Topics: From the Wires
LONDON (AP) — China wants to get back on track. Paola Espinosa Sanchez wants to pick up right where Ilya Zakharov left off.
The women’s 10-meter platform event at the London Olympics begins with the preliminary round on Wednesday, one day after Zakharov stopped China’s quest for a sweep of diving gold with a strong performance in the men’s 3-meter springboard.
Now Mexico’s Sanchez is hoping to build on her podium finish in 10-meter synchro last week, but the platform is still China’s event to lose.
Chen Ruolin already paired with Wang Hao to win the 10-meter synchro event and also won both titles before her home fans at the 2008 Beijing Games as a 15-year-old. She then swept both events at last year’s world championships in Shanghai, too.
On her 26th birthday, Espinosa Sanchez took silver with Alejandra Orozco in 10-meter synchro last week.
But if the crowd inside the Olympic Aquatics Centre is anything like it was for Zakharov’s victory Tuesday, anything could happen.
Fans cheered loudly when Zakharov nailed his final dive. The Russian pumped his left arm as he swam toward the edge of the pool.
With the top two separated by a mere 1.25 points, the gold medal all came down to the final round.
Diving one spot ahead of Zakharov with the lead, China’s Qin Kai scored 89.10 points for a reverse 2½ somersault with 1½ twists pike. Zakharov hit a much tougher dive, a forward 4½ somersault tuck, for 104.50 points, and snapped China’s streak of five straight diving golds at these games.
In 2008, China had won seven straight golds until Matthew Mitcham of Australia broke that streak in the very last diving event of the games, the men’s 10-meter platform.
“I’m so pleased that I have managed to take away at least one medal from China,” Zakharov said through a translator. “After the last dive when I came up to the surface and I heard the noise that’s when the happiness swept over me.”
He totaled 555.90 points in the six-round final for Russia’s first diving gold since 2000, when Dmitri Sautin and Igor Lukashin won the men’s 10-meter synchro in Sydney.
“When I started and still now my idol was Dmitri Sautin,” Zakharov said, in awe of his countryman’s seven Olympic medals. “He’s a legend in our sport and I can’t even start to compare myself to him.”
A 21-year-old from St. Petersburg, Zakharov was runner-up in 3-meter synchro in London, and in both 3-meter synchro and individual at last year’s worlds. He also finished second three times on individual 3-meter during this year’s World Series events.
Qin settled for silver at 541.75. He Chong, the defending champion and Qin’s teammate, earned the bronze at 524.15 in front of a crowd that included Sammy Lee, the first man to win consecutive golds in platform. The 92-year-old American won his first title in London in 1948 and repeated in 1952.
“He did really wonderful today and this is what the Olympics is all about,” Qin said. “I want to congratulate him even if I feel a little bit sorry. He did so well today.”
Zakharov lost to Qin and his partner Luo Yutong in 3-meter synchro.
“I understood that the Chinese are reachable during my synchronized 3-meter springboard dive,” Zakharov said. “The last dive (Tuesday) was most difficult for me because during the previous competition a mistake at that stage cost me a medal.”
More Related Stories
- Obama to announce new effort to close Guantanamo Bay
- J.J. Abrams reveals deleted shower scene with Benedict Cumberbatch
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- Is recreational pot use safe?
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Judge tells lesbian couple to separate -- or lose kids
- What's behind New York's anti-gay hate crimes?
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- Obama to address drones, Guantánamo
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- How I ended up in a pyramid scheme
- My bipolar partner beat me
- Cannes: Ryan Gosling's new movie draws the boo-birds
- Teenagers care more about online privacy than you think
- The Maker kids are alright
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11