Tuesday, July 23, 2024

World Aquatics C’ship: China wins three gold medals in diving

China secured all three diving gold medals in the World Aquatics Championships here on Saturday, delivering a potent signal to competitors of their readiness for another clean sweep ahead of the Paris Olympics next year.

The Chinese powerhouse’s initial victory was courtesy of two teenagers. Fourteen-year-old Wang Feilong, in concert with 19-year-old Olympic champion Zhang Jiaqi, clinched the mixed synchronised 10m platform, reports Xinhua.

Zhang, a women’s synchronised platform victor at the Tokyo Olympics, inspired her younger teammate Wang Feilong to lead from the start in their triumphant performance. The pair accrued a total of 339.54 points over six dives, outpacing Mexico’s Jose Balleza Isaias and Vivana Delangel Peniche who garnered 313.44 points.

China’s second gold was claimed by Lin Shan, who outperformed her compatriot and reigning champion Li Yajie in the women’s one-meter springboard.

An electrifying men’s synchronised three-meter springboard final unfolded next. Britain’s Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding, silver medallists at the previous year’s World Championships, exploited a misstep by China’s Long Daoyi in the fifth dive to narrow their deficit to less than nine points.

However, a stellar performance in the final dive by reigning Olympic champion Wang Zongyuan and Long fetched them 100.32 points, culminating in an insurmountable total of 456.33.

Laugher and Harding had to settle for silver once more, with a score of 424.62 points.

Long, who formed a diving partnership with Wang Zongyuan just six months prior, admitted to feeling immense pressure.

“This is my first major international competition,” Long said. “I was very nervous.”

Wang Zongyuan’s timely advice, however, helped him regain his composure before the decisive dive. “I told him to be confident in himself. We should never give up.”

The tournament’s first gold medal was awarded to Germany’s Leonie Beck in the women’s 10-kilometre open-water event.

The 26-year-old, a silver medallist at last year’s Budapest World Championship, outpaced Australia’s Chelsea Gubecka in the final stretch, clocking in first at two hours, two minutes and 34 seconds.

Gubecka, competing in her sixth World Championships, secured silver with a time of 2:02:38.1, while American swimmer Katie Grimes claimed the bronze, finishing in 2:02:42.3.

Japan’s Yukiko Inui, an artistic swimmer, earned the host nation their inaugural gold after successfully defending her women’s solo technical event title.



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