Chinese earn first two diving golds

Updated: 2007-03-19 19:41
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China won the first two diving golds of the world championships on Monday as Russian domination of the synchronised swimming kept them top of the medals table.

Chinese earn first two diving golds 
Kai Qin and Wang Feng of China take part in the 3-metre synchronized springboard final at the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne March 19, 2007. The pair won the event. [Reuters]
Chinese earn first two diving golds

China's divers were in impeccable form at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre with Qin Kai and Wang Feng winning the 3m synchronised springboard gold and team mates Jia Tong and Chen Ruolin taking the women's 10m synchronised platform title.

Qin and Wang, clear winners of the morning's preliminary round, were struggling in the early stages behind Aleksandr Dobroskok and Gleb Galperin before the Russian duo blew their chances with a calamitous fourth-round effort.

After the round had been delayed 25 minutes by a power failure, Dobroskok hesitated and stayed on the board as his partner completed a reverse three-and-a-half somersault.

The outcome was zeros across the board to shatter their gold medal hopes and demotion to the bottom of the rankings.

Qin and Wang, winner of the 2005 title in Montreal with He Chong, held on to win with 458.76 points, ahead of Canadians Alexandre Despatie and Arturo Miranda, and Germany's Tobias Schellenberg and Andreas Wels.

"We performed as usual and our performance was the same as the morning's competition as well," Wang told reporters. "We maintained our consistency very well."

Jia and Chen were never headed as they took gold on the 10m platform, winning with 361.32 points ahead of Australia's Melissa Wu and Briony Cole (324.00) in second and Germany's Annett Gamm and Nora Sunschinski (306.63).

Jia defended the title she won with Yuan Peilin two years ago. Russia's Natalia Ischenko took the first ever solo technical synchronised swimming gold on offer at a world championships with an overall score of 99.000 at Rod Laver Arena.

Spain's Gemma Mengual Civil took silver with 98.000 and Japan's Saho Harada was third (96.833). Russia stand atop the medals table after Monday's events with three golds and five medals overall.