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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 16:44 UK

Guo may dive on after record gold

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Video - Guo dives into history

Guo Jingjing became the most successful woman diver in Olympic history by winning gold in the individual three-metre springboard on Sunday.

The Chinese dominated the event with a run of brilliant dives to beat Russia's Julia Pakhalina and Wu Minxia of China.

It was the 26-year-old superstar's second gold of the Beijing Games and the sixth of her career.

And Guo, one of China's richest sports stars, has now backtracked on her desire to retire after this Olympics.

"In 2004 I already won all the gold medals I could, but I continued because in 2008 we were going to have the Games in our motherland," she said after her victory. "But in these four years I realised that I really do enjoy diving. I like to dive, and I like the feeling of standing on the diving board. "Because I like it I feel I can't give it up, so if I can, I will continue."

606: DEBATE

Guo passed the five medals won by countrywoman Fu Mingxia in her career with her second gold of this Games after she won the synchronised 3m event with Wu last weekend.

It is the first time a diver has won individual and synchronised gold in consecutive Olympics.

Cheered all the way by an enthusiastic home crowd in a packed Water Cube aquatic centre, Guo justified her status as hot favourite by winning all but one of the rounds on her way to victory.

Her fourth dive earned 76.50 points, a total that was bettered by Wu and Pakhalina. Otherwise, Guo consistently scored in the 80s.

Julia Pakhalina, Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia show off their medals for the women's 3m springboard event in Beijing, in which Guo became the most successful woman diver in Olympic history
Guo celebrates her record-breaking gold, flanked by Pakhalina and Wu
The defending champion scored 415.35 points, with Pakhalina on 398.60 and Wu on 389.85.

"It's a memorable moment in my career," Guo said. "I've been waiting four years for another gold.

"It doesn't appear to the eye, but I've had ups and downs. But despite what I did in the past, I made it today.

"I've spent my whole life diving, it is maybe the most important part of my life. I had to give up a lot of things for it but it's been worth it... I've done OK."

It was China's fifth gold out of five diving events so far in Beijing, with three events still to come.

Guo shared the lead with 1998 world champion Pakhalina after the first round, but moved in front in the second, when she was awarded one perfect 10 for her reverse two and a half somersaults.

She stretched her lead in the third round with a forward three and a half somersaults, which netted the highest score of the competition of 88.35.

Diving last, she sealed victory with her concluding inward two and a half somersaults to a roar from the home crowd.

Wu looked to be struggling in fifth place after the first two rounds, but moved up into third place with a superb fourth dive.

She earned a 10 for a reverse two and a half somersaults, overhauling former world one-metre springboard champion Blythe Hartley of Canada.


see also
Dream over for diver Gallantree
15 Aug 08 |  Diving
China continue diving dominance
12 Aug 08 |  Diving


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