Derek Parr, FINA Media Committee Member from Great Britain

Canada’s Jennifer Abel, narrowly denied a medal earlier in the week, upstaged the Chinese favourites to lead qualifiers for the semi-final in the Olympic women’s 3m springboard preliminary round on Friday. Abel edged 2013 world champion He Zi into second place among the 29 divers, while reigning world champion Shi Tingmao lacked her usual consistency on an afternoon which swung from sunny at the start to cold and windy in the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre. Shi, who partnered Wu Minxia to victory in the synchronised 3m event which opened the Olympic diving programme on Sunday, placed third among the 18 qualifiers for Saturday’s semi-final, which will reduce the field to 12 for the final.

Abel, a 3m synchro bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, missed the medals in the synchro event here, finishing fourth with Pamela Ware. But she made no mistake in the individual preliminary and topped the standings with 373.00 points from her five dives. He Zi, 3m silver medallist at the 2012 Olympics where she partnered Wu Minxia to gold in the 3m synchro, notched 367.05. Shi was third on 357.55.

European champion Tania Cagnotto of Italy, who won her first medal in five Olympics with silver in the Rio synchronised 3m with Francesca Dallapè, was fourth overall on 347.30, just ahead of Australia’s Esther Qin (347.25). The scores are not carried forward and the divers will start again from zero in the semi-final.