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- 26. May 2008.


Chinese competitors dominated the second day of the FINA Diving World Series at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

Having claimed gold yesterday in the women's 3m synchro event China's Olympic Champions Wu Minxia and Guo Jing Jing both claimed final spots from their respective semi finals in the women's 3m springboard event.

Wu Minxia and Guo Jing Jing/photo diving.ca

Minxia made an uncharacteristic mistake in her first dive, an inward two and a half somersaults. This left her in fourth place after the first round but she showed her class, producing some great performances in her last two dives to make a fantastic recovery, and put her in second place to qualify for the final.

The first qualification spot went to Canada's former 1m springboard World Champion, Blythe Hartley. Anna Lindberg of Sweden and Nora Barta finished in third and fouth place in the first semi final, respectively.

Blythe Hartley/photo diving.ca

Jing Jing led the second semi final of the women's 3m synchro from the start and her qualification for the final never appeared to be in doubt. Likewise, Canada's Jennifer Abel put in a solid performance, and despite a late surge of high scores for Mexico's Laura Sanchez, maintained the second spot position throughout the competition ensuring an all Chinese and Canadian final.

Those not qualifying for the final were Sanchez, Kelci Bryant of the United States and Britain's Jodie McGroarty in third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in semi final B.

3m springboard Olympic Champion Jing Jing continued to dominate in the final to take gold following consistently high scores from the judges. A great performance from Hartley of Canada ensured her the silver.

On her gold medal, Jing Jing commented: "I'm very satisfied with the result and the way I performed. The FINA Diving World Series is a very good event as it gives us an opportunity to practice against the best divers in the world."

Minxia of China made some early mistakes again and had to chase the rest of the field to secure the bronze. Abel finished in fourth, a good result for the young Canadian.

China's Wang Feng and Qin Kai tussled with Russia's Yurij Kunakov and Ditry Sautin for the top spot in the men's 3m synchro event. In the end, the Chinese pair produced some near perfect performances in the last three dives with the greatest difficulty, where Russia, performing exactly the same dives, lost crucial marks for their synchronisation.

On winning China's third gold medal of the day Feng said: "We dived together very well and we are pleased with such a high score."

Team-mate Kai added: "It was a strong performance but we were particularly happy with our inward, three and a half."

Finishing in the bronze medal position were Ben Swain and Nick Robinson-Baker from Great Britian, replicating their performance from this event last year and fighting off a late challenge from American pair Jevon Tarantino and Christopher Colwill

Britain's bronze medalist Swain said: "It was a tense final and my legs were really shaking in the last round, but we held it together for a medal."

Swain's partner Robinson-Baker added: "We've had some quality preparation leading into this event and it showed today. The crowd really got behind us and we grabbed another international medal."

Mexican pairing Paola Espinosa and Tatiana Ortiz made an excellent start to the women's 10m platform competition, scoring nines across the board for synchronization. The pair, however, could not maintain the standard they had set and slipped down the scoreboard as Canada's Marie Eve Marleau and Emilie Heymans produced a classy performance to take the gold medal.

Great Britain's Monique McCarrol and Sarah Barrow put in a solid performance to steal silver in the last few rounds, leaving Mexico to settle for bronze. Haley Ishimatsu and Mary Beth Dunnichay of he USA finished in fourth place.

Great Britain's Barrow commented on her silver medal: "We are very happy with the silver against a field of the world's best divers who will all be in action at the Olympics. We can still improve, it wasn't as good as we've been in training but we are getting there."

McCarrol added: "We've put a lot of work into our synchro and, for me, a lot of work on my start. It's come on 100% and if we can improve further as we look towards Beijing, it really is very exciting."  
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