VERACRUZ, Mexico, April 22. CHINA confirmed once again its status of powerhouse in the discipline by conquering the four titles at stake during the second and last day of the FINA/LI-NING Diving World Series in Veracruz, Mexico, on April 21, 2010.
The perfect dives of the Chinese team closed the third date of the Series, with a myriad of "10" marks, sweeping gold in all four events.
And thus fell the curtain of the diving festival that took place at the Aquatic Complex "Law Reform" in Veracruz, which had the honour to host two serial dates and welcome the world's biggest diving stars. The athletes represented 13 countries, 24 of which are Olympic medallists.
Bo Qiu from China became the king of the men's 10m platform event when he won his third gold medal in the Series. He recorded one of the best scores in the history of the event by accumulating a spectacular 584.25 points in six dives. The only higher score was recorded on the first meet in Qingdao, China (588.20), and it is better than those recorded at the Beijing Olympics (2008) or the last FINA World Championships in Rome (2009).
Bo Qiu got a "10" mark from all seven judges for his first dive performance (Inward 3 ½ Somersault, Tuck) which were keys to his third crown in this Series, being the overall winner of the three stages. Not only the first dive was exceptional; his second and fourth appearance drew "10" marks as well (Armstand Backward Triple Somersault, Pike and Back 3 ½ Somersault, Pike).
Qiu had no rival for the gold and as a result, the fight took place for the silver and bronze between David Boudia (USA), home favourite German Sanchez, world champion Thomas Daley (GBR), Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham (AUS) and Alexey Kravchenko (RUS).
Well-focused, American David Boudia performed precise dives that allowed him a silver-medal finish with 528 points. Local German Sanchez finished third with 520.50 points. Sanchez obtained his career's best score and made his first appearance on the podium at an international diving competition. British Thomas Daley got "10" marks but missed the podium by 0.8 points. Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham from Australia took fifth place with 508.05 points.
In the women's 3m springboard event, China's Zi He added a fourth gold medal to her tally (one already gained in Qingdao and two in Veracruz's second meet). Zi He scored a total 377.35 points. The rest of the places were defined by a short margin of points, as it was a very close final.
Home favourite Paola Espinosa placed second in the event with 349.30 points. She had disputed silver with Chinese Wu Minxia, who finally took bronze with 345.75 points. Jennifer Abel from Canada well demonstrated her talent but took fourth.
The gold in the women's 10m platform synchro event went to the Chinese pair Chen Ruolin and Hao Wang, who totalled 365.82. Their match proved perfect as they won the event three times in the entire Series and closed in Veracruz with the best score. Their last dive (Back 2 ½ Somersault 1 ½ Twists, Pike) was enthusiastically cheered by the audience when the "10" marks that had been given by the judges were announced. Second ranked were Canadian duo Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion with 336.54. Australian Melissa Wu and Alexandra Croak placed third with 296.70. The same podium took place in the second meet of the Series.
At the end of the men's 3m springboard synchro, China dominated the operations again with Qin Kai and Xinhua Zhang, climbing the highest podium, scoring 443.88 points (they register their third victory in-a-raw in the Series). Silver was reserved for Russian team Dmitry Sautin and Yury Kunakov, totalling 434.82 points. The German pair formed by Stephan Feck and Patrick Hausding claimed third spot with 433.74. Local team Daniel Islas and Julian Sanchez, who in the previous stage obtained the silver, placed fourth with 417.48.
The song "La Bamba", which is typical in Veracruz, closed this second and last day of the third stage of the World Series, with hundreds of spectators cheering from the stands.
The Mexican team bags home nine medals after the three meets: Paola Espinosa gained four silver medals, while Yahel Castillo picked up one gold and one bronze medal, German Sanchez obtained bronze and teams formed by Daniel Islas and Julian Sanchez took silver, as did German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia.
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