Swimming: Li extends China’s diving dominance at worlds

Reuters, Monday 18 Jul 2011

China’s Li Shixin continued China’s domination of the diving at the world swimming championships by winning gold in the men’s one metre springboard competition on Monday

Li Shixin
China’s Li Shixin

Li’s victory was the third gold for China in the outdoor diving pool at the Oriental Sports Centre, with the team expected to win their fourth title from four finals later in the women’s 10m synchronised platform.

 Li scored 463.90 points while compatriot He Min, who blew his second dive before finishing strongly, claimed silver on 444.00 points after scoring an impressive 81.60 points on his final dive.

 Germany’s Pavlo Rozenberg finished third on 436.50 points.

 “You don’t know how exited I am now. I didn’t execute one of the dives well enough. But it didn’t affect my competition,” said Li.

 “Relatively my second dive was my weak point, but luckily I found the rhythm during yesterday’s competition so I am happy about it.

 “This is my first time to take part in the world championships. It means my effort during the years has been paid off. I am very delighted with the gold medal.”

 Li and Rozenberg had been involved in a tight struggle throughout their series of dives with the German team becoming more raucous as the competition wore on. By contrast, the home crowd lost some of its boisterousness as the final tightened up.

 Li, however, managed to slip away from the German in the penultimate round when his inward two and half somersault earned him 81.60 points.

 Rosenberg’s more dramatic backwards twisting one and half somersault with two and half twists earned only 69.60 points.

 But the German kept up the pressure with a well executed final dive for 72.00 points, which also brought a rowdy Swedish contingent to their feet.

 China’s He got his biggest cheer of the day prior to his final dive and responded to snatch silver with an inward two and a half somersault that earned 81.60 points and saw him leapfrog the German.

 “I am making the first appearance in the world championships, so I was a little nervous at the beginning,” He said. “But I gradually relaxed (and) it’s a precious experience for me.”

 The competition had some added drama in the final round when Mexico’s Daniel Islas struck the board with his feet as he finished off a dive and crashed heavily into the water flat on his back.

 He was awarded a no dive and finished 11th of the 12 divers.

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