To no one's surprise, Chinese divers outclassed their opponents on Tuesday at the 2013 Diving World Championships, though there was some stiff competition.
There were two events on the schedule on Day 4 of this competition—the women's 1-meter springboard final and the men's 3-meter synchronized springboard final.
Qin Kai and He Chong dominated the men's springboard, winning by over 20 points, while He Zi won her second world title on the 1-meter springboard by the smallest margin ever in world diving championships, as noted by The Daily Star:
China wins 4th & 5th diving golds at worlds: He Zi's winning margin of 0.10 points was the smallest ever in di... http://t.co/Un1fX97lht— The Daily Star (@DailyStarLeb) July 23, 2013
There was apparently quite a crowd of athletes on hand to watch the men duel in the pool, as noted by FINA:
Here's a look at the results from Tuesday's action, courtesy of FINA.org:
|4||Dolores Hernandez Monzon||Mexico||272.40|
|9||Jun Hoong Cheong||Malaysia||245.70|
|1||Qin Kai & He Chong||China||448.86|
|2||Evgeny Kuznetsov & Ilya Zakharov||Russia||428.01|
|3||Jahir Ocampo & Rommel Pacheco||Mexico||422.79|
|4||Patrick Hausding & Stephan Feck||Germany||411.27|
|5||Michael Hixon & Troy Dumais||USA||410.85|
|6||Tze Liang Ooi & Ahmad Amsyar Azman||Malaysia||404.61|
|7||Ilya Kvasha & Oleksly Prygorov||Ukraine||403.65|
|8||Chris Mears & Nicholas Robinson-Baker||Great Britain||391.53|
|9||Jorge Luis Pupo & Rene Raul Hernandez||Cuba||381.72|
He Zi, China
Grace under pressure.
That's what we saw from He Zi on Tuesday, as she fought off hard-charging Tani Cagnotto to win her second world championship golf medal in the women's 1-meter springboard.
He, who won the gold medal in this same event during the 2012 Olympic Games, was gracious in her post-dive interview, as noted by FINA.org's Derek Parr:
I was a bit surprised with the victory, but I am obviously very happy. Wang and I performed very consistently and the outcome was highly positive. Before the last dive, I was really nervous because the notes were very close. I managed to remain concentrated and I got the gold.
As noted in the opening, her winning score of 307.10 was only .10 higher than that of Cagnotto, who put together a strong final.
Of particular note to He's performance was her final dive.
Heading into the last dive, she was down by five points to Cagnotto. Summoning all of her will and skill, He put together the best dive of the event—a "reverse 1-1/2 somersaults and 1-1/2 twists which earned her 66.30 points," as noted by Parr.
Tania Cagnotto, Italy
Matching her best career finish in a world championship event, Cagnotto pushed He to the limit on Tuesday, as noted by Diving Barcelona:
Tania CAGNOTTO lost the gold for 0.1 points against the unbeatable Zi HE. Tightest competition by far of the Worlds. Amazing!— Diving Barcelona (@divingbarcelona) July 23, 2013
Though she wasn't able to break though with a banner victory over China's best, the Italian diving sensation was pleased with her effort, as noted by Parr:
I am really satisfied with this silver, taking into account my last year. After the London Olympics, I took a break, and I came here not so well prepared as in previous major competitions. I have already two silver medals, so I am thrilled! Moreover, it was the first time I got so close from the Chinese- this is a good sign, I am getting closer to them…
Considering the incredible stranglehold China has had over the rest of the international community in diving events, Cagnotto's achievement—coming so close to victory—was remarkable.
Qin Kai and He Chong, China
Competition in the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard wasn't nearly as compelling as the show He and Cagnotto put on, but the event featured its own allure.
Qin and He put together a masterful performance in both the qualifying stage and in the final.
Winning the event by more than 20 points over the Russian duo of Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Zakharov, the Chinese teammates looked like mirror images of one another, as shown by caoticaesther on Instagram:
As noted by Parr, Qin, a double Olympic gold medalist, won his "unprecedented fourth consecutive" gold medal in this event. He is a former gold medalist in the event, too, and the duo was unstoppable on Tuesday.
After winning the event, Qin still wasn't satisfied with his performance, as noted by Parr:
I am not very satisfied with our performance, but this gold medal had a great merit: we have learnt to dive together, and this can be useful for the future...On the fourth dive [307C, reverse 3 ½ somersault, DD 3.5] I made a huge mistake...Fortunately, we were consistent enough in the other dives, especially in the 5154B [forward 2 ½ somersault 2 twists], which was also a weak point at training.
Don't expect Qin to let down his guard any time soon and start resting on his laurels. This champion isn't close to being finished with his days atop the men's diving hierarchy.
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