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Chinese diver Chen tops 10m platform semifinal
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Chinese diver Chen Ruolin continued her dominance in the women's 10m platform semifinal at the Beijing Olympic Games on Thursday.

A field of 18 divers competed in the semifinal, sending 12 to the final on Thursday night.

Chen, 15, newly crowned 10m platform synchro Olympic champion with partner Wang Xin, breezed through the semifinal with the top qualifying score of 444.60 points.

Paola Espinosa, flag bearer of Mexico at the Beijing Games, finished second in 400.75, while 16-year-old Wang Xin, the reigning world champion, took the third place in 388.55.

Canadian veteran Emilie Heymans, winner of the event in the 2003 Barcelona World Championships, finished fourtn in 374.10.

"I knew exactly what I've done wrong and I don't think it's something that's really hard to change for the finals," said Heymans. "I just didn't give enough energy at the start and that made it short and low."

"I just really want to do really good dives and stay focused and concentrate on what I have to do and not look at what's happening around me. I'm not going to pay attention to anything else," she said.

Syndey Olympic champion Lauro Wilkinson of the United States collected 346.10 for the sixth.

"It's not a great day this morning," said Wilkinson, 30. "But it's a good warm-up for tonight. I think I'm in a good place for this evening."

"I want to get a medal one more time, and I enjoy the ride," she said.

At the Syndey Olympics, American diver Laura Wilkinson beat Chinese Li Na for the women's 10m platform title. In Athens, Australian Chantelle Newbery stunned Chinese favourite Lao Lishi to win the gold. Both Li and Lao finished second.

In Beijing, Chen and Wang will try their best for the long-awaited gold.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2008)

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