Teenager Jia Tong from China emerged from a strong field of six finalists on Thursday to claim the victory in the women's 10-meter platform event at the FINA Diving World Cup.
Jia Tong of China emerged from a strong field of six finalists to claim the victory in the women's 10-meter platform event at the FINA Diving World Cup held in Changshu, east China's Jiangsu Province July 20, 2006.[Xinhua]
Though lousing up a backward three-and-a-half somersault and collecting only 49.50 points in the third round, the 14-year-old rising star kept a cool head and nailed two spectacular dives thereafter. Finally, Jia clinched the title by amassing 385.30 points.
"I didn't performed well in the preliminary but improved to some extent in the semi-final and final," said Jia, "After all, it's World Cup and I was not as relaxed as in the Grand Prix events."
Jia grabbed the gold in the 10m platform synchronized event at 2005 World Aquatic Championships in Montreal. Besides, the World Championships rookie won a bronze in the 10m platform final.
Chinese veteran Lao Lishi trailed behind at a total score of 379.85 points and 2003 world champion Emilie Heymans grabbed a bronze for Canada with 376.35 points.
It was Lao's first international show since the 2004 Olympic Games. Although she won the women's 10m platform event in Athens, she was excluded from the national team thereafter citing the lack of potential, though coming back after the national championship early this year. Her winning partner Li Ting came down the platform since then to keep shining on the springboard.
Lao said she was looking forward to getting more opportunities to prove her capacity and was confident of obtaining more honors in the future.
Defending Laura Wilkinson only managed to take a fourth place with 352.70 points. The 28-year-old American, who topped the podium in Montreal, is also the winner of this event at 2000 Sydney Olympics.