Chinese platform diver Siyu Ji secured her sixth Grand Prix gold medal for 2015, teammate Bowen Huang picked up his first in the springboard, and an Australian team that came together at lunch time won gold in the mixed platform synchro on a thrilling Saturday at the FINA Grand Prix event on the Gold Coast.
There was also a gold medal winning performance from German pair Stephan Feck and Patrick Hausding in the men’s springboard synchro.
Ji has dominated the platform event at Grand Prix’s this year, and was a class above the rest of the field on the Gold Coast.
“This year I have competed in seven Grand Prix’s, and almost won all of them, so I’m quite happy with my results,” Ji said.
“I’m quite confident about making the Olympic team, but it will depend on the qualifying tournament, so I hope I’ll be lucky enough to get qualified for the Olympics.”
There were no Chinese competing in the men’s 3-metre synchro, but there was no drop off in quality, with German’s Feck and Hausding finishing 20 points ahead of the rest of the field.
“We have a pretty early season right now, so all the dives don’t feel that easy for me,” Feck said.
“My reverse dive wasn’t that good, but we have won, so all-in-all it’s good.”
Hausding, who made his name as a platform diver after winning silver in the synchro in Beijing, said he and Feck have plenty of hurdles to clear.
“We’re from different cities and two hours away from each other by car,” Hausding said.
“We practice as much as we can at training camps and like here, especially now before World Cup in February, we try to get good enough to get a spot for Germany.”
Siyu Ji and Yaying Ding had a fascinating battle with Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong and Jun Hoong Cheong in the women’s platform synchro.
“We were aware of the situation, because the Malaysians started very strongly. But they had a little mistake with the final dive which made a difference,” Ji said
“Through the year we have been competing in both the synchro and individual, so we’ve quite a lot of experience together.”
China’s Bowen Huang brought up the trifecta for China on Saturday, but was pushed all the way by Australian teenager Joshua Kehagias in the springboard final.
Huang, who usually competes in platform events, finished on 458.80, with Kehagias finishing on 444.15.
“For the first dive I didn’t do very well, but I was feeling quite nervous,” Huang said.
“Later on I made some adjustments for the conditions, and got a bit better
“This is the first time I’ve competed in the springboard in the Grand Prix, so it hasn’t been easy getting ready here in Australia.”
The shock result of the day came in the mixed platform synchro, with an Australian team thrown together at lunch time snatching gold from Malaysia.
Lara Tarvit and Nick Jeffree had never dived together before Saturday.
“We had no preparation, just threw some dives together in warm-up and tried to do the best we could with limited preparation,” Tarvit said.
“I didn’t even know I was competing today, I had a day off,” Jeffree said.