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Chinese duo finish 1-2 in women's platform preliminary
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Newly-crowned Chinese duo Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin staged a 1-2 finish in the 10m platform preliminary at the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday.

The world top-ranked Chen executed a difficult final dive - back two-and-a-half somersault and one-and-a-half twists in pike position, to score the highest 96.90 points, leading the preliminary with 428.80.

Her teammate Wang Xin, the reigning world champion, trailed her to place second with 420.30.

Emilie Heymans of Canada, winner of the 2003 World Championships, finished third at 403.85.

As silver and bronze medalist of the synchro event in the previous two Olympics, the 27-year-old Canadian is trying to claim her first Olympic medal in an individual event.

Laura Wilkinson of the United States, gold winner at the Sydney Olympics, also advanced to the semifinal with a fifth place finish.

The 30-year-old diver from Texas has already confirmed he would retire after the Beijing Games.

Paola Espinosa, who was the flag bearer for Mexico, finished seventh and also made it to the semifinals.

The top 18 finishers in the 29-woman field advanced to Thursday morning's semifinals. The top 12 finishers at the semis will qualify for the final scheduled for Thursday night.

Chen and Wang, fresh from the synchro victory, will spare no efforts to recapture the platform title, which China lost at the previous two Olympics following the retirement of Fu Mingxia.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2008)

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