World Junior Diving Championships, and I am happy I have managed to win my third medal. Now I have a full set. Definitely, it could have been a medal of another quality, but I can’t explain what went wrong”.

Photo: credit to Pavlo Kubanov

The bronze was a great surprise for everyone, as it all was decided in the home stretch. British Matthew Dixon has been third-ranked all the way up to the final attempt, but poorly did his Reverse 3.5 Somersaults tuck, which left him without a medal.At the very same time, another victorious Chinese Li Zheng  registered an impressive 86.95 points dive enough right to claim bronze.

“Being on the podium is a pleasure, but now I have a lot of food for analyses. It was an important competition for everyone, where we could have won not just medals, but also Youth Olympic Games quotas, - said Li Zheng of China. – The championships turned to be very fruitful for my country, and personally I collected a full sets of medals in Kyiv. I hope to return to this Ukranian city one day. I liked to dive here a lot”.

Competition results. 22nd FINA World Junior Diving Championships. Day 8

Boys A platform

1. Lian Junjie (CHN) 589.30, 2. Ternovoy Ruslan (RUS) 543.90, 3. Li Zheng (CHN) 523.55 4. Wiens Ryslan (CAN) 516.40, 5. Dixon Matthew (GBR) 513.00, 6. Yamada Shuta (JPN) 485.55 7. Williams Noah (GBR) 484.10, 8. Serbin Oleh (UKR) 9. Gosselin-Paradis Laurent (CAN) 464.55, 10. Massenberg Lou (GER) 457.15, 11. Jabillin Jellson (MAS) 455.75, 12. Naka Shutaro (JPN) 454.30.

A/B Girls 3m springboard synchronised

1. Ma Tong/Zhang Rui (CHN) 265.50, 2. Kliueva Uliana/Koroleva Vitalina (RUS) 255.00, 3. Kaneto Rin/Yasuda Mai (JPN) 254.28, 4. Erlam Margo/Valee Mia (CAN) 249.12, 5. Coburn Maria/O’Neil Bridget (USA) 247.41, 6. Mew Jensen Scarlett/Harper Yasmin (GBR) 240.60, 7. Arnautova Anna/Lyskun Sofiia (UKR) 239.01, 8. Neri Proa Adriel Ltaii/Zuniga Guzman Frida Catherin (MEX) 237.30, 9. Deng Julia/Shyrykhay Anna (GER) 236.16, 10. Koloi Alysha/Johnson Sophie (AUS) 234.30, 11. Nascimento de Santana Rebeca Maria/Rodrigues Martins dos Santos Anna (BRA) 228.57, 12. Heydra Bailey Savannah/Harper Yasmin (RSA) 183.15, 13. Lee Yin Ting/Liu Yuen Ki (HKG) 181.80, 14. Aros Catalina/Urriola Marieli (CHI) 173.76