Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

After seven consecutive gold medals on day 1 and 2, the Chinese technique was again key in the last day of the first leg of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series, organised in Sagamihara (JPN), from March 1-3, 2019. The last three finals of the programme were once more won by representatives of the Asian powerhouse, who simply delighted the spectators on site.

In the women’s 3m springboard, Shi Tingmao (CHN), winner in this event at all legs of the 2018 edition, was also the best this weekend in Japan. Despite not being in the lead all the way through, she never lost concentration (and never commited serious mistakes), snatching the gold in 382.05 points.  

After finishing the first leg on a golden note, Shi spoke about her ambitions for the second meet of the Series. "In the next leg in Beijing I would like to have the same result as in Sagamihara”, she said.

Despite some mistakes, Wang Han of China also did solid dives to rank second with 378.90, while Canada's Jennifer Abel was third (353.40).

Yang Jian (CHN) - Photo credit: Hiroyuki Nakamura

In the men's 10m platform final, many divers got high scores for their well-executed combinations. Among them, Great Britain's hero Tom Daley and Yang Jian, 2018 World Series champion in the event.

Going into the final round, less than two points separated Yang from Daley, with the Chinese diver in the lead. In the last combination, Daley got 108.00 points for a perfect 207B, while Yang did even better with a 112.75 for a flawless 109B. It was the decisive key for gold, with an accumulated 586.20 points for Yang. 

“Daley did really nice dives. Although I was in the first position in the preliminaries, I had a lot of pressure in the final, and my hands were even shaking a bit. I should have felt more relaxed and focus on my dives. However, I managed to get the best dive. Finally, I could win and I had the gold medal, but it was not easy. I would like to do a good competition also in Beijing”, Yang considered.

Daley finished in second in 579.85 points, and Russia's Aleksandr Bondar who struggled for the lead with Daley and Yang had to content with bronze in 545.90.

Men's 10m platform podium - Photo credit: Hiroyuki Nakamura

The 3m mixed synchro concluded the opening leg in Sagamihara. China's pair Chang Yani and Yang Hao showed the spectators top-level synchronised dives until the end. Although Daley and Grace Reid from Great Britain, and Canada's pair Francois Imbeau-Dulac and Jennifer Abel also fought to get the gold, they could not overtake the Asian duet.

As a result, China earned gold in 330.63 points, while the Canadian team arrived closely behind in 327.93. Daley and Reid left Japan with the bronze (312.24).

The second leg of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series will take place in Beijing (CHN), from March 7-9, 2019.

Daley/Reid (GBR) - Photo credit: Hiroyuki Nakamura