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Taipei 2017: Huge upset in men’s 1m springboard South Korean clinches gold as Russian Olympian relegated to bronze

by ZwemZa on August 22nd, 2017
Briadam Herrera (Taipei 2017)

Briadam Herrera (Taipei 2017)

Russian diver Evgenii Kuznetsov, who won silver in the 2012 London Olympics’ 3m synchronized springboard, was favorite yesterday at the Taipei Universiade’s 1m springboard event. But, while the 27-year-old made it onto the podium, it was with only a bronze medal around his neck.

The Republic of Korea’s Kim Yeong-nam, 21, was the expectation-defying star. Competing as the fifth diver in the finals, he pulled off an inward 2 1/2 somersault pike on his first dive, scoring a strong 81.60 points. Following errors in his second dive, Kim recovered to secure the highest scores among all competitors in the fourth and fifth dives. His sixth dive sealed the deal, and Kim clenched his fist in victory.

Kim’s total score of 453.00 and the resulting gold medal in the event marked a dramatic ascent for the diver. In the semifinals, Kim slipped during his third dive and ended up sitting right there on the springboard. After rubbing his knee, which he had bumped when he slipped, Kim resumed his position and put in a performance that earned him a spot in the finals. His ultimate victory is also notable as it is South Korea’s first diving gold of this year’s Universiade.

Kim won silver in the 10m synchronized platform event at the previous Universiade in Gwangju. Then, in 2014 during the Asian Games in Incheon, Kim won a bronze in the 3m synchronized springboard and a silver in the 10m synchronized platform. Now, in Taiwan, he has finally clinched gold. After yesterday’s event, Kim embraced his coach as well as third-placed Kuznetsov.

Kuznetsov had taken the spotlight with his preliminary round performance, scoring a total of 400.96 points in his six dives to become the only diver among the 31 competing to break the 400 mark. In his group, he and previous Universiade bronze medalist Briadam Herrera, from the U.S., moved on to the finals. But Kuznetsov, diving last out of the eight finalists, looked out of contention for the gold from the start, scoring only 71.30 in his first dive. Herrera took silver in the end, with 449.25 points, while Kuznetsov took bronze with 434.20.

Yesterday, the second day of diving events, also saw the finals of the women’s synchronized 10m platform. North Korea, having won two silver medals on the first day, enjoyed its first diving gold courtesy of Kim Kuk Hyang and Kim Un Hyang’s total score of 303.54 points. Australian duo Emily Meaney and Brittany O’Brien bagged silver with 297.84 points, while bronze went to the Russia’s Yulia Tikhomirova and Iuliia Timoshinina, who scored 263.07 points.

Taipei 2017

From → Aquatic News

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