BARCELONA, Spain, July 18. CHINA moved well ahead of Russia today in the race for diving supremacy earning 3 more gold medals and 9 overall medals to Russia’s 5 overall. Three more medal events remain.
Yulia Pakhalina (RUS) and Vera Ilyina (RUS) Olympic synchronized champions had the early lead after the preliminaries with a first and third. Jingjing Guo (CHN) took second. Pakhalina had a 20-point lead on Guo, and continued to hold on to the lead after the semi-finals but her lead was shrinking. Guo got 242.50 for her five dives, while Pakhalina with only 230.07 was actually third, as Anna Lindberg (SWE) with 236.37 moved up to sixth from ninth.
Pakhalina lost control of her back dive as her eye caught the sun causing a poor entry.
This was a pivotal moment, as the overall final points include the semi-final results. Thus in the final round, Pakhalina was 12.43 behind Guo and 6.30 behind Lindberg.
Because of the high degree of difficulty of their dives, Pakhalina and Guo had the best chances to get ahead of the others due to their great skill very difficult optional dives. Actually Blythe Hartley (CAN) winner of the 1m springboard did the highest degree of difficulty (DD) dives, but had a poor showing.
Lindberg fell back with lower (DD) dives, spoiling the entries after the first two rounds.
Guo looked changed for the finals with cleaner entries that were more powerful and precise. That helped them keep ahead of Pakhalina who also looked strong. Guo did her best dive in the fourth round with mostly 9s. Pakhalina responded with almost the same marks for her 3.5 forward, a more difficult dive than Guo's.
Pakhalina final dive was amazing and 8 points better that Guo's last dive but wasn't enough to catch up. It was decided in the semi-final, and the 12-point advantage going into the final gave Guo the gold.
American Sara Hildebrand finished out of the medal standings in 6th place (545.55 points).
WOMEN"S 3M Springboard Final Results
Rank Athlete Country YOB Points
1 GUO Jingjing CHN 81 617.94
2 PAKHALINA Julia RUS 77 611.58
3 WU Minxia CHN 85 589.80
4 ILYINA Vera RUS 74 582.93
5 HARTLEY Blythe CAN 82 575.28
6 HILDEBRAND Sara USA 79 545.55
7 TOURKY Loudy AUS 79 516.27
8 HEYMANS Emilie CAN 81 510.03
9 ZHUPINA Olena UKR 73 505.26
10 KOTZIAN Ditte GER 79 503.61
11 FEDOROVA Olena UKR 86 502.74
12 LINDBERG Anna SWE 81 481.83