World Aquatics Championships: Great Britain Adds Sixth Medal as China Sweeps Day 6

Maddison Keeney of Australia; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

World Aquatics Championships: Great Britain Adds Sixth Medal as China Sweeps Day 6

Great Britain has upped its total medals in the diving competitions at the World Aquatics Championships to six in six days with bronze in the women’s 3-meter synchro.

China continued its expected dominance at the Hamad Aquatic Centre Wednesday, with Chang Yani and Chen Yiwen repeating as 3-meter synchro champs and Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi going 1-2 in the men’s 3-meter springboard.

But the other diving nations that have excelled at this meet continued to. Great Britain is up to six medals thanks to Yasmin Harper and Scarlett Mew Jensen finishing third. Australia garnered its fourth medal with Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith the synchro runners-up. And Osmar Olvera added his second medal and Mexico’s fourth.

The U.S. earned a quota spot in the women’s 3-meter synchro, with Alison Gibson and Krysta Palmer finishing fourth.

Wang led the latest chapter of Chinese dominance, winning this event for the third consecutive Worlds. Xie was first in both prelims and semifinals, with Wang shrugging off a pair of subpar dives – he had the 24th-best dive in the first round of prelims on Tuesday and the 18th-best in the fifth round of the semifinals. But when it mattered most, he was close to flawless.

Wang had the best dive of each of the first four rounds of finals, growing a 19.05-point lead when Xie stumbled a fraction on his fourth dive, scoring only 78.75 points, fifth-best in the round. Wang had a slight bobble at 81.00 points in his fifth round, but Xie was only able to claw back six points.

Then Wang delivered the capper – 100.70 points on his concluding 109C, a massive score in an event where only six dives topped 90 points. It gave him 538.70 points for six dives, 22 clear of Xie’s 516.10.

The medal is Wang’s second of the contest, having claimed synchro gold with Long Daoyi. He has eight career World Championship medals. Xie, who edged Wang for the 3-meter title at the Tokyo Olympics, is an eight-time medalist.

Olvera closed strong, with the best dive of the fifth round (93.10 points on his 109C), then outscoring Xie in the final round by a fraction. But Xie didn’t leave the door open enough, Olvera capturing bronze with 498.40 points. He was 55 points up on fourth-place Luis Felipe Uribe of Colombia.

France’s Jules Bouyer was fifth, followed by Ross Haslam of Great Britain. The top American was Tyler Downs, who bowed out in prelims in 29th place. Grayson Campbell was 37th.

Chang and Chen ascended the top step of the podium in this event for the third straight Worlds. It’s Chang’s fourth overall win, the 22-year-old having taken gold in 2017 with Shi Tingmao. The Chinese pair scored 323.43 points to finish nearly 23 ahead of the Aussies. Chang and Chen never trailed, though with the third-best dive of the second round, the other two medalists were within 3.6 points. Their reply was to put forth the three highest-scoring dives of the competition, steadily pulling away.

Keeney and Smith were second the whole way, scoring 300.45 points. Harper and Mew Jensen stumbled on either end, fifth after the first round, then supplying just the 10th-best dive of the final round, but still were clear of the Americans with 281.70 points. Gibson and Palmer missed a chance to capitalize with the eighth-best dive of the final round. They were 2.4 points off the podium but did enough to get the U.S. a spot for the Paris Olympics in the event.

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