Olympic Diving Roundup: China still dominates but chasers closer

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The 14-day diving competitions at London Olympics ended on Saturday with the Chinese "Dream Team" bagging six out of the eight golds on offer but its gap with the rest of the world is shrinking.

The two events China lost in London were men's individual 3m springboard and 10m platform.

Russian diver Ilya Zakharov turned over China's defending Olympic champion He Chong in the springboard final, while American world silver medalist David Boudia succeeded in his vengeance against China's world champion Qiu Bo in men's platform event.

While divers spearheaded by Russian, American, German and British improving rapidly in terms of difficulty and quality of moves, China has no more absolute advantage in either degree of difficulty or consistency of execution in diving, especially in men's events.

After triumph over Qiu, who has been dominant on the World Series since 2010 in both 10m platform and synchro platform and never encountered any defeat in recent years, Boudia said the rest of the world are catching up with the Chinese, and set feet on China dominance in diving.

"Everyone knows China is dominant in every single diving events. But we can win," he said.

His opinion was joined by British overwhelming favorite Tom Daley, who captured a bronze medal in platform event.

Daley said diving was an unpredictable event. Those scraped through into the final can be the ones grabbing gold medals from the Chinese.

Divers of Mexico, United States, Britain have showed their talents during London competitions while emerging stars from Australia, Malaysia and Canada are seizing their berth in the battle.

China's team manager Zhou Jihong said China has some stranglehold in women's events but gradually lost dominance in men's events.

She said the Chinese team has expected difficulties in men's events in London as they face increasing challenge from a raft of superb divers from around the globe with high degrees of difficulties in their dives.

"Unfortunately we lost the two titles in men's platform and springboard as our divers didnot perform to their normal level," she said.

"They have good techniques but need more experience and practices to improve their mental strength," Zhou said.

The Chinese squad won five gold medals in 2000, six in 2004 and seven in 2008. They may face greater challenges four years later in Rio Olympic Games.

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