Chen Ruolin claims her fifth worlds gold medal

AFP, BARCELONA, Spain

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 - Page 20

Chinese diver Chen Ruolin collected her fifth world championship gold medal and a fourth consecutive win in the women’s 10m synchronized platform as she and partner Liu Huixia blew away the field in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.

Liu was Chen’s fourth partner in her four successes in the event over the past six years, but the result was again inevitable as the pair surged ahead with their first dive and led throughout to record a final tally of 365.28 points.

“To win my first medal at this level in Barcelona is a great feeling,” a delighted Liu said afterwards. “Even if I don’t have so much experience, I keep learning a lot with Chen.”

There could even be more to come for Chen later in the week as she looks to retain her title in the individual 10m platform which begins today.

“Our coach often tells us: ‘When you step down from the podium, you start again from zero,’” Chen said. “The experience is important, but it is not enough to get a medal — you have to continue working hard.”

Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion snatched the silver for Canada behind the Chinese duo with a dramatic final dive to edge out Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Mun Yee Leong by less than 0.3 points as the Asian pair instead had to settle for a repeat of the bronze medal they won in Rome four years ago.

Chen and Liu’s success rounded off a good day for the Chinese, as reigning champion Li Shixin also claimed gold in the men’s 1m springboard final earlier in the day.

The 25-year-old struggled early on and was only fifth in the standings after four of the six rounds, but he saved his best for last as his final two dives received the best two marks of the competition to launch him past Ukrainian Illya Kvasha and Mexico’s Kevin Chavez, who took the silver and bronze respectively.

Another defending champion was victorious in the 10km open water event as Greece’s Spyridon Gianniotis held off Thomas Lurz of Germany and 5km champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia to claim gold in the first event of the day in the Moll de la Fusta harbor.

There was even something for the home crowd to cheer as Spain claimed their third medal of the championships with silver in the team technical routine of the synchronized swimming, with Russia claiming gold and Ukraine the bronze.