Perfect marks were shown for the first time in diving at the 18th FINA World Championships as Chinese rookie Chen Yuxi won the women's 10m platform here on Wednesday. China now has nine gold medal on pocket.
Chinese women divers were waiting for this title since 2013, as Kim Kuk-hyang of DPR Korea was a surprise winner in Kazan 2015 and Malaysian veteran Cheong Jun Hoong topped the podium in Budapest 2017. The last Chinese champion in this event was Si Yajie six years ago in Spain.
Competing in her first worlds, Chen, who turns 14 in September, dominated the semifinal and all the way in the final to win a record-high 439 points for the title. Two perfect marks were given to her third dive 626C (Armstand back triple somersault) for a day-high 94.05 points. Then another 94.05 for her high quality 207C (Back 3 1/2 somersaults).
Olympic champion Ren Qian holds the highest record in women's 10m platform - 454.65 -, when she earned gold at the 2016 World Cup, before finally becoming the Olympic champion.
Lu Wei is four months away to complete 14. As the synchro champion together with Zhang Jiaqi, Lu chased all the way to settle for the silver in 377.80, despite a big splash in her second attempt 407C (Inward 3 1/2 somersault tuck) with 62.40.
Delaney Schnell of the United Sates, who finished 27th in the preliminary two years ago in Budapest, jumped up from fifth to third place in 364.20, with her strong 407C finish. Melissa Wu of Australia and Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Chen Yuxi (CHN), gold:
"Everybody told me to relax before the final, but I still could hear my heart beat. I was shaky in the first two dives and then I felt better and better. I thought about to challenge myself and reach the 440+. I did my best and I was excited to be the champion on the podium. I entered the national team at the end of last year. The biggest difference of the national team and province team was the quality and training time. I trained longer and much harder than before. I had a secret wish – to be the surprising winner in Gwangju, and I did it.”
Lu Wei (CHN), silver:
"Though I had a gold medal from the synchro, I was still nervous to compete in the individual event. I made a mistake in the second dive but overall was OK. "
Delaney Schnell (USA), bronze:
"I looked up the two Chinese girls and that inspired me a lot, pushing me harder and harder and at last I got the bronze. I was happy I broke my own record by three points and it was one of my best performances. Personally, I like the twist the best and my weak point was the 207C but in fact it turned my best score tonight with 82.50. I was happy that my other teammates got the Olympic spots in other events."