Wed, Jul 20, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Canadian leads the way at world swimming meet

AP , MONTREAL

The Japanese team performs their routine at the World Championships in Montreal on Monday.

PHOTO: EPA

Blythe Hartley led all the way in winning the 1m springboard title at swimming's World Championships on Monday night, giving Canada its second medal, and first gold, in as many days.

Hartley easily beat Wu Minxia of China, preventing the Chinese from a possible sweep of diving gold medals.

"The Chinese are absolutely amazing and such great divers. It's an honor," Hartley said.

The Chinese won two synchronized golds on Sunday on the first day of competition. They are coming off the Athens Olympics where they won six of eight diving golds.

Hartley finished first with 325.65 points. Wu had 299.80. Heike Fischer of Germany earned bronze with 299.46.

Hartley, a 23-year-old from Vancouver, won the 1m world title in 2001 and finished third in the event two years later.

"When I won in 2001 that was such a huge shock. In Barcelona [2003,] I didn't dive my best. This year was special because I didn't focus on 1m because it's not an Olympic event. It's the most memorable win because it's in the home country," Hartley said.

The former gymnast who attends the University of Southern California won a bronze in synchronized platform diving with Emilie Heymans at the Athens Games.

Meanwhile, reigning Olympic and world champion Hungary opened the men's water polo competition with a 14-4 victory over Romania behind five goals by Norbert Madaras and three from Peter Biros.

In other preliminary matches, the US beat Japan 7-4; Serbia-Montenegro routed Cuba 21-1; Russia defeated South Africa 11-7; Spain beat Italy 7-5; Greece defeated China 11-4; and Germany edged Austria 9-8.

In synchronized swimming, Russia, Spain, Japan and the US were the top four qualifiers among 12 teams for Saturday's team final.

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