Chinese divers Si Yajie and Chen Ruolin ruled the pool Thursday at the 2013 Diving World Championships. The talented duo won gold and silver medals in the women's 10-meter platform, which was the only final event on the afternoon.
Though it's no surprise China dominated, it was somewhat shocking that 14-year-old Si won the event over Chen, who has long been a top diver, as noted by Nick Hope of BBC Sport:
No surprise it's China 1 & 2 on the podium, but winner Yajie Si is JUST 14! Multiple-world champion Chen Ruolin 2nd pic.twitter.com/faUzYuxizs— Nick Hope (@NickHopeBBC) July 25, 2013
Ukrainian diver Iulia Prokopchuk finished in third place to claim the bronze medal to round out the top three.
Here's a look at the final standings for the women's 10-meter platform dive, courtesy of FINA.org:
|4||Sarah Barrow||Great Britain||346.45|
|6||Pandelela Rinong Pamg||Malaysia||334.55|
|9||Tonia Couch||Great Britain||311.00|
The emergence of Si over Chen marks a new era in Chinese diving dominance. Si, at the age of 14, will likely enter the 2016 Olympic Games with a target on her back. She's the new face of women's platform diving, as noted by former swimmer Karen Pickering:
This is the new face of women's platform diving. 14 year old Si Yajie took gold ahead of Olympic Champ Chen Ruolin! pic.twitter.com/tEJZxlnBHZ— Karen Pickering (@Karen_Pickering) July 25, 2013
After her breakthrough performance, Si was excited about her win, as noted by Derek Parr of Fina.org: "Overall, my performance was quite good, especially the first four dives where I was consistent. I am very excited with this gold. Secret for success? Train hard and not be lazy!"
Before the ladies started launching themselves into the water from three stories high, the men's three-meter springboard competition was kicking into high gear.
Jack Laugher of Great Britain put together a brilliant series of dives in the preliminary round, finishing the opening session in first place. By the end of the day, however, Laugher had failed to duplicate his performance and was ousted in the semifinals, finishing in 16th place, as noted by British Swimming:
While Laugher sputtered in the semifinals, Chinese divers Qin Kai and He Chong put on a show.
The duo won gold together in the men's three-meter synchronized springboard competition Tuesday and finished Thursday's semifinals in first and second place, as noted by the AP:
China's Qin Kai, He Chong top men's 3m semifinal at swimming world championships http://t.co/rmQvISUp3M— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 25, 2013
Russian diver Evgeny Kuznetsov finished the semifinals in third place with a fine performance that proves he's capable of making the podium Friday.
Here's a look at the semifinals results, courtesy of Fina.org:
|8||Javier Illana Garcia||Spain||434.45|
Interestingly enough, Qin and He didn't perform particularly well in the preliminary round, finishing in sixth and ninth place. But when they needed to step up their games and perform with acumen in the semifinals, they got the job done.
It will be a shock if they don't finish in first and second place on Friday.
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