FINA World Championships, Diving: China Sets Up Gold-Medal Sweep Possibility With Women’s Three-Meter Victory

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SHANGHAI, China, July 23. CHINA will be vying for only the second gold-medal sweep in FINA World Championships history tomorrow night after Wu Minxia topped the women's three-meter springboard event this evening.

Wu's 380.85-point outing gave China its ninth gold medal out of 10 on offer this week. The only other time a team has swept the top of the podium in diving occurred in 1982 when the United States won all four gold medals available. With nine golds, China has tied its record for the most gold medals when the team collected nine world titles out of 10 in 2007.

Tonight's win is the sixth straight for China in the women's three-meter event, and the first world title for Wu in the event after finishing second to diving queen Guo Jingjing in 2005 and 2007.

"It's not easy to win the gold medal," Wu said. "I made an error on Dive 4 so I had to do my best in the last round. Overall, I did better than in the semifinal and prelims. I have overcome many difficulties in the past year. My next goal is to qualify for the London Olympics and then win the gold there."

China also captured silver with 379.15 points from He Zi, while Canada's Jennifer Abel earned bronze with 365.10 points. Abel provided Canada its second straight medal in the event as Emilie Heymans picked up silver in 2009.

"Today, my competition is the greatest in the year," Abel said. "And also it is the hardest one, because I started off between two Chinese divers (Wu Minxia and He Zi). But I focused on the diving. For next year's Olympic Games, I need to keep focused on training."

USA's Christina Loukas finished just outside the medal stand with a fourth-place 350.10, while teammate Kelci Bryant took seventh with 322.95 points. Heymans had a difficult outing with a 12th-place 270.00.

In men's 10-meter platform semifinal action, China's Qiu Bo looked to have no peer with a nearly 80-point margin of victory in the round with 579.55 points. Germany's Sascha Klein qualified second with 502.85 points, while Russia's Victor Minibaev (493.55) and USA's David Boudia (486.30) finished third and fourth. Notably, USA's Nick McCrory qualified seventh with 458.50 points.

Qiu will be looking for some vengeance from 2009 when Great Britain's Thomas Daley upset him en route to the world title in the 10-meter. Qiu had to settle for silver that year.

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