FINA World Championships, Diving: Russia's Julia Pakhalina; China's Chen Ruolin, Wang Xin Win Gold
-- July 19, 2009
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ROME, Italy, July 19. ANOTHER day of diving, and another gold-medal split by the Chinese at the FINA World Championships held in Rome. Today, the women took center stage with an all estrogen day of diving.
Outside of one tough round, Russia's Julia Pakhalina did not have much trouble en route to a winning tally of 325.05 points in the women's one-meter event. Pakhalina salted away the gold medal with a pair of 70.20-point dives in the third and fifth rounds.
China completed the rest of the podium with silver and bronze-winning efforts. Wu Minxia snatched silver with 311.90 points. She proved to be the most consistently strong diver of the finale with every dive breaking 60 points. She could not, however, overcome Pakhalina's brilliance. Wang Han took bronze with 303.95 to comprise the 300+ club for the event.
Notably, Christina Loukas finished eighth for the U.S. with 266.35 points.
China's tandem of Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin had no peer as the duo crushed the competition in the women's 10-meter platform synchronized event. The pair threw down a 369.18-point tally for gold, including a final dive of 90.78 points. The Chinese started off the round in a strong fashion with a 57-point dive that included a pair of 10s from Switzerland's Carmen Stritt Burk and Czech's Hana Novotna.
The United States continued its ascendance in synchronized action with a silver-winning tally of 324.66 from Mary Beth Dunnichay and Haley Ishimatsu. The U.S. has put a stronger emphasis on developing talent in synchro events, and that strategy has moved the U.S. into silver in both synchro events thus far. The Americans closed out the round with a n 84.66-point dive to move from fourth place overall to snag the silver medal.
Malaysia's Mun Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong Pamg nearly bumped the U.S. for silver, but totaled 321.66 points for bronze. The best dive for the Malaysians came during the fourth round when the pair posted 75.84 points.
The battle for silver and bronze proved to be extremely tight with less than five points separating second from fifth. Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion finished less than a half-point outside the medals with a fourth-place 321.39, while Australia's Briony Cole and Melissa Wu took fifth with 320.58 points.
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