Chinese divers continue to dominate in World Series

Chinese divers continue to dominate in World Series

He Zi and Chong win 3m springboard; Daley leads 10m qualifiers



By Moni Mathews (moni@khaleejtimes.com)

Published: Sun 23 Mar 2014, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:19 PM

The winners of the women’s 3m sprinboard finals on the podium. — Supplied photo

The winners of the women’s 3m sprinboard finals on the podium. — Supplied photo

China continued their relentless march when they captured the two gold medals on offer in the 3m springboard finals late on Friday, Day 2 of the 3-day Fina/NVC Diving World Series Dubai 2014.

In the early sessions on Saturday, Malaysian ace and London Olympics bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg, China’s Liu Huixia and Qiu Bo, and the crowd favourite Tom Daley of Great Britain qualified for the 10m final rounds.

In the first late event during the weekend at the Hamdan Complex, the women’s 3m springboard, world champion He Zi turned the tables on team-mate Wang Han for the gold after the World Series in Beijing last week with a 382.10 points tally.

She took the lead from the first dive and held top spot throughout, to finish 19.65 points ahead of Wang.

“It doesn’t matter which of us wins, it’s just important that we learn from it. The most important thing is to practice hard and produce our best performance,” She told the media wing of the organising committee.

It was a battle between the experienced current world champion He Chong and the new kid on the block Cao Yuan in the men’s 3m final.

China’s Cao pocketed two medals on Day 1, winning gold in the 10m platform synchro, and silver in the 3m synchro, while the 3m is He’s only event in Dubai.

Both started strongly, with equal scores in round one. Chong then took the lead, before Cao took over when he posted the top scoring dive of the night with a 98.90 for his 109C forward 4.5 somersaults tuck.

Chong wrested it back in round 5 with 96.90 for the same dive, then held on to take gold, with 535.80, just 12.85 points ahead of Cao.

Chong said: “I trained hard over winter so I am happy with my performance today. Cao Yuan is an excellent diver and I am surprised he can do so well on both the platform and springboard, he is pushing me to work harder.”

“Today (Friday night) I did well and I feel good, I am making progress in the 3m, it is my first medal in the individual event,” said Cao. As one of the few divers who competes in both the 10m platform and 3m springboard events, Cao said “I want to continue to do both platform and springboard, I believe in my ability to do both.”

Ahmed Al Falasi, president, UAE Swimming Federation said: “The competition tonight (Friday) was breathtaking and it was wonderful to see so many people here to appreciate this world class event.

“We are all looking forward to more spectacular performances tomorrow and hope to see great crowds again to cheer the divers on.”

The hotly contested semi-finals of the men’s and women’s 10m platform delivered another session of world class action as the divers battled it out for a place in the finals slotted for the late evening’s action on the third and final day on Saturday.

On Saturday, in the women’s first semi-final, Olympic bronze medallist, Malaysia’s Pandelela took the lead from the outset, with Canada’s Roseline Filion hot on her heels. By round four Filion had taken over the top spot and she finished with 348.55, 11.30 points ahead of Pamg on 337.25. Mexico’s Alejandra Orozco and Germany’s Maria Kurjo battled it out for the last of the three qualification places in the final, with Kurjo just ahead by round three.

In the second semi-final the redoubtable Liu was ahead for the entire competition, finishing with 395.40. Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito moved into second place by round three and finished 22.70 points behind Liu with 372.70.

The men’s first semi-final saw world champion Qiu and Olympic champion David Boudia battle out for the first two qualifying spots with Qiu emerging on top.

The second men’s semi-final saw Olympic bronze medallist Daley and Germany’s Sascha Klein, the world championships bronze medallist qualify for the showdown.


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