China remains undefeated in synchronized diving events on the World Aquatics Diving World Cup 2023 tour. On Saturday in Montreal, Chinese pairs claimed two more gold medals by massive leads.
CHEN Yuxi and QUAN Hongchan of China won the women’s 10m synchro event by nearly 62 points thanks to a string of 10s by the teenage phenoms – almost all of them from the execution judges. Britain’s Lois TOULSON and Andrea SPENDOLINI SIRIEIX finished second, ahead of the WASSEN sisters from Germany (Elena and Christina). The top three teams were the only ones to clear 300 points after five dives.
Shortly afterward, China’s LONG Daoyi and WANG Zongyuan won the men’s 3m synchro discipline by a similarly sizable gap, nearly 50 points over British runners-up Anthony HARDING and Jack LAUGHER. Japan’s Yuto ARAKI and Haruki SUYAMA placed third. Those three pairs were the only men to top 400 points for six dives. Details below.
Women’s 10m Synchro
On Saturday, world and Olympic champions, CHEN Yuxi, 17, and QUAN Hongchan, 16, racked up so many perfect scores in the women’s 10m synchro final that the rest of the field could only stare in amazement. The Chinse duo earned 17 “tens” in all – including 15 (of 30 possible) in the execution department and two more from the synchronization judges to tally 378.60 points and give the Chinese teenagers a clean sweep of World Cup gold on the synchro tower this year.
After winning the first World Cup event last month in Xi’an, China, CHEN said, “We trained to work on the small details,” adding that despite all of Saturday’s 10s, “we still have small errors to work on” before the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in July and the Super Final in Berlin in August.
For now, QUAN said, “We were really cheered up by the crowd and all the screaming. There are so many diving fans here, lots of Chinese flags. It really helped us dive well today. We were carried by their enthusiasm.”
Andrea SPENDOLINI SIRIEIX, 18, and Lois TOULSON, 23, of Great Britain placed second, trailing the winners by 62.91 points.
“It’s good to get back in the groove of competing internationally with the Chinese, getting some pressure on us [to] see what we can do under that pressure,” SPENDOLINI SIRIEIX said. “I think we’re dealing with it pretty well. I’m really happy with how it’s going.” Speaking of pressure, SPENDOLINI SIRIEIX is also studying for her A-level exams which start next Friday. They’re important for university admissions. “It’s a lot of stress,” said the 2020 Olympian and 2022 junior world champion on the 10m platform.
German sisters Christina and Elena WASSEN placed third based on the strength of their three more difficult dives.
“I’m really happy with today,” said Elena WASSEN, 22, the younger of the two. “We really showed our best dives. There’s still room for improvement, but I’m very happy that we dove like we did. I felt very confident.” Christina, 24, said that Saturday’s final was just their fourth or fifth international competition together.
Ukraine, Canada, and Japan finished fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively (separated by only 2.34 points). The 2020 Olympic silver medalists in this event, Jessica PARRATTO and Delaney SCHNELL of the US had a rough day, placing seventh of the seven teams.
Men’s 3m Synchro
In the men’s 3m synchro event on Saturday, LONG Daoyi, 20, and WANG Zongyuan, 21, of China notched three perfect 10s of their own, all from the same synchronization judge. Unfortunately, the 10s didn’t count because the high and low scores are thrown out on each dive. It didn’t matter. LONG and WANG won anyway with the highest scores in every round. They were the only pair to score more than 90 points for a dive, and they did it on all four of their most difficult ones to end the day with 492.18 points. Their nearest competitors were 49.08 points behind.
“Some parts of today’s performance were good, some not so good, LONG said. “Today, I made it. Still, some mistakes.
Great Britain’s Anthony HARDING, 22, and triple Olympic medalist Jack LAUGHER, 28, placed second after being in the runner-up position in every round.
“Today was really challenging,” LAUGHER said. “This is probably the first time that we followed China directly [in the start order], and our first three dives were the exact same. And when they [dive] to the level they can do – and did do today – it was obviously quite daunting. I think our synchronization today was incredible. Our dives just need that little bit of final polishing. When we get that, I think that maybe we can take it to China. We’ve been close before, so why not again?”
“We’re both training really hard to get the refinements done.,” HARDING added. “I think I showed more positive things this week than in China [at the first World Cup], which for me, over two weeks, is a massive improvement.”
Japan’s Yuto ARAKI, 26, and Haruki SUYAMA, 25, were in third place after each round and claimed the bronze medal.
The most intense battle took place off the podium, however, as the next five teams were separated by just six points by the end of the contest. Ultimately, Italy, Spain, the USA, Germany, and Australia went 4-5-6-7-8, in that order. France and Ukraine finished ninth and tenth. The host nation, Canada, did not have an entry.
Sunday will mark the third and final day of the Montreal World Cup. Five gold medals will be awarded: four in the individual events, and one in the mixed team competition. Diving will begin at 10:00 Montreal time with men’s 3m, followed by women’s 10m (at 12:15), women’s 3m (at 14:40), men’s 10m (at 16:45), and the team event (at 19:05). Tune in to see if anyone can beat China for gold.