Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Gou dives for gold on 3m board

AP , MONTREAL

Guo Jing-jing of China during the final round of the women's 3m springboard event at the World Swimming and Diving Championships in Montreal on Friday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

China's Guo Jing-jing easily won her country's third diving gold medal in the 3m springboard at swimming's World Championships on Friday, while teammate Wu Min-xia earned the silver.

Tania Cagnotto of Italy took the bronze.

China and Canada were tied atop the medals standings with three golds each. The US and Russia have two golds each. The Chinese lead with nine medals overall.

Guo led after each round of the five-dive final and finished with 645.54 points in defense of her world title. She is the reigning Olympic champion, too.

"I am very happy with my performance," she said through a translator. "I'm very touched by the audience who encouraged us all along. Even though it was raining, they stayed with us."

Wu, who had 619.05 points, also finished second to Guo in Athens. She was the bronze medalist two years ago in Barcelona.

"If I perform my best, I'm happy no matter what the place is," Wu said.

Wu was second throughout, turning the final into a competition for the bronze.

"I couldn't wait to finally finish because I was getting so nervous," Cagnotto said. "It almost made me crazy."

Yulia Pakhalina, the silver medalist in 2003, was fifth behind Sweden's Anna Lindberg.

Olympic champions Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova of Russia won the gold medal in duet synchronized swimming.

Pouring rain and thunder delayed the final for 15 minutes. The rain resumed during the outdoor medals ceremony on Ile Saint-Helene, cutting short the medalists' parade around the pool deck.

"It didn't affect our diving," Guo said. "We prepared ourselves for any type of condition."

China has won medals in all seven diving events so far, with three remaining.

Meanwhile, Edith Van Dijk of the Netherlands won the 25-kilometer women's open water swimming race, earning her third medal of the week. She finished first in 5 hours, 25 minutes, 6.6 seconds -- edging Britta Kamrau of Germany by three-tenths of a second.

"The race was very hot and hard because especially the Russian girls really try to push hard," Van Dijk said. "Just after the last turn, I wanted to stay inside because it is a little bit shorter."

Kamrau earned the silver in 5:25.06.9. Laura La Piana of Italy took bronze in 5:25.11.5.

"I had the longer way," Kamrau said. ``We arrived at the same time, but she touched earlier. The one on the inside [Van Dijk] had an advantage and it is not very fair.''

Competing in her final world meet before retiring, Van Dijk was the 10km champion and the bronze medalist in the 5km. She finished her career with 14 medals in seven world championships.

In synchronized swimming, the Russians won the duet with 99.667 points. Davydova and Ermakova earned six marks of 10.0, including four for artistic impression.

Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados of Spain took the silver with 98.167. Japan's Saho Harada and Emiko Suzuki earned the bronze with 98.000.

In men's water polo, Serbia and Montenegro and Russia finished first in their groups with identical 3-0 records and automatically qualified for the quarterfinals.

Vladimir Vujasinovic scored six goals in Serbia and Montenegro's victory.

"The atmosphere is awesome," he said. "It feels like we are playing in Serbia."

In other matches, Cuba edged Japan 9-8, Russia held off Spain 8-7, Italy routed South Africa 15-4, and Serbia-Montenegro topped the US 8-4.

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