World Championships: Maddison Keeney, Domonic Bedggood Close Out Competition with Synchro Gold

Domonic Bedggod and Maddison Keeney; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

World Championships: Maddison Keeney, Domonic Bedggood Close Out Competition with Synchro Gold

Australia brought a golden end to diving in the World Championships on Saturday in Doha, with Domonic Bedggood and Maddison Keeney winning gold the mixed 3-meter springboard event.

It was a rare respite from Chinese domination in Doha. Yang Hao and Cao Yuan went 1-2 in the 10-meter platform for China, though in slightly less orderly fashion that China is accustomed to. It followed a 1-2 result on 3-meter springboard in Friday’s only medal event, the gold-winning synchro pair of Chang Yani and Chen Yiwen taking the top two spots, respectively.

China finished atop the final medal table with nine golds and 13 total medals in 13 events. Of the four events in which China didn’t win gold, it only entered one, with no one in the mixed team event, mixed 3-meter springboard and women’s 1-meter springboard. The only Chinese diver not to medal was Zheng Jiuyan, who finished 11th in the men’s 1-meter springboard. China went 1-2 in all four of Olympic individual events. (The mixed team and 1-meter springboard are contested at Worlds but not the Olympics.)

Yang Hao of China; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Bedggood and Keeney gave Australia two golds and five total medals. Great Britain and Mexico secured the remaining golds, while Great Britain’s seven total medals was second to China. Mexico’s four medals were the only ones from North America, both Canada and the U.S. blanked on the medal tally.

Bedggood and Keeney were second after the first round but delivered the top dives of each of the next two rounds, including 72 points on a 405B in the third that was the highest-scoring of the competition. They struggled a touch on their fourth dive, but then so did the pairs behind them. A hit on the final dive, a round-best 69.36, gave the Aussies 300.93 points and gold.

It’s the third medal of the Games for the Queenslander Keeney. She won bronze in the team event and silver in women’s 3-meter synchro with Anabelle Smith. She just missed a medal in women’s 3-meter springboard in fourth.

Italy’s Matteo Santoro and Chiara Pellacani scored 68.40 on the final dive, leaping from fourth to silver in 287.49. They were 2.46 points clear of the South Korean pair of Jaegyeong Yi and Suji Kim, who held their position in third. Grace Reid and Ross Haslam of Great Britain scored only 11th best in the fifth and final round, sliding to fourth with a score of 278.28.

Mexico (Jahir Ocampo, Paola Pineda) finished fifth. The American duo of Noah Duperre and Bridget O’Neil were seventh. They had been running second through two rounds before delivering the 14th-best dive of the fourth round to slide from fifth to 10th.

Yang left the field behind in 10-meter men’s platform with a score of 564.05. He was second after two rounds. He had the best dive of the competition in the final round, scoring 107.30 on his 109C to open up a gap on countryman Cao that had shrunk to 2.55 points. Yang earlier won men’s synchro gold with Lian Junjie.

Cao was sixth after two rounds, 28 points behind Yang. He outperformed him over the final four dives, but the slow start was too big a hole to climb out of. He tallied 553.20 for silver, the 29-year-old’s ninth career Worlds medals (to go with five Olympic, including three gold).

While the Chinese divers battled it out, Ukraine’s Oleksii Sereda was steady in third. He was second three rounds and never delivered a dive worse than fifth in any of the six rounds to score 528.65. Randal Villars of Mexico was done in by a tough fifth dive to finish fourth. Canada’s Rylan Wiens was the leader after two rounds, having scored 99.90 points on his 109C. But he came back to the field and finished fifth, with the British duo of Kyle Kothari and Noah Williams sixth and seventh, respectively. American Brandon Loschiavo was eighth.

Friday’s only medal event was a more conventional example of Chinese dominance. Chang scored 354.75 over five rounds to win, leading after every round and delivering the top dive in three. Chen was second in 336.60, 25 points up on the chasers. Kim surged into third place at the midpoint and held it with 311.25, more than eight points up on Keeney. Sarah Bacon of the U.S. was fifth in 302.65. She had been third after tying Chang for the best dive of the third round on her 305B.

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