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Budapest 2017: Diving Day 2 – China claim first diving gold at the Worlds

by ZwemZa on July 15th, 2017
Ren Qian/Lian Junjie (CHN) (Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia)

Ren Qian/Lian Junjie (CHN) (Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia)

Olympic platform champion Ren Qian added a world gold to her medal treasury when she partnered Lian Junjie to victory in the mixed 10m synchro event to bring China the first diving title of the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Ren and Lian led through all five rounds to keep the title in China’s possession following the victory of Si Yajie and Tai Xiaohu in the inaugural mixed synchronised platform event at the Kazan Worlds in 2015.

Lois Toulson and Matthew Lee, the last of the 16 pairs to dive, held their nerve to claim the silver for Great Britain ahead of Kim Mi-rae and Hyon Il-mong of DPR Korea. Toulson and Lee had moved up to second in the penultimate round of dives as the Koreans also staged a strong late challenge and they were not to be denied the silver.

Ahead of them all, however, Ren and Lian never faltered and crowned their day with the first perfect 10 score in the Duna Arena for their last-round back 2-1/2 somersaults with 1-1/2 twists. The Chinese pair amassed 352.98 points from their five dives, with the British duo second on 323.28 and the Koreans third on 318.12.

Russians Iuliia Timoshinina and Viktor Minibaev featured a combination with the highest degree of difficulty of the final (3.4) in their programme but finished a frustrating fourth on 310.08.

Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito, a silver medallist at the 2015 Kazan Worlds with Vincent Riendeau, had to settle for fifth with new partner Nathan Zsombor-Murray, while Australians Melissa Wu and Domonic Bedggood, the Kazan bronze medallists, were seventh.


Mixed 10m platform

Ren Qian/Lian Junjie (CHN): “It looked we weren’t happy? Not true, we are quite pleased with our performance. We are a bit tired and we have to prepare the rest of the competition. We are training together for only one month and maybe we split in the future. Still too early to say, we feel OK as it is, but it may not be a definitive solution.”

On the possibility of a gold clean sweep for China in Budapest: “The effort and concentration must come from ourselves. If we do it well, the entire team will do it well. Also, if this means gold medal, well, we will be of course very happy”.

Lois Toulson/Matthew Lee (GBR): “We are training together for about a year in Leeds, and it’s working quite well. We were European champions, but this is our first Worlds together”.

On China’s supremacy: “Nothing is impossible. The rest of the world can beat them – look at what happened at the Rio Olympics, when a British pair managed to beat the Chinese in the men’s 3m synchro. It’s difficult, they have a very good level, but it happens”.

On the challenges related to mixed diving: “It’s true that it’s not so simple… Guys will most of the time jump higher and stronger. We have to carefully work with our coaches, watch a lot of videos and adopt some strategies to compensate these natural differences between a man and a woman’s body structure”.

Derek Parr | FINA Media Committee

From → Aquatic News

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