China made a clean sweep at the 21st FINA Diving World Cup 2018 by winning all the 11 gold medals on offer after Olympic champions Chen Aisen and Shi Tingmao/Chang Yani brought the last two victories to the host team in Wuhan, China, on Sunday June 10.
Chen, who led the first four dives though made a big slash in his 207B, stayed cool in the last two dives and lift his first individual World Cup title in the men's 10m platform final in 557.80.
2014 World Cup winner Yang Jian failed to earn the gold medal as he trailed all the way behind Chen before he scored a game-high 102.60 in his fifth dive 207B. He became the race-setter with a 0.45 point advantage over Chen. However, he made an error in his last 109B, the most difficult dive (4.1) in 79.95 and had to concede to a silver for a total of 537.40.
David Dinsmore of the United States kept the same position as he did two years ago in Rio and took the bronze in 489.80.
"I exceeded my expectations for this competition and showed my best performance of the year! I did not expect to win the gold since I was sick and injured during the winter. I am still trying to find back my form now. The reason I could win was because I did not give up when I was in low-ebb," Chen said.
Chen also showed appreciation to his coach Liu Ben.
"He gave me a lot of support and encouragement during training and competition. He just said a few words, like 'I trust you. You can do better!' after I made the mistake. That was a great boost for me and helped me focused on my own dives," revealed the Rio World Cup and Budapest World Championships silver medallist.
The 24-year-old Yang received a surprised gift from the local fans. They presented him a chorus of birthday song after the awarding ceremony.
"It was a pity that I had a silver medal for my 24th birthday gift but I am lucky and happy that the audience celebrated my birthday at the pool deck. I made mistakes in two dives in 5156B and 109B that cost me the victory walking away. I will improve the consistency," Yang said.
Yang, photo by Xiong QI (XINHUA)
In the women's 3m springboard synchro, defending champions Shi Tingmao/Chang Yani dominated the field, winning in 334.80, ahead of Jennifer Abel/Melissa Citrini Beaulieu of Canada 302.04 and Esther Qin/Anabelle Smith from Australia 290.10.
“We are honoured to seal the victory of the last event of the World Cup. We did a great job in front of home fans and made a sweep for China!“, Shi said.
Chang, who made a mistake in the preliminary, was satisfied with her final performance.
"I was nervous but I want to thank my experienced partner Shi who boosted me all the time. It was my first World Cup title and I hope I can be better next time, "Chang said.
The seven-day Diving World Cup has now concluded and has attracted 296 divers from 26 countries and regions.