China's traditional dominant status in diving is threatened by rivals, said twice Olympic champion Wu Minxia Sunday.
Wu, who won the women's 3-meter sychronized springboard in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, was beaten to the second place by Russia's Julia Pakhalina in the women's 1m springboard at the world championships.
It was the second event out of four after three days in the worlds. Olymic Chen Ruolin was upset by Mexico's Paola Espinosa on Friday.
China took seven out of eight diving gold medals at last year's Beijing Olympics and they have been expected to clean sweep all 10 gold medals at these world championships.
"I don't think I had pressure during the competition today," said Wu. "I think I performed well. Our rivals are catching up and I think we don't have a lot of advantages now. We must learn from this defeat and train harder in the future."
The 1m springboard is not a medal event in the Olympic Games but that is not the reason that Chinese divers should let the gold slip off their hands.
"All the divers from other countries are learning our skills and studying how to beat us," she said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2009)