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LONDON, England, August 6. FOR the first time at the 2012 London Olympics, China's dominance in diving has been thrown off course. Russia's Ilya Zakharov earned the top seed in the semifinal round of the men's three-meter springboard event, edging defending Olympic champion He Chong of China.
Zakharov, who already won silver in the men's three-meter synchronized event, led after prelims with 507.65 points. He, meanwhile, qualified second with 500.90 points. The finish raised the first potential upset of a Chinese diving sweep, as China had previously dominated every round of diving this week.
The preliminary round featured some intensely dramatic moments, including Qin Kai completely missing his penultimate dive, scoring just 39.90, but still managing to qualify 11th with 451.60 points. Two failed dives also occurred during prelims, with Germany's Stephen Feck withdrawing from prelims after nearly fainting during his second dive. He landed on his back on that dive, and still pushed on before withdrawing after his third dive.
USA's Troy Dumais had a strong morning with a third-place 486.60, while Germany's Patrick Hausding qualified fourth with 477.15 points.
China has won five of the eight medals being contested at London 2012 and remains on course for all eight, one more than they won in diving at Beijing 2008.
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