China’s quest to sweep all 13 diving golds in Budapest continued Friday when Duan Yu and Ren Qian won its 10th one in mixed 10m synchro. Silver and bronze were split by 1.11 points. The biggest surprise: cliff diving legend Gary Hunt, 38, competed for France in 10m, and plans to keep going.
BUDAPEST (Hungary) – There was just one diving final at Duna Arena on Friday and guess who won? Two athletes from the most populated country in the world. Ren Qian and Duan Yu took the lead on the first dive and never let go, scoring 341.16 points to take another gold for the 1.4 billion people of China, this time in mixed 10-meter synchro.
Ren, 21, had also won gold in this event five years ago at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. Prior to that, she had been the Rio Olympic champion in the individual 10-meter event, but was not selected for China’s team at Tokyo 2020. “Not everyone gets a chance for a comeback and [makes it],” Ren said. “I am really happy about this result, and incredibly honored.”
The battle for silver and bronze came down to the very last dive of the day. Ukraine’s Oleksii Sereda and Sofiia Lyskun performed the hardest dive of the contest, a 207C (with 3.3 difficulty) and edged past Delaney Schnell and Carson Tyler of the U.S. to place second by a mere 1.11 points.
“Honestly we did not train mixed that much,” said the 16-year-old Sereda. “We did not expect this. We were thinking about fifth or sixth place, so the second place is amazing. The silver is [also] good, because…the prize money is really high for me [$15,000 USD]. I am proud to represent my country. It’s going to help maybe other guys back home. I wish all our guys from Ukraine big luck.
For Schnell, the bronze marked her second medal in Budapest. “After Tokyo, this year is just about enjoying diving,” she said. “You don’t get to go the Worlds and just enjoy it that often. This is the year for that.”
Germany finished fourth, followed by Italy, Cuba, South Korea, France, and Australia’s Domonic Bedggood and Melissa Wu who took bronze in the inaugural edition of this event, at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of all came during a glance at France on the start list. Jade Gillet’s male partner was Gary Hunt, the 38-year-old cliff diving legend and two-time FINA world champion in (27m) high diving. He used to compete for Great Britain and said Friday’s event in Budapest was his first indoor diving meet in 14 or 15 years. After a long battle with the same problem that plagued American gymnast Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics (a.k.a the “twisties”) Hunt said he’s not done. In fact, he’s just getting started.