Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Russia

Reaching the halfway point in Kazan, world’s best junior divers competed in 1m and 3m springboard.

Russia and Columbia play the first violin

Columbian Luis Felipe Uribe Bermudez finished atop in the prelims, almost 16 points clear of his challengers. Ukrainian Illia Trushin and Nikita Kryvopyshyn were on guard, posting high scoring dives, as they were closely chased by the Russian Nikita Grigorovich and Dmitry Belov. Everything seemed to be set and no changes were expected as the final once again proved the unpredictable character of the junior tournaments.

Boys B 1m springboard Final: Luis Felipe Uribe Bermudez of Colombia in action

The favorites did not go far. Nikita Kryvopyshyn and Illia Trushin of Ukraine suffered problems completing their complicated dives with the high degree of difficulty (3.1 and 3.0 respectively). As a result, they were knocked out of the top three and could not recover. The Columbian followed their script and were down to claim the 2nd position. Unexpectedly there came out the Russians, which had been in the shadow both in the prelims and after their first attempts. They seemed to be more stable and consistent than the rest.

Executing the inward 1 ½ somersaults pike in his 2nd dive Dmitry Belov took the lead and never gave it back till the very end. His compatriot Nikita Grigorovich won the close competition for the bronze as Leonard Bastian of Germany, reigning European Junior Champion, abandoned his podium chances, failing to perform the reverse 21/2 somersaults with tuck in his last attempt.

“I did not expect that win at all, as I had been just fifth after the prelims, - confessed Dmitry Belov of Russia. - My opponents were very very strong, but in the final they evidently did not cope with the pressure and gave me the chance. I did not hesitate to take it and make good use. This was my first medal at the Junior World’s as it was actually a debut. The next edition for me will be in the group A, which will not be an easy thing, I am sure”.

“I am very grateful to my coach Vadim Makarov, who has done a lot to make this podium happen, - said bronze medalist Nikita Grigorovich. – He is very stern but always just, and his contribution in the medal is so great!”

“I could have won gold, but am pretty happy with silver, - commented on his performance Luis Felipe Uribe Bermudez. - I was ready to dive even better today, well prepared and trained, but due to some reasons did not manage to show my best. There is no one to blame but myself, however, silver means you are second best in the entire world, and this is great!”

Awarding Ceremony in the Boys B 1m springboard

Torrance misses her third gold as Chen secures the title

The 2015 European Games champion Katherine Torrance was on her way to the third gold in Kazan in the Girls A (16 – 18 years old) 3 m springboard. And she would definitely succeed, if not her lowest scoring dive, which came in the final round 2. Placing just 6th after it, she pulled herself together and found the way to go on fighting. She did not cease working hard to celebrate her last podium, as a junior with 433.65.

“I realize I could have won gold, but unfortunately sometimes the gold is going away, - said the diver. - I kept diving the best I could, and hoped I could get a medal. To be fair, I am slightly disappointed with the bronze, but it is still a medal of the world championships, which is really a good thing”.

Maria Hernandez of Mexico finished second. She was just 6th after the prelims, but the final turned to bring her much better fruits. Totaling 441.75 points overall she grabbed silver, second for her country at the 21st FINA World Championships in Kazan.

“This is my first success here in Kazan, and I made use of the last option to be on the podium, - shared her impressions the Mexican silver medalist. – This is just the beginning of my career and I will definitely mean to win Olympics one day.

Huilling Chen of China seemed to be the only diver in the event, which showed consistency throughout all 4 dives. Her second attempt earned Chen the record 69.00 for the back 2 ½ somersaults pike, and since then her scores never dipped below 60. As a result, the Chinese celebrated her title, winning the second gold and the 6th medal for China.

“I am very agitated, - noted the winner. – Even now as we speak, I can't stop being emotional as it is a special honor and pride to be on the top of the podium and listen to the anthem of your country”.

Huilling Chen of China, Girls A 3m springboard gold medalist

Competition results. 21st FINA World Junior Diving Championships.

Day 4

Boys B 1m springboard
1. Dmitry Belov (RUS), 412.50
2. Luis Felipe Uribe Bermudez (СOL), 404.10
3. Nikita Grigorovich (RUS), 398.55
4. Endo Takuto (JPN), 378.00
5. Willars Randal (MEX), 376.90
6. Illia Trushin (UKR), 375.20
7. Leonard Bastian (GER), 369.20
8. Nikita Kryvopyshyn (UKR), 361.10
9. Maxwell Flory (USA), 342.65
10. Connor Cronin Lachlan (AUS), 341.85
11. Adrian Giovanni Abadia Garcia (ESP), 336.95
12. Jack Matthews (USA), 305.80

Girls A 3m springboard

1. Huilling Chen (CHN), 445.00
2. Melany Hernandez (MEX), 441.75
3. Katherine Torrance (GBR), 433.65
4. Itahashi Minami (JPN), 431.60
5. Georgia Sheehan (AUS), 415.00
6. Millie Fowler (GBR), 414.65
7. Elaena Nancy Dick (CAN), 413.00
8. Molly Jale Carlson (CAN), 406.65
9. Jayah Mathews (AUS), 401.30
10. Kaja Skrzek (POL), 387.35
11. Hazuki Miyamoto (JPN), 379.45
12. Paola Pineda (MEX), 375.90