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Asian Games: China rules the world of diving

He Zi
He Zi wins gold in the women's 3m springboard event

By Mukesh Sharma
BBC Hindi service in Guangzhou

Delighting her home crowd, Chinese diver He Zi, won her first Asian Games title by claiming gold in the women's 3m springboard event.

Her partner in synchronised diving events, Wu Minxia, also won a gold medal in the 1m springboard.

On the last day of diving events, He Zi consistently posted high scores, remaining unthreatened by the other competitors' performances throughout.

She won with a final score of 382.

Both divers - who won several gold medals apiece at this year's Fina World Championships - won by wide margins in Guangzhou but saw room for improvement in their performances.

WU MINXIA & HE ZI - THE FACTS
Region: China
Born: 1990 & 1985
Discipline: Synchronised diving
Career highlights: Wu Minxia - Two time Olympic gold medallist in women's synchronised 3m springboard.
He Zi - two gold medals, 3m springboard, 2010 season
Recent performance: Gold medals at the World Diving Series, Mexico and 2010 Diving World Cup

Scores are awarded by a panel of seven judges who mark on the grace and technique of the dive. Their total score, minus the highest and lowest marks, is multiplied by the dive's "degree of difficulty" (DD) - to obtain a final score.

He Zi's first dive out of a total of five was a demanding dive involving an inward two and a half somersault into a pike with a DD of three.

Perfectly executed, it gave her a wide lead from the outset with a score of 78 points. Her final dive scored 76.50 to clinch a clear victory over Shi Tingmao, also from China.

Despite the result, He Zi was not completely happy with her performance.

"I'm not satisfied. Although I won the gold medal the scores are not satisfying so it's like my joy is lessened."

Despite her personal disappointment, He Zi still improved on her 2006 Doha Asian Games performance, where she took the silver medal.

"Four years ago I thought I didn't have the capacity to participate in the Asian Games for China, now I have improved both in attitude and actions," she said.

"I need more training. I know I will go through more hard times in future. I just want to practise the best I can everyday," she continued.

He Zi
He Zi will be aiming to compete in the London Olympics with Wu Minxia

Chinese coach Zhong Shaozhen also sees room for improvement before the next major diving championship.

"Her performance was normal. Some of the actions were good but some were not so good," said Zhong.

China also won the women's 1m springboard when Olympic gold medallist Wu Minxia, having led from the start, clinched the gold medal.

Wu's first dive was awarded 61.20 points. In the next round, she pulled off a difficult forward two and a half somersaults into a pike position dive to finish on 326.17 points.

Wu won by a comfortable margin but revealed she was suffering from nerves before the competition.

"I was a little nervous but then I found the right feeling. I completed the last round slightly better. I did my best and avoided any mistakes," she said.

As well as adding to her vast array of medals, it is Wu's objective to set a good example to younger divers.

"I am the oldest female diver on the Chinese team and I should be a role model for the young divers. I feel that if I try my best and train hard then I am being a role model," she remarked.

Wu Minxia and He Zi will continue to train six times a week with a host of major championships to look forward to in 2011.

The 2011 World Championships will take place in Shanghai in July and the 2012 London Olympics are also on the horizon.



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see also
Hat-trick for Chinese divers
15 Apr 11 |  World Olympic Dreams
In pictures: Wu Minxia and He Zi
04 Aug 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Divers aim for Olympic platform
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Training to be an Olympic diver
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams


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