Clean sweep for China

20 January 2013

DIVING: China has had another clean sweep at Sunday morning’s platform synchronised event, their consistent form elevating them above the other entrants.

Bowen Huang and Ang Gao of China were comfortable in first place for the entire round, scoring highly for both execution and synchronisation throughout (427.95), resulting in the team’s seventh gold medal at the diving.

Australians Matthew Barnard and Luke Clohessy nipped at their heels, but a low degree of difficulty in their third dive made it impossible to catch up, leaving them with the silver medal and a score of 362.22.

Fifteen-year-olds Xiaohui Huang and Jiaming Zhu of China took out the team’s second gold medal of the day, winning the girls 10m platform synchronised. The young team finished strongly, with a highly scored, complicated dive to finish with a final score of 328.56.

Queenslanders Lara Tarvit and Emily Boyd fell behind the dynamic Chinese duo - a poorly executed inwards 3 ½ somersault dive leaving them to settle for silver. They finished with a score of 292.32, ahead of Great Britain (272.34) and Malaysia (257.40).

The start of the knockout events increased the pace of the competition, as well as the crowd numbers.

The 3m springboard knockout had a disappointing start for the only Australian competitor, Matthew Barnard, who was eliminated after the first round.  He took the news gracefully, laughing as he acknowledged his “walk of shame”. Great Britain was next to go, and a small difference in degree of difficulty allowed Chinese diver Rongquan Chen to beat Malaysian Yiwei Chew and claim victory.

Girls 3m springboard was a real comeback story. Ying Zhang of China, who took last place on Saturday after craching out in her reverse 2 ½ somersault, nailed the exact same dive to take first place on Sunday, ahead of Nancy Wang (AUS) who landed short on her final dive.

It was down to the gold-medal-winning synchronised diving team of Ang Gao and Bowen Huang (CHN) for the boy’s 10m platform knockout. A higher degree of difficulty in his last dive pushed Ang into first place, leaving Bowen a close second.

Girl’s 10m platform diving provided another upset after Malaysia’s Zhiayi Loh, who placed sixth in the individual girl’s 10m event won the knockout competition. In the final round, Loh was against China’s Jiaming Zhu and she perfectly executed a dive with a low degree of difficulty, scoring all nines. Zhu attempted a dive with a much higher degree of difficulty, landed short and scored fours. There was uproar as the crowd had a mixed reaction of excitement and anger. Loh was ecstatic, smiling and dancing around the pool.

Hannah Moore

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