BARCELONA, Spain, July 20. CHINA won two more golds in synchronized diving to end the diving championships with a total of 12 (4 gold – 4 silver – 4 bronze) to more than double Russia's medal take of 6 (2-2-2). Australia finished third with 4 medals.
The women's 3m synchronized springboard was dominated by Wu Minxia and Guo Jingjing from the preliminary round. Sydney Olympic winners Julia Pakhalina and Vera Ilyina, of Russia, were close – just 7 points behind – after the first round. Even this small difference was due to a mistake in the 3-1/2 forward pike. After discussing it with their coach, they decided to change this dive to one involving less risk.
Everyone else was fighting for third place in the final, as the difference between the top two and the rest was evident. In round one, the Russians had the best score but not by much (56.40-56.20).
In the second round the Chinese moved ahead, and by the fourth they were out of reach with a 20 point lead.
Pakhalina and Ilyina did not gain from a change in their program, gaining 5.19 over the earlier round with 67.50, but the Chinese got 79.20. They were relaxed in their final dive and got four 10s for a big score of 86.40 to end with 357.30, 36.06 ahead of the Russian duo.
Cassandra Cardinell (Loudonville, NY) and Sara Hildebrand (St. Paul, Minn.) got off to a strong start for the USA, sitting in third place after prelims. In finals, the two had a tougher time staying synchronized on their dives, finishing in eighth place with a score of 259.38.
“This was really the first big international competition we’ve competed in together,” Cardinell said. “We were ready, we were just a little off today. It happens sometimes.”
The men's synchronized platform was a come from behind for Australia's Matthew Helm and Robert Newbery. The Australians' free routines had a 0.6 advantage in degree of difficulty (DD) and helped them in the quest for the gold.
It was in the fourth round that the Aussies moved into the lead with their 3-1/2 back pike with a 3.6 DD for 88.56, and the Chinese fell to third place with the same dive with only 70.20 points. This allowed the Ukrainian team of Roman Volodkov and Anton Zakharov to move into second.
The USA's Troy and Justin Dumais (Ventura, Calif.), competing in their second synchro event of the week, advanced to the finals after taking eighth in prelims. The duo moved as high as fifth after their third dive before finishing in seventh place with 318.18 points.
WOMEN 3m Synchro Diving FINAL
Rank Athletes Country YOB Total
1 WU Mingxia CHN 85 357.30
GUO Jingjing CHN 81
2 PAKHALINA Julia RUS 77 321.24
ILYINA Vera RUS 74
3 ESPINOSA Paola MEX 86 299.64
SANCHEZ Laura MEX 85
4 SCHMALFUSS Conny GER 75 295.50
KOTZIAN Ditte GER 79
5 GERRARD Tandi GBR 78 293.55
SMITH Jane GBR 75
6 DACKIW Lynda AUS 80 291.24
MICHELL Chantelle AUS 77
7 ISCHENKO Kristina UKR 87 287.04
FEDOROVA UKR UKR
8 HILDEBRAND Sara USA 79 259.38
CARDINELL Cassandra USA 82
MEN 10m Synchro Diving FINAL
Rank Athletes Country YOB Total
1 HELM Mathew AUS 80 384.60
NEWBERY Robert AUS 79
2 VOLODKOV Roman UKR 73 372.60
ZAKHAROV Anton UKR 86
3 TIAN Liang CHN 79 367.14
HU Jia CHN 83
4 WATERFIELD Peter GBR 81 356.94
TAYLOR Leon GBR 77
5 MARTINEZ Jorge MEX 79 322.74
PEREZ Francisco MEX 76
6 BETANCOURT Jorge CUB 81 321.36
FORNARIS Erick CUB 79
7 DUMAIS Troy USA 80 318.18
DUMAIS Justin USA 78
8 GALPERIN Gleb RUS 85 298.62
LUKASHIN Igor RUS 77
(Courtesy: Fina & USA Diving)