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Chinese divers "too strong to beat": competitors

(Xinhua)

10:17, August 01, 2012

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Five confident and precise dives of Chinese Olympic champion Chen Ruolin and her partner Wang Hao rewarded them an expected victory in platform synchro on Tuesday, and also earned heartfelt admiration from rivals.

"The Chinese duo are too strong to be defeated," lamented Australian veteran Loudy Wiggins, who finished fourth with her partner Rachel Bugg in the women's 10m platform final.

"Diving is a young person's sport. The water feels like concrete when you hit it, your body needs to be small and compact so you can handle it," said the 33-year-old, the eldest diver in London.

"You can see Chen and Wang were amazing in synchronization, in execution, in water entries...everything. I really cannot find their weakness," said Wiggins, who was bronze medallist in the event in Sydney and Athens.

Chen and Wang, winner of the 2011 FINA World Championships, had an undoubtable supremacy in Tuesday's final, perfectly done in each dive and well clear off silver medallists Mexican star Paola Espinosa Sanchez and her new partner Alejandra Orozco Loza with an edge of more than 25 points.

The bronze medal went to Canadian pair Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito.

"They (Chen and Wang) are dominant. We're very happy with a bronze medal after them," said Benfeito.

The highest score of 89.28 in the final came from the fourth dive of the Chinese duo, an inward three-and-a-half somersault in tuck position, the most difficult in their program with a rating of 3.2.

There was a hug after their fifth and final dive, a quick glance a the scoreboard for confirmation - though already predicted.

"I think it (final) is just like a normal test to our routine training. The victory is expected so I was not overjoyed," said Chen, winners of platform synchro and individual at Beijing Olympics.

For the teenagers, the biggest rival were themselves.

"We have been trained together for two years. We know each other well," said Chen.

"Each of us is skilled and compact in executions of every dive, and we also had good synchronization. That's the key to our success," the 19-year-old added.

"Diving has given me so many things although it is very difficult and sometimes painful," she admitted.

So far, Chinese divers have swept all of the three gold medals on offer at Olympic diving competitions, with another two in men's 3m springboard synchro and men's 10m platform synchro in previous two days.

The Chinese "Dream Team" are expected for a gold sweep at the London Olympics though team manager Zhou Jihong warned "unprecedented challenges" from foreign competitors.

The Chinese squad, whose women especially have long enjoyed a stranglehold on the sport's various disciplines, won five gold medals in 2000, six in 2004 and seven in 2008. They swept all gold medals on offer at last year's Shanghai World Championships, hoping to go one better in London.


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