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Chinese divers breeze into platform final for historic medal sweep
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Olympic champ Huo Liang led a Chinese 1-2 with Zhou Luxin on Saturday to breeze into the men's platform final at Beijing Olympics.

China is just a few dives from a clean sweep of all Olympic golds for the first time since 1952.

Zhou Luxin in competition

Zhou Luxin in competition 

Huo, newly-crowned in the synchro platform event, seized the lead after his second dive, an inward three-and-a-half somersault in tuck position, for which he scored the second highest 92.80 points.

He was taken over by teammate Zhou Luxin, silver winner of the 2008 World Cup, after his fourth dive. But the 19-year-old Huo clawed back and finished first at 549.95 points.

Huo Liang in competition

Huo Liang in competition 

"I feel more relaxed today than the preliminary yesterday. I will try to present the best of myself in the final tonight," said Huo, who advanced into the preliminary at eighth place.

Matthew Mitcham of Australia, world No. 3 in the event, took the second place at 532.20 points. Chinese Zhou, as world No. 2, settled for the third with 526.20.

Russian world champion Gleb Galperin qualified for the final at the fourth place.

German top diver Sascha Klein, a pre-competition favorite, was shut out of the final following an embarrassing last place in the semifinals.

Klein had won a surprise title in the World Cup earlier this year,and was considered the strongest threat to the Chinese.

The top 12 finishers in the 18-man field advanced to the platform final scheduled for Saturday evening.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2008)

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