China secure diving sweep at World Championships

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Chen Yiwen (top)/Chang Yani of China compete during the women's 3m synchronised final of diving at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, July 3, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

China completed a clean sweep of 13 diving gold medals at the FINA World Championships after Yang Jian defended the men's 10m platform title in a roller-coaster final on Sunday.

The 28-year-old came back from two poor dives in the second and third rounds, after which he ranked seventh, to deliver three excellent dives to hit a title-winning 515.55 points.

Fellow Chinese Yang Hao finished with a bronze with 485.45 points, while Japanese diver Rikuto Tamai took the silver with a 2.55-point advantage over Hao.

"It has been almost one year since we last competed in international competitions, " said Yang Jian. "I could not find the rhythm at the beginning. But I made adjustments in the last couple of dives."

"The Japanese diver performed very well, for most time of the final, I was the one trying to catch up with them," added Jian, who won a silver in the event at Tokyo Olympic Games last year, only 1.96 points behind his teammate Cao Yuan.

Yang Jian chose a dive with 4.1 difficult degrees in his last round, which earned him a game-high 102.50 points to wrap up the victory.

Hundreds of Chinese supporters, wearing red jerseys and waving the national flags, gathered at the Duna Arena, making it a home atmosphere for the Chinese divers.

"So many Chinese fans came here today. For such a long time we didn't dive in front of so many people; we should get used to that," said Hao, who has already secured a gold for China at the tournament in the 10m synchronized, pairing with Lian Junjie.

The 24-year-old also won a silver in the 10m individual three years ago at the worlds in Gwangju, South Korea.

Earlier in the afternoon, Chen Yiwen and Chang Yani cruised to the title in the women's 3m springboard synchronized.

The pair collected a total of 343.14 points from five dives to clinch the second medal for each of them. Chen was crowned in the 3m springboard individual event on Saturday while Chang finished with a bronze.

Sayaka Mikami and Rin Kaneto of Japan scored 303.00 points to take the silver, 8.88 ahead of the Australian pair of Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith.

"It's a great honor for me to win the worlds title in the synchronized event again," said Chang, who claimed her first worlds title also in Budapest and in this event five years ago with multiple Olympic champion Shi Tingmao.

"We saw many fans here today, we really appreciate their support and we were so proud of ourselves," Chen said. 

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