China dominates diving at worlds

China’s Peng Jianfeng poses with his gold medal for the men’s 1m springboard final during the diving competition of the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest Sunday. — AFP

BUDAPEST, Hungary — China won both diving finals at the World Swimming Championships Sunday with Peng Jianfeng clinching the men’s 1-meter springboard before Ren Qian and Si Yajie took gold in the women’s 10-meter synchronized event.

Ren — who won the mixed 10-meter synchronized diving title with Lian Junjie the day before — and Si led from the third round. They finished with the best back 2-1/2 somersaults 1-1/2 twists pike in the fifth, earning a total of 352.56 points.

The Chinese pair defeated North Korea’s Kim Mi-rae and Kim Kuk-hyang by 16.08 points.

Pandelela Pamg and Cheong Jun Hoong of Malaysia claimed the bronze, ahead of Canada’s Caeli McKay and Meaghan Benfeito.

Ren and Si’s victory was China’s ninth straight women’s 10-meter platform synchronized title at the worlds after claiming all but the inaugural event in Perth in 1998.

Peng made it a sixth straight title for China in men’s 1-meter springboard diving.

He led from the first round and finished with a forward 2-1/2 somersaults 1 twist pike in the sixth for a total of 448.40, edging teammate He Chao by 1.20 points.

Despite winning, Peng was critical of his performance in the final two rounds.

“My movements in the fourth round were my very best so after that I lost my spirit, I took it a bit too easy. That’s why I didn’t get the level (I wanted),” Peng said. “I didn’t have the real feeling I wished to have but finally I was able to get the result I wanted.”

Italy’s Giovanni Tocci claimed bronze with 444.25.

“I didn’t expect this result. I was too happy,” said Tocci, who was overcome with emotion once he realized he had at least bronze.

Germany’s Patrick Hausding was fourth, followed by American Mike Hixon, who won bronze in 2015, and Ukraine’s Oleg Kolodiy.

Peng’s victory ensured Chinese divers have won nine of the 12 men’s 1-meter springboard titles at the worlds.

Sunday’s two golds for China also helped to make up in part for the disappointment of the day before, when China failed to make the podium in women’s 1-meter springboard, and then missed out on gold in men’s 3-meter springboard synchronized diving, for the first time at a worlds since 2003.

“As a Chinese sportsman we shouldn’t say it is inevitable that we get all the medals. There are also always competitors and actually we are really happy to get this result,” said He, the silver medalist.

“In a contest anything can happen. There’s no name written on the gold medal, and we just have to do our best,” He said. — AP