FINA World Championships, Diving: China Keeps Gold-Medal Sweep Alive With Two More Wins

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SHANGHAI, China, July 18. THE Chinese diving contingent kept rolling during the third day of action at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai. In front of a partisan crowd, China pushed its gold-medal tally to four-for-four at these diving championships.

China captured its third gold medal with a 1-2 finish in the men's one-meter springboard event. Li Shixin left no doubt with a winning tally of 463.90. He only had one less than stellar dive, but never fell out of first place with a wire-to-wire victory. The win is China's third consecutive in the event, as Qin Kai (2009) and Luo Yutong (2007) won the previous two. In sum, China has won the men's one-meter world title six out of nine times since its inception at the 1991 World Championships.

"You don't know how excited I am now," Li said. "I didn't execute one of the dives well enough. But it didn't affect my competition. Relatively my second dive was my weakpoint, but luckily I found the rhythm during yesterday's competition so I am happy about it. This is my first time to take part in the world championships. It means my effort during the years has been paid off. I am very delighted with the gold medal. It's said that the 1m springboard will be cancelled as a world championships event, so it means that the gold medal is more precious."

He Min picked up silver with 444.00 points in a duel with bronze-winning Pavlo Rozenberg of Germany (436.50). He stood third heading into the final round, but nailed his final dive with an 81.60 to overtake Rozenberg's 72.00 sixth-round effort.

"I am making the first appearance in the World Championships, so I was a little nervous at the beginning," He said. "But I gradually relaxed. Anyway, it's a precious experience for me. I hope to compete at more world championships."

The 1-2 effort by China is the third straight year the country has accomplished that feat as well. Zhang Xinhua and He Chong took silvers behind Qin and Luo in 2009 and 2007, respectively. China also went 1-2 in 2001 with Wang Feng and Wang Tianling winning gold and silver, while Xu Xiang and Wang Kenan did the same in 2003. Canada's Alexandre Despatie's gold in 2005 is the only bump on the road in the past 10 years for China.

Chris Colwill of the U.S. finished just off the podium with a fourth-place tally of 427.15 points.

Wang Hao and Chen Ruolin gave China its fourth gold medal in as many attempts in diving at the FINA World Championships this summer, keeping China's gold-medal sweep intact. Wang and Chen went wire-to-wire in the women's 10-meter synchronized event to win with 362.58 points. China is now riding a six-title streak in the event, and have only lost the event once since Ukraine won the first world title on offer in 1998. Chen has been a part of the last three world titles, including this year's victory.

"I am quite excited," Chen said. "I am still suffering from the waist injury, but it didn't cause much trouble in today's competition. I will also enter the 10m platform event on Wednesday, so I must stay focused. I'm looking forward to it."

Australia's Alexandra Croak and Melissa Wu claimed silver with 325.92 points after battling back from falling to seventh after the second round of diving. After a year off the podium in 2009, Australia returns and has now taken silver in four of the last five world championships. Wu was part of the 2007 silver-medal team with Bree Cole.

"We have tried very hard," Wu said. "I was really happy with the team so far and everything was so good. It definitely built the confidence that we got a medal. It's good to have a good result. We were training very hard and we are solid. We were trying to perform in the final and yes, we did a good one. We will do the best preparation for the next year in London."

Germany's Christin Steuer and Nora Subschinski completed the podium with a bronze-winning 316.29-point tally. The U.S. duo of Anna James and Mary Beth Dunnichay wound up taking 11th with 278.22 points. The finish is Germany's second bronze medal in the event's history. Subschinski teamed with Annett Gamm for bronze at the 2007 Melbourne Championships.

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