FINA Diving World Cup Roundup: China Routs Gold Medals In Shanghai

Photo Courtesy: FINA

SHANGHAI, China, July 21. CHINESE young prospect Huang Xiaohui claimed her first individual title at world level in the women’s 10m platform, besting team-mate Liu Huixia, at the 19th FINA Diving World Cup in Shanghai on July 18.

Huang, winner of the mixed team event with Chen Aisen on Day 1 of the World Cup, was confident heading to the final, having led throughout the preliminaries and semi-final. Yet, she had a bad start, performing a poor Reverse 3.5 somersaults (307C) but bounced back quickly with a Inward 3.5 somersaults (407C), earning a day-high 91.20 with two perfect 10s, to eventually finish first with a total 373.60.

Women’s 10m platform synchro champion Liu suffered from a big splash in her fourth dive, a Back 3.5 somersaults (207C), receiving only 37.95, and had to settle for silver with an overall score of 354.35.

Melissa Wu of Australia claimed third spot with 349.50 points while Britain’s Tonia Couch took fourth.

“As a debutant in the World Cup, I’m happy with my first individual world title. However, my performance was not stable and had some flaws in the final. That made me feel unsatisfied,” said the 17-year-old Huang.

“The Reverse 3.5 somersaults (307C) is a difficult dive for women. I could not manage it very well during training. So I’m not surprised with my big blow on it during the final,” Huang added.

A missed Back 3.5 somersaults (207C) cost her the gold, said Liu: “It is my weakest dive that I need to work on in the future. Besides, I am a synchro diver who pays more attention on the synchro events and my partner. The feeling is different when competing in the individual event,” explained Liu, who clinched the synchro title together with Olympic and world champion Chen Ruolin earlier this week.

Melissa Wu said the bronze medal would boost her confidence for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. “I’m happy with a medal at the World Cup thanks to my consistent performance in the final. It is not my best dive but it is good enough for me to prepare for the Commonwealth Games,” said Wu with a smile.

Olympic and world champion He Chong of China denied team-mate Cao Yuan’s third gold on Day 5 of the 19th FINA Diving World Cup, capturing gold in the men’s 3m springboard in Shanghai.

Cao, who won gold in the men’s 10m platform synchro and 3m springboard synchro earlier this week, was about to set a record of World Cup gold in one edition by adding the springboard title. Cao led in the first five rounds by a small margin of two points ahead of He. He’s last dive (5156B) earned a total 101.40, finishing strong with an overall 540.35 while Cao came second with a total score of 526.70.

Jack Laugher of Britain took the bronze, scoring 488.20, and edging Illya Kvasha of Ukraine, who placed fourth.

“I made a mistake in the third dive (307C, Reverse 3.5 somersaults), it was because I had a shoulder injury and I was too careful to stretch my arms in this dive,” He said.

“I faced strong challenges from my closest opponents, like my team-mate Cao and Jack [Laugher]. But I enjoyed every competition, I am happy with the gold,” He added.

Though one step shy of making World Cup history, Cao said he learned a lot from the competition and enjoyed competing in both the springboard and platform events.

“For me, it was a challenging schedule as I competed in three events with seven competitions in four days and I grabbed two golds and one silver. It is beyond my expectation. I never thought I could win three medals. I also learned a lot from the other divers,” said 19-year-old Cao.

“It is the first time that I’m competing in the individual 3m springboard at a big meet. I’m a platform diver but I feel great diving on the springboard,” continued Cao.

Jack Laugher earned a day-high 102.60 points for his fifth dive (109C) which helped him collect his first World Cup bronze medal.

“It is an unexpected medal. I have made big progress since last year as I turned to be a professional diver. I trained full day and worked very hard,” Laugher admitted.

China’s rookie Yang Jian made a strong impression in the men’s 10m platform final as he lifted his first international title, concluding a brilliant six-day competition for the Chinese host with a golden sweep of all nine titles on offer.

20-year-old Yang showed his talent performing dives of a high degree of difficulty by collecting 102.60 points for his dive (207B) and another 102.50 following his 109B. Yang won the event with a total 543.85, beating current world champion Qiu Bo, second with 528.50, and Ivan Garcia of Mexico, third with 504.90. Thomas Daley of Great Britain finished fourth with 470.35.

Yang, who is from Luzhou, the Sichuan province where Qiu Bo and former Olympic champions Tian Liang and Gao Min come from, scored a record 616.50 in the Diving World Series in London this year.

“Though I win the gold, I did not perform my best. I had ups-and-downs during the final, especially my first dive was not good,” said Yang.

Qiu, who set the pace after three rounds but suffered a blow in his 207B, earning a poor 43.20, secured the silver following a strong Inward 4.5 somersaults (109C), which received a day-high 105.45, and 100.70 points for his Forward 2.5 somersaults 3 twists (5156B).

“I made a big mistake that cost me the gold. The competition was tough tonight,” said 21-year-old Qiu.

Ivan Garcia showed his highest DD, performing an Inward 3.5 somersaults (409C), earning 94.30 points to secure a podium spot.

“I want to thank my coach, my team, especially my synchro partner German Sanchez. I won this medal for them. I’m happy with it!” said Garcia.

Shi Tingmao snatches first title in women’s 3m springboard

Under a scorching sun, China’s Shi Tingmao showed her superb consistence, clinching her first title at this level in the women’s 3m springboard on the last day, Sunday July 20, of the 19th FINA Diving World Cup in Shanghai.

Shi, 2011 world champion in the 1m springboard and winner of the 3m synchro with Olympic and world champion Wu Minxia at the FINA World Championships last year as well as at the FINA Diving World Cup this week, dominated the operations from the third round on, amassing a total 383.40 points to be reigning world champion and team-mate He Zi, second with 369.65.

Jennifer Abel of Canada performed brilliantly to claim the bronze with 364.05 points while Australia’s Maddison Keeney, who placed 12 in the semi-final, moved up to finish fourth in the final, scoring 346.00.

“We have experienced various weather since the World Cup started on July 15, including heavy rain, showers, cloudy and sunny days. This afternoon is the first time we face such a burning sun during the competition. It is not easy to compete in outdoor pools but I believe everyone has tried his best,” said 22-year-old Shi.

“It is the first time that I compete in the individual 3m springboard. It is a chance that I hope to test and improve myself,” Shi added.

Shi started to pair up with Wu Minxia since last year’s Barcelona World Championships. “I need to gain experience and learn from others in the future,” she continued.

Reigning world champion and 2012 Olympic runner-up He Zi dominated the first two rounds in the final before she made mistakes in her Reverse 2.5 somersaults (305B) and Forward 3.5 somersaults (107B), her third and fourth dives.

“I don’t want to blame the sun for my defeat. I have to say I still need to work on my dives in daily training. I have learned a lesson from today that I should overcome all the difficulties in the competition,” He said.

Third-place finisher Jennifer Abel said: “It is a tough competition and the top two Chinese divers are very strong. It is very hot today and I am really happy with this medal.”

This article was complied from FINA reports.

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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