Aussie Matthew Mitcham overtook Chinese top favorite Zhou Luxin with a near-perfect last dive to claim the platform title at Beijing Olympics, spoiling China's dream of a clean sweep of all Olympic golds for the first time in over 50 years.
In the magic competition Saturday evening, Zhou, winner of the 2006 World Cup and second in the 2007 world championships, seized the lead from his very first dive, a forward three-and-a-half somersault in pike position, for which he amassed the highest 84.00 points.
Cheered by an ecstatic capacity of crowd, the Chinese favorite seemed untouchable untill he nailed an unsatisfactory last dive.
Mitcham trailed Zhou all the way, but still over 30 points behind before the last attempt. The climax came when the dark horse staged a near flawless last dive, a back two-and-a-half somersault and two-and-a-half twists, with a 3.8 degree of difficulty.
He amassed four perfect 10s and compiled as high as 537.95 points to edge Zhou, who settled with silver at 533.15.
The unbelievable victory left Mitcham squatting on the ground and bursting into tears. He gave big hugs to his coach and teammates, with incredible and surprising expressions on their faces.
World champion Gleb Galperin of Russia edged another Chinese favorite Huo Liang to bag a bronze medal at 525.80.
China swept seven out of eight gold medals in the diving competitions at Beijing Games.
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2008)