A record-high dive worth 114.80! 17 perfect marks! In a showdown between Chinese divers Yang Jian and Yang Hao on the men’s 10m platform final, it was Yang Jian who finally shined as the newly-crowned champion at the 18th FINA World here on Saturday.
China bagged 12 gold, nine silver and one bronze to top the medal table after the diving competition finished, while Australia snatched the remaining gold in mixed 3m springboard.
In the 10m platform, Qiu Bo claimed the world crown on three occasions in 2011, 2013 and 2015, before Tom Daley (GBR) got the gold in 2017.
Daley started high 93.50 points for his 307C in the first round. However, he made errors in the next four dives and had to concede to a seventh final place.
Yang Jian, silver medalist in Budapest, combined consistence and difficulty in all his six divers, winning in 598.65 for his first world title. He dominated the field from the second dive on and never looked back by soaring to 104.40 for his fifth dive, a 207B (Back 3 1/2 somersault pike), including three 10s. He ended up with his trademark combination, a 109B (Forward 4 1/2 somersault pick), worth a massive 114.80 points! The 25-year-old kissed the pool after winning the title.
Yang Hao, 21, synchro platform champion in Budapest, showed six flawless attempts by earning 13 perfect marks despite his lower difficulty compared to Yang Jian. He snatched the silver medal after he withdraw from the mixed 3m springboard with Chang Yani in the afternoon.
Aleksandr Bondar of Russia finished third with 541.05 and 13-year-old Oleksii Sereda of Ukraine was fourth in 490.50.
Mixed 3m springboard synchro
Australians Maddison Keeney/Mattew Carter won the only non-Chinese gold medal at these Championships, dominating the mixed 3m springboard synchro final.
Chinese Yang Hao/Chang Yani withdrew from the event since Yang needed to compete in the men’s 10m platform final.
Maddison Keeney/Matthew Carter, who competed for the first time together, had a flying start in their first dive, but downed to eighth after their second dive, a 301B (Reverse dive pike). Then the new pair came back to fourth after the third round and led the field for the last two dives, winning with a total of 304.86 points.
Francois Imbeau-Dulac/Jennifer Abel of Canada had to content with silver, 0.78 points behind the Aussies. Lou Massenberg/Tina Punzel of Germany finished third in 301/62.
Tom Daley/Grace Reid (GBR), bronze medallists in Budapest, placed fourth in 298.47.
Mixed synchro events were introduced in the world championships programme in 2015. Chinese diver Wang Han snatched two gold medals in a row with different partners. Wang won in Kazan with Yang Hao, and with Li Zheng in Budapest 2017.
Yang Jian (CHN), gold, men’s 10m:
“What a close and fantastic final! I felt honoured to finish the diving event with a gold. I had injured my right feet and could not train for months during the winter training session. I overcame ups-and-downs as the national trials were very competitive. It was my third Worlds and I had to finish with a nice dive. It was the most challenging dive with the highest DD among all the finalists. I wanted to thumb up to myself.”
Yang Hao (CHN), silver, men’s 10m:
“I withdrew from the mixed 3m springboard synchro to be better prepared in the platform. I thought that worked and helped me a lot. I was satisfied with my performance as I scored 13 perfect marks tonight. It was the first time I competed in the individual event. I was thrilled to experience the breath-taking contest.”
Thomas Daley (GBR), 7th place, men’s 10m:
“I competed in the mixed 3m springboard in the afternoon. I did not feel tired. I trained well before the competition but it wasn’t my day. I started off really well and finished really well, but I could not find my rhythm in the middle. It gives me a lot of motivation. The Chinese divers were absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to get back to training in the off season and compete in the next year’s World Cup and Olympic Games.”
Maddison Keeney (AUS), gold, mixed 3m synchro:
“We just competed together for the first time. We did not have much time to train together and had no special expectations. We were happy that we won a gold medal for Australia diving.”
Jennifer Abel (CAN), silver, mixed 3m synchro:
“We were happy that we won the medal for the third time, as we had the silver medal in Kazan and bronze in 2017. A good finish for my Worlds Championships. My next competition is the Pan American Games.”
Lou Massenberg (GER), bronze, mixed 3m synchro:
“I was wondering why we did not see the Chinese divers during the warm-up session. Then we realised that maybe it was our chance to win a medal. We did it.”