Chinese Sweep Men's 1M, Finland Wins First International Diving Medal -- July 17, 2003
Kenan Wang (CHN) and Alexander Dobroskok (RUS) won their respective semi-finals, held just two hours before the finals. Nicola Marconi (ITA) and Tobias Schellenberg (GER), the bronze medallist in the 3m synchronised springboard took the remaining spots for the final in the A semi. In the B semi the big surprise was Joona Puhakka (FIN) in second behind Wang and ahead of Xiang Xu (CHN).
Even though the more popular 3m springboard and platform attract most of the attention, 1m springboard is quite difficult, and divers use this height in training and preparing more difficult dives for the 3m event. One reason the 1m is not that popular is that heavier divers can make the flexible board touch the water while pushing off. This does not allow greater height for more rotations.
Diving programs are becoming more and more complicated in the 1m as divers learn to spin extremely fast. It is visually very exciting but few great divers are able to stop the spin in time to make a clean entry.
The question today was: Could Dobroskok add the 1m title to earlier one in the 3m? Just before the competition he added a 3.5 forward instead of his usual 2.5 somersaults.
In the final, after round one Wang and Xu were ahead of Dobroskok. In the second round Wang missed his entry and slipped to third with the Russian moving into the lead. Puhakka moved into second and Marconi missed his dive completely with 2-2.5 points and fell out of contention.
It was Dobroskok's turn to blow a dive and Xu's lead increased to 16 points.
It was in the fifth round that Xu clinched the title receiving 79.20 points. Dobroskok fell to fourth with a dive worth only 49.50 and fell 50 points back to finish in fourth.
Wang in second with 412.41, just over 20 points behind the winner. The big surprise was Puhakka in third with 391.26 for third, the first ever medal for a Finnish diver at this level.
American Mark Ruiz was fifth (365.16) in the Semi-Final B Bracket, failing to qualify for the finals.
1 XIANG Xu CHN 431.94
2 KENAN Wang CHN 412.41
3 PUHAKKA Joona FIN 391.26
4 DOBROSKOK Alexander RUS 378.45
5 SCHELLENBERG Tobias GER 340.35
6 MARCONI Nicola ITA 310.98