Doha World Championships: After Individual Duel, Quan Hongchan, Chen Yuxi Add Synchro Gold

Quan Hongchan; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Doha World Championships: After Individual Duel, Quan Hongchan, Chen Yuxi Add Synchro Gold

A day after battling it out in the individual platform event, China’s Quan Hongchan and Chen Yuxi joined forces to dominate the women’s synchro platform at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

Quan had bested her countrywoman by 8.45 points on Monday, the fifth day of competition at the Hamad Aquatic Centre. Tuesday, Chen and Quan scored 362.55 points to run away with the only gold of Day 6 with a winning margin of 41.52 points.

In the individual event, Quan scored 436.25 points and led after each of the five rounds. But Chen was within nine points at the end and had cut the deficit as close as 0.05 points in the third.

It’s the latest set of accomplishments for Quan, the diving prodigy who is still a month shy of her 17th birthday. The Tokyo Olympic platform champ at age 14, she has five career gold and seven total Worlds medals.

Chen, at an aged 18, has six gold and seven total medals. She was the Olympic platform synchro champ in Tokyo (with Zhang Jiaqi) and the runner-up to Quan in platform.

Chen led the way through prelims Monday, with the best dive in four of the five rounds. Quan briefly jumped into the lead in the third round, but Chen turned that around.

Finals was a different story, Quan leading from the jump. Chen’s best dive, and the second-best of the entire field, came in the third round, 94.05 points on her 626C getting her the closest possible she could to Quan. But Quan responded by scoring 97.35 points on a 207C in the fourth round, the best dive of the day, to surge ahead by 13.25 points.

Chen had the final round’s best dive at 91.20 points, outexecuting Quan in matching 5253Bs. But Quan’s cushion was too much to overcome.

Andrea Spendolini Sirieix was third the entire way for Great Britain, scoring 377.10 to secure the bronze medal. Fourth was Mi Rae Kim of South Korea, a distant 28 points back.

Italy’s Sarah Jodoin di Maria was fifth, with Lois Toulson of Great Britain sixth. No American made the 18-diver semifinal much less the final.

Kim got a measure of revenge by leading South Korea to silver in synchro, though the British won’t be sad to collect another medal in bronze. Chen and Quan were untouchable, with 362.22 points, 42 clear of the field and supplying the top dive of each and every round.

Kim and Jin Mi Jo were second the entire way, scoring 320.70 to win silver. Spendolini Sirieix and Toulson were third after three rounds, slipped a spot to fourth, then came through with a clutch fifth dive to grab bronze. Their closing 5253B was the third-best of the round, the 74.88 points vaulting them from fourth to third with 299.34 points.

The Mexican pair of Gabriela Agundez Garcia and Alejandra Orozco Loza couldn’t capitalize, missing a medal by three points. Ukraine’s Kseniia Bailo and Sofiia Lyskun slipped from third to fifth in the final round, dropping seven points behind Great Britain.

Canada’s Caeli McKay and Kate Miller finished sixth. Delaney Schnell and Jessica Parratto of the U.S. were eighth, never quite recovering from the 15th-best dive of the opening round.

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