Sensational Yang closes out China’s dominance in Beijing

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-15 23:23:01

Local divers sweep all 10 golds

Chinese diver Yang Jian competes during the men's 10-meter platform final at the first leg of the FINA World Series in Beijing on Sunday. Yang won gold in the event with a total of 587.40 points. Chinese divers won all 10 golds in the three-day series. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

China's Yang Jian closed out the first leg of the FINA World Series on Sunday in Beijing with a sensational 123.00 points in the final round of the men's 10-meter platform final en route to a win.

Yang, whose last dive - a forward 4 and 1/2 somersault pike - had a 4.1 ­degree of difficulty and earned him a perfect 10 from five of the seven judges, totaled 587.40 points for the win.

Chinese diver Yang Jian competes during the men’s 10-meter platform final at the first leg of the FINA World Series in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The star-studded men's 10-meter platform competition also featured 2012 London Olympic gold medalist David Boudia of the US, who took second place, 52.70 points behind winner Yang. Sascha Klein of Germany rounded out the winner's podium, trailing Boudia with 12.30 points. 

"I didn't expect to perform this dive that well," Yang told reporters after the race. "My form and strength haven't been at their peak recently."

Chinese diver Qiu Bo, the 2013 World Championship winner, failed to recover from a third-dive blunder which only brought him 42.00 points. Qiu ended up in fourth place, while British star Thomas Daley failed to qualify for the final.

Earlier on Sunday, Liu Huixia led China to a one-two win in the women's 10-meter platform with two-time Olympic gold medalist Chen Ruolin.

China swept all the 10 gold medals in the three-day tournament, including in the newly minted mixed synchronized diving category.

Team director Zhou Jihong said it will still take time to popularize the mixed events.

"The time has been very limited since FINA decided to introduce the mixed synchro in December," Zhou told the Global Times in an interview. "Divers need more time to pair up with their partner."

FINA will hold its biennial World Championships in July in the Russian city of Kazan, where Zhou believed there will be more athletes competing in the mixed events, while there were only ­seven pairs in Beijing.

She said Chinese divers should focus on building the proper mentality at the Championships if they want to perform well at the next Olympic Games.

FINA has taken a bold step forward at the Championships with its decision to hold swimming and synchronized swimming competitions in a soccer stadium. The home field of the Russian Football Premier League side Kazan ­Rubin will serve as the main venue for the Championships.

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu thinks it's still early to call an end to FINA's changes to the sport.

"We need to present better events, to create like a show that occupies the space between sport and entertainment in order to have better experience for the spectators," he told the Global Times.

"It's important to attract more people; we may add more events in the future."

Chinese divers Lian Jie and Tai Xiaohu compete during the mixed 10-meter platform final at the first leg of the FINA World Series in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

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