China dominates diving finals at worlds
By CIARAN FAHEY
Jul. 16, 2017
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — China won both diving finals at the world swimming championships on Sunday with Peng Jianfeng clinching the men's 1-meter springboard before Ren Qian and Si Yajie took gold in the women's 10-meter synchronized event.
Ren — who won the mixed 10-meter synchronized diving title with Lian Junjie the day before — and Si led from the third round. They finished with the best back 2-1/2 somersaults 1-1/2 twists pike in the fifth, earning a total of 352.56 points.
"I was more relaxed today," Ren said after winning her second gold of the championships.
The Chinese pair defeated North Korea's Kim Mi-rae and Kim Kuk-hyang by 16.08 points.
"We expected medals in this competition, actually. We are confident," said Kim Kuk-hyang, who won gold in the individual event at the 2015 worlds in Kazan, Russia.
Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Cheong Jun Hoong of Malaysia claimed the bronze, ahead of Canada's Caeli McKay and Meaghan Benfeito.
"I'm very satisfied and very proud of my teammate as well," Rinong Pamg said.
Ren and Si's victory was China's ninth straight women's 10-meter platform synchronized title at the worlds after claiming all but the inaugural event in Perth in 1998.
Si said she felt no added pressure despite China's disappointment the day before, when China failed to make the podium in women's 1-meter springboard, and then missed out on gold in men's 3-meter springboard synchronized diving, both for the first time at a worlds since 2003.
"It is all the same to us if we win or we lose," Si said. She gave herself 9.5 out of 10, adding "there's still room for improvement."
Peng made it a sixth straight title for China in men's 1-meter springboard diving.
He led from the first round and finished with a forward 2-1/2 somersaults 1 twist pike in the sixth for a total of 448.40, edging teammate He Chao by 1.20 points.
Despite winning, Peng was critical of his performance in the final two rounds.
"My movements in the fourth round were my very best so after that I lost my spirit, I took it a bit too easy. That's why I didn't get the level (I wanted)," Peng said. "I didn't have the real feeling I wished to have but finally I was able to get the result I wanted."
Italy's Giovanni Tocci claimed bronze with 444.25.
"I didn't expect this result. I was too happy," said Tocci, who was overcome with emotion once he realized he had at least bronze.
Germany's Patrick Hausding was fourth, followed by American Mike Hixon, who won bronze in 2015, and Ukraine's Oleg Kolodiy.
Peng's victory ensured Chinese divers have won nine of the 12 men's 1-meter springboard titles at the worlds.
Sunday's two golds for China helped to make up in part for Saturday's relative disappointment.
"As a Chinese sportsman we shouldn't say it is inevitable that we get all the medals. There are also always competitors and actually we are really happy to get this result," said He, the silver medalist.
"In a contest anything can happen. There's no name written on the gold medal, and we just have to do our best," He said.