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Spectacular finals serve up master class in diving

posted on 23/03/2015: 1635 views

The final competition session of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series Dubai 2015 was a breath-taking master class in diving, with the men's 10m platform finals field featuring every medallist from the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 FINA World Championships. The line up more than lived up to their reputation too, offering up a truly spectacular display of world class diving, including five perfect dives, three from world champion Qiu Bo, and one each from Tom Daley and Jian Yang.

Over two thousand people flocked to the Hamdan Sports Complex for the highly anticipated event and to see the world's best in action, and were not disappointed. Along with Qiu, Daley and Jian, the field included Olympic champion David Boudia, world championships bronze medallist Sascha Klein, and Mexico's Ivan Garcia.

After Daley produced a perfect dive in the morning's semi-final, hopes were high for another gold medal for Great Britain after Jack Laugher won the 3m gold last night.

A brilliant start with a perfect dive from Qui Bo saw him take the lead, and despite tough challenges from every diver, he produced perfect dives again in rounds four and six to stay in front for the entire competition, finishing with 612.75, beating his previous personal best of 609.00.

Daley's perfect dive in round three set the crowd alight, and moved Daley into second position which he held onto, finishing with 578.25, and also beating his personal best of 578.15.

Yang Jian had moved into second by round two, but missed his next dive. He regrouped for a perfect score in round four to keep him in the medal hunt in third position, taking bronze with 563.90. Ivan Garcia of Mexico finished fourth with 530.75, just 1.5 points ahead of David Boudia on 529.25. Sascha Klein finished in sixth with 512.15.

After qualifying in third behind Jian Yang and Tom Daley, Qiu said "This morning I did not warm up properly so didn't perform well, tonight was better. I am happy with that."

Daley was thrilled with the silver medal, saying "It's definitely nice to know that China are beatable now, and it's just about making sure that you put as much pressure on them as possible, because who knows what can happen in competition, as we saw yesterday in the men's 3m. You just have to keep plugging away and try to chase them. We're catching up."

Earlier in the evening, the women's final saw Tonia Couch of Great Britain emerge as the early leader much to the delight of the crowd. A lower scoring dive from Couch in round three opened the door for Chen Ruolin, and she was able to regain the lead and go on to win with 386.05. Team mate Liu Huixia recovered from a poor entry in round five to post the best dive of the final in round six, scoring 89.60 to finish with the silver on 370.70. In a tight finish and to the delight of the crowd Couch hung on for third with 367.70, just ahead of Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg on 362.55. Canada's Roseline Filion finished in fifth on 356.05 with Australia's Melissa Wu in sixth on 353.90. In an incredibly close finish, only 32.15 points separated first from sixth.

Couch was elated to win the bronze, saying "The crowd was amazing, I can't believe we're in Dubai and everybody was behind me and behind GB today, it was great, I think it helped. Seeing Jack win that gold medal showed anything's possible, he's such an amazing diver, it just makes you want what he felt yesterday. I feel like I felt that today."

Roulin said "The improvement of other countries encourages us to get stronger and perform better to maintain the top level. It's pressure but it's more like encouragement. I'm happy with my performance tonight."

In the final event on the programme, the crowd was treated to Dubai's first ever 10m mixed synchro competition. China's diminutive duo of teenagers Tai Xiaohu and Lian Jie took the gold with 363.12, ahead of Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Vincent Riendeau on 335.58. Mexico's Jahir Ocampo and Alejandra Orozco were third in 314.10, just ahead of Russia's Anna Chuinyshena and Alexandr Lebedev.

Ocampo said "It's amazing this competition, I don't dive 10m usually, I'm off the springboard so this is different for me. I like to dive with the girls, it's difficult but I enjoy it. The different heights of us don't matter so much for platform, I have to do my exercise shorter, she needs to do it longer. It's good fun. I like Dubai, the pool, the people, it's been amazing."

"The competition over the last three days has been superb, and tonight's finals were a thrilling end to a wonderful event. We are pleased to see how many people came to see out this fantastic display and it is great to see how much they enjoyed it" said Ahmed Al Falasi, President of UAE Swimming Federation. "I wish all the athletes the very best for the rest of the Diving World Series."

The FINA/NVC Diving World series now moves to Kazan Russia on April 24th-26th, then London on May 1st-3rd, Windsor Canada on May 22nd-14th, before the last leg in Merida, Mexico on May 29th-31st. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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