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China keeps winning stretch in Beijing Olympic diving
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20:36, August 12, 2008

The dominating Chinese divers kept their winning stretch in the Water Cube as teenagers Wang Xin and Chen Ruolin won the third gold, the women's 10m platform synchronized, for the hosts at the Beijing Olympic Games here on Tuesday.

The Chinese duo, winner in the 2007 Melbourne World Championships, led all the way in the five-dive final, and their winning mark of 363.54 points was almost 30 points more than that for runners-up Wu Melissa and Briony Cole of Australia, who posted 335.16.

Tatiana Ortiz and Paola Espinosa of Mexico took the bronze in 330.06.

"The gold medal is the best birthday gift ever," said Wang, who celebrated her 16th birthday on Monday on the eve of the women's synchronized platform final.

"Of course we want the gold," Wang added. "We know that the other pairs are all quite strong, so we trained very hard."

China has topped every podium since the event was introduced at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and the teenagers continued the glory.

In front of a full-capacity audience, Wang and Chen performed steadily and showed a class of their own.

Wang and Chen, 16 and 15 respectively, enjoy obvious advantages in the world as they almost meet no challenges since they paired up, including the World Cup Series and Grand Prix in 2007 and 2008. They also won the gold in the "Good Luck Beijing" World Cup in February.

Competing on the home soil, the teenagers handled the pressure quite well. "Every match is a match of mentality," said Chen, winner of the event in the 2007 Melbourne worlds with partner Jia Tong. "We always imagine we are in a competition during the training."

Chen, a Jiangsu native, started her diving career as early as four years old and was admitted into the national diving squad in 2003 at the age of 11. She was also the youngest in China's Olympic diving squad.

"I am pretty happy with the result," said Wu Melissa, runner-up in the event in the Melbourne worlds with Cole. "The Chinese are no doubt the best, and they deserve the gold."

"As I am half Chinese, it's really special for me to win a silver in China," said Wu, 16. "Though I represent Australia, it's still special for me. I like China very much."

As for Mexico, a bronze was also satisfactory. "China is so strong, and their winning the gold is normal. We always train very hard, and the bronze is our reward," said Espinosa, Mexico's flag-bearer in the Beijing Games. "For me, the bronze is as same as the gold."

The German pair Annett Gamm/Nora Subschinski, bronze medalists in both Athens Olympic Games and Melbourne worlds, only managed to finish the fourth in 310.29.

It's the third diving gold for China at the Beijing Games, as Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia took victory in the women's 3m springboard synchronized final on Sunday, and Lin Yue and Huo Liang won the men's 10m platform synchro on Monday.

The Chinese divers hope to make a clean sweep in the Water Cube after they swept all eight golds in the last meet of the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Rome earlier in July.

From the Beijing Games, they have taken the first three gold medals.

China has undisputed domination in the sport of diving. The Chinese diving team claimed five golds at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and further took a record six at 2004 Athens Olympics, contributing more Olympic golds for China than other Chinese teams.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 11 3 4 18
2 USA 7 6 8 21
3 South Korea 5 5 0 10
4 Italy 3 4 2 9
5 Australia 3 1 3 7
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