First Day of FINA Diving World Series

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By Pedro Adrega, FINA

NANJING, China, May 30. CHINESE divers confirmed their domination at this year's FINA Diving World Series, getting the four gold medals at stake in the first day of the third and last meet of the circuit, held at home in Nanjing (CHN). After the first two legs in Tijuana (MEX) and Sheffield (GBR), the Chinese stars did not disappoint their fans and assumed once more their favoritism for the Olympic Games, next August in Beijing.

In the first final of the day, He Chong (CHN) was the strongest in the men's 3m springboard, concluding his six dives with a total of 543.30. Already winner in Sheffield, the Chinese star got the first perfect ‘10' of the competition, in his fifth dive. Throughout the final, he never lost the lead, keeping very constant performances.
His compatriot Qin Kai finished the FINA Diving World Series with his third consecutive silver medal, while Yahel Castillo (MEX) got the bronze – the Mexican had won this event at home, in Tijuana.

Ruolin Chen (CHN), in the women's 10m platform, also got an easy win, by a margin of more than 60 points over Emilie Heymans, from Canada. The interest of this event was to know if Paola Espinosa (MEX) – winner in Tijuana and Sheffield – could get in China her third gold in this event. Chen was more inspired than the Mexican, leading from the second dive, and finishing with four ‘10' in the fifth and last round. The fight for the silver medal was then quite interesting between Espinosa and Heymans, but the Canadian appeared more constant. In fourth, Wang Xin, from China, completely missed the first dive, getting no points for it (she claimed the silver in Sheffield and Tijuana).

In the women's synchro 3m springboard, Minxia Wu and Jingjing Guo confirmed their previous victories in Tijuana and Sheffield, winning at home with a total of 338.10. It was not an easy triumph, as they faced strong opposition from Russians Anastasia Pozdniakova and Yulia Pakhalina, silver medallists in the first two meets of the series. After the third round of dives, in which Guo had a bad entry in the water, the Europeans were provisionally first, but the Chinese quickly corrected the error, with two very solid last rounds. The bronze went to British pair Tandi Gerrard and Hayley Sage, their first award of the series.

One of the most thrilling events of the day was the men's 10m synchro platform, with another Chinese win, this time for Li Mengqiang/Wang Zhiao in their first participation in these series. In a contest, where the lead changed several times, Oleg Vikulov/Konstantin Khanbekov, from Russia got the silver (they were first in Tijuana and fourth in Sheffield), while Cuban pair Jose Guerra Oliva/Erick Fornaris took the bronze (repeating the classification obtained in Great Britain).