With the summer now upon most of us, it’s only appropriate that the 2013 World Aquatics Championships should kick off this weekend, with Barcelona playing host to some of the more “amphibious” talents mankind has at the moment.
Sunday brings the first men’s final of the competition, as pairs from all over the world attempt to put no foot wrong in the Synchronised 10m Platform event.
Last summer’s Olympics saw Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan take home the gold, but the duo now has to live up to the expectations of those watching after setting the bar so high.
Meanwhile, others will look to topple the Chinese monopoly of this event, with more than a few giants of the genre looking to reach new depths.
Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez (Mexico)
Runners-up to the Chinese at London 2012, Mexico is one of the only countries coming to Spain with an identical pairing to that which lined up for them in the English capital last summer.
Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez were somewhat of a surprise package on that occasion, but now have a certain standard to live up to as the world waits to see just how much the duo has improved.
The young men are still in their very early 20s and could yet have many more attempts at titles, but they will certainly be a team worth watching in the synchronised event.
Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang (China)
Having secured the always threatening Chinese throne to diving, Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang have a big role to play in the direction of their national chances in a sport they’ve proven to be very proficient at in recent years.
Acrobatically, the Chinese pair is as qualified as any other pairing in the field and, like the British duo of Daley and Goodfellow, has the benefit of youth running in their favour.
David Bonuchi and Toby Stanley (USA)
Another medallist from London 2012, it was the United States of America who just about pipped the United Kingdom to a place among the top three at the last Olympics.
However, neither David Boudia nor Nicholas McCrory remain from that pair, instead giving way to Toby Stanley and David Bonuchi.
Having tied up a bronze finish last summer, the USA will certainly be looking to improve in Barcelona this week, their first trial coming in Sunday’s synchronised preliminaries and, if they make it that far, the finals.
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