|LAUSANNE, Switzerland, March 17. DUBAI's Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex provided the backdrop to spectacular performances during the opening leg of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series 2012, held from March 16-17. The superb venue was host to an international diving event for the first time and welcomed the best divers in action, 57 from 11 nations.
It was an expected show of strength by China, the traditional diving powerhouse, whose ten-strong squad extended the unbeaten streak and blitzed to win all eight titles at stake.
Current Olympic and World champion Chong He took out the men's 3m springboard with a score of 522.25, ahead of Russia's Illya Zakharov (silver) and teammate Kai Qin (bronze). Qin and Yutong Luo were the best in the synchro same event with an overall 452.58, while Mexico's Yahel Castillo/Julian Sanchez took second and Illya Kvasha/Oleksey Prygorov from Ukraine, third.
China's diving star Bo Qiu was the obvious winner in the men's 10m platform with an overall 569.25 while podium challengers Thomas Daley (GBR) and world number 2 David Boudia (USA) finished in second and third place, respectively. Yuan Cao/Yanquan Zhang's victory in the men's 10m platform synchro generated little surprise with the pair scoring a grueling 474.36. Ukraine's Oleksandr Gorshkovozov/Oleksandr Bondar finished runners-up, with Russia's Victor Minibaev/Illya Zakharov taking the bronze.
In the women's field, double World champion Minxia Wu (combining with Zi He) captured both gold medals in the 3m springboard. It was a tough win in the individual event with Wu prevailing by a nail (0.70) over teammate He for a total 372.15. Italian diving talent Tania Cagnotto secured the minor medal. American pair Christina Loukas/Kassidy Cook allowed themselves a silver-medal finish, beating the duo from Ukraine, Anna Pysmenska/Olena Fedorova, who settled for the bronze. In the 10m platform, double Olympic champion Chen Ruolin walked away with two victories, winning the synchro event with Hao Wang. Mexico's diving star Paola Espinosa followed closely and took the silver while Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg claimed the bronze and silver (pairing with Mun Yee Leong) in the synchro event. The bronze went to Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion from Canada.
The World Series' next stop is Beijing (CHN) from March 23-24, then Moscow (RUS) from April 13-14 and last meet is Tijuana (MEX) from April 20-21. Follow all the action of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series 2012 on FINA TV and iPhone/iPad (LIVE+ application @appstore) by visiting fina.org.
MEDALLISTS IN DUBAI
Men's 3m springboard: 1. Chong He (CHN) 522.25; 2. Illya Zakharov (RUS) 496.30; 3. Kai Qin (CHN) 481.30
Men's 10m platform: 1. Bo Qiu (CHN) 569.25; 2. Thomas Daley (GBR) 539.40; 3. David Boudia (USA) 521.60
Men's 3m springboard synchro: 1. Kai Qin/Yutong Luo (CHN) 452.58; 2. Yahel Castillo/Julian Sanchez (MEX) 427.38; 3. Illya Kvasha/Oleksey Prygorov (UKR) 423.87
Men's 10m platform synchro: 1. Yuan Cao/Yanquan Zhang (CHN) 474.36; 2. Oleksandr Gorshkovozov/Oleksandr Bondar (UKR) 430.08; Victor Minibaev/Illya Zakharov (RUS) 412.62
Women's 3m springboard: 1. Minxia Wu (CHN) 372.15; 2. Zi He (CHN) 371.45 3. Tania Cagnotto (ITA) 351.75
Women's 10m platform: 1. Ruolin Chen (CHN) 395.70; 2. Paola Espinosa (MEX) 392.10; 3. Pandelela Rinong Pamg (MAS) 369.75
Women's 3m springboard synchro: 1. Zi He/Minxia Wu (CHN) 329.40; 2. Christina Loukas/Kassidy Cook (USA) 297.72 3. Anna Pysmenska/Olena Fedorova (UKR) 290.40
Women's 10m platform synchro: 1. Ruolin Chen/Hao Wang (CHN) 344.40; 2. Pandelela Rinong Pamg/Mun Yee Leong (MAS) 316.38 3. Meaghan Benfeito/Roseline Filion (CAN) 315.96
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