MELBOURNE: China scored dominating victories in the men's 3-meter and women's 10-meter synchronized diving finals at the world championships at Albert Park yesterday.
Wang Feng and Qin Kai won the men's gold medal by 39.84 points, giving Wang his second consecutive synchro springboard title. He won two years ago in Montreal with He Chong.
Jia Tong and Chen Ruolin earned the women's gold by 37.32 points, with Jia repeating the title she shared in Montreal with Yuan Peilin.
Jia and Chen earned three perfect scores of 10.0 for synchronization on their opening dives of the five-round final.
They totaled 361.32 points forcing Australians Briony Cole and Melissa Wu to settle for the silver with 324.00. Annett Gamm and Nora Subschinski of Germany took the bronze with 306.63.
In the men's final, Wang and Qin totaled 458.76 points and benefited from two dramatic errors by the Russians.
Alexandre Despatie and Arturo Miranda of Canada took the silver with 418.92. Germany's Tobias Schellenberg and Andreas Wels finished third with 414.54.
Wang and Qin were the leading men's qualifiers but they immediately fell to fifth place after their opening dives, eventually moving up to fourth and then second before gaining the lead for good when the Russians stunningly earned zeros twice.
"Under normal circumstances, the Russians may have won this competition because they performed pretty well in the first and second rounds," Wang said.
"It's unusual that they made two mistakes in the final competition. Their dive is a bit harder compared to ours, maybe they felt pressure and made a big mistake like that."
Russians Aleksandr Dobroskok and Gleb Galperin led through the first three rounds before things got weird.
First, a bank of lights above the boards went dark as brothers Nicola and Tommaso Marconi of Italy were preparing to dive, forcing a 25-minute delay.
Then, Dobroskok failed to complete two dives, earning zeros and dropping the Russians into last place, where they stayed until the end.
"I've never seen that before. It looked like some kind of breakdown," Despatie said. "It shows anything can happen."
"The lights went out in practice this week and they said it was going to be fixed," Despatie said.
Dobroskok and Galperin went into a reverse 3 somersault. But Dobroskok bounced once, stopped and looked over at Galperin, who completed the dive worth a 3.5 degree of difficulty.
Aware of the costly mistake, the duo climbed out of the water and went their separate ways without saying a word.
The same thing happened again on their sixth and final dive. Dobroskok bounced once, then nearly fell off the side of the board before grabbing the railing to steady himself. Galperin went through with his dive, and the pair earned more zeros.
(China Daily 03/20/2007 page24)