FINA Communication Department

Huian Su

The team of China held their competitive grip on the 17th FINA Junior Diving World Championships until the final day (Sunday, September 21, 2008) and the staging of the girl’s ‘B’ 3m springboard final and the final of the boy’s ‘A’ platform. The winner of the girl’s event was Lin Qu in 437.45 total points, followed by her compatriot Wanying He, who took silver with 410.25 total points. The bronze went to Anabelle Smith in 372.65 points and gave team Australia another medal to take home.

Incredibly, young Chinese divers occupied the majority of the podium yet again in the boy’s ‘A’ platform, with Zihao Wang (CHN) taking the win in a powerful total of 627.65 points. Russia’s Ilya Zakharov took the silver medal with 568.60 points, and just a heartbeat behind him was Huian Su (CHN) with 567.65.

Girl’s ‘B’ 3m springboard final (competitors born 1993/1994)

Both Qu and He chose a programme for their final round composed of three dives with a degree of difficulty of 3.0. Qu won the event by executing each of her dives at a level above the rest of the field. In fact, she was the only competitor to receive marks in the range of 8.0 to 9.0, which she garnered in her first and third efforts, an inward 2 ½ somersault pike and a forward 2 ½ somersault 1 twist pike. For her third and final dive in particular, she earned 76.50 points in total; the highest mark awarded during the final for any one dive.

He is well-deserving of the silver medal. Her programme was similar to Qu’s, except for her second dive, a reverse 2 ½ somersault pike, which was actually her weakest effort in the round. Her first and third dives however, were exactly the same as Qu’s and performed well. They were solid efforts, giving her marks of 7.0 and 7.5 almost consistently and allowed her to accumulate a result that was still way above average and worthy of recognition at a world level.

In third, Smith had chosen a diving programme different and of a lesser degree of difficulty. She was under pressure throughout the event from the fourth-place finisher Fuka Tatsumi (JPN), who was also hungry for a medal. Smith’s opening effort, a forward 3 ½ somersault tuck (DD 2.8), was the highlight of her programme before her marks dipped for her second dive. Het third dive, however, an inward 2 ½ somersault tuck (DD 2.7) was scored well-enough for her to retain the bronze. The team from Australia, another proud diving nation, must be satisfied to show on an international stage that they also have some future stars in the making.

Huian Su

Boy’s ‘A’ platform final (competitors born 1990/1991/1992)

Wang’s domination in this event was unquestionable. He took the gold decisively, with scores that were way ahead of the other divers. His third and fourth dives were excellent. First, an armstand backward triple somersault pike (DD 3.5) gave him marks between 8.5 and 10.0 for a total of 94.50 points, before a back 3 ½ somersault pike (DD 3.6) generated scores of 10.0 across the board and gave 108.00 points; the best dive of the round. He finished his performance with a steady back 2 ½ somersault 2 ½ twists pike (DD 3.8) that sealed his victory.

In the meantime a battle raged for silver between Zakharov and Su. Realistically, the higher medal could have gone to either diver, but on this day the diving god’s were smiling on the young Russian. Zakharov started well, but his dives were averaging marks of about 7.5; certainly good, but not enough to guarantee him the silver. It was his fourth dive that made the difference, a reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck (DD 3.4), for which he received only marks of 9.0 and 9.5 for a total of 91.80 points that bumped him ahead of Su. Su’s fourth dive on the other hand, which gave him marks as low as 4.0 and a total score of 44.20, was far below average and cost him the more superior medal. Despite a great finishing dive, a back 2 ½ somersault 1 ½ twists (DD 3.4) that gave him 91.80 total points, he was outscored by Zakharov by one frustrating point.

Anabelle Smith