Xin Zhou, FINA Media Committee Member

Chinese diving pairs repeated the same feat as in the first leg in Beijing by sweeping all the four synchro titles on the opening day of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2017 in Guangzhou (CHN) on Thursday.

Ren Qian/Chang Yani claimed victory in the women's 10m synchro platform with 347.82, followed by Kim Kuk Hyang/Kim Mi Rae of DPR Korea 339.72 and Pandelela Pamg/Jun Hoong Cheong of Malaysia 332.46, respectively.

"Our synchronisation is better than the first time we performed in Beijing leg, but we also made some mistakes on our individual side. For me, the most important thing is to make clean entries," said the 16-year-old Ren, Rio Olympic champion in women's platform.  

For the 15-year-old Chang, the new venue brought her fresh feeling. Chang said: "In fact, I am not used to the new venue so I did not perform my best today. But we have improved on the synchronisation; however, we should work harder on that since we are a new pair."    

Olympic champion Chen Aisen and his new partner Yang Hao dominated the men's 10m synchro platform in 463.71 though had some mistakes in two dives. Patrick Hausding/Sascha Klein of Germany, took the silver 437.94 and Viktor Minibaev/Aleksandr Bondar of Russia concluded in third (429.03).

The men's 10m synchro podium

As a native from Guangzhou, Chen admitted he felt nervous to compete at home turf. "It is my first time to compete in an event, an international event at home. I felt nervous in front of the local fans. But I enjoy the feeling as the real 'host' diver. Compared with the performance we did in Beijing, we had some mistakes today, maybe because we are a little tired and lack of training these days. As a pair, we still have a lot of work to do," said the first diver to wrap up both individual and synchro platform (men) events in one Olympic Games.

To Hausding, the venue in Guangzhou is a “comfortable” one. "It was a very pretty good competition today. It is our first time in Guangzhou. The venue here is very good, clean, tidy and shinning. We performed better than in last leg, maybe it was because of the jet lag when we were in Beijing. We were a little bit tired at that time, now we are used to the time and performed better," Hausding said.

Two-time Olympic champion Shi Tingmao dominated the women's 3m synchro springboard and showed consistence with her new partner Xu Zhihuan, winning 345.00 points. Maddison Keeney/Anabelle Smith of Australia came to second 318.66 and Jennifer Abel/Melissa Citrini Beaulieu of Canada finished third in 311.34.

"I am very glad that I come back to this venue again for the second time. Seven years ago, I competed here in my first international event - Asian Games - and won my first gold medal. It brings me sweet memory to be back here and just like a new start. The total score today is very high and close to what we did in Rio Olympic Games when veteran Wu Minxia and I won the event. However, I did not show my best. I should make my entry cleaner. I believe we can be better with more competitions," Shi said.

The men's 3m synchro springboard title went to Cao Yuan/Xie Siyi for a total of 466.02, beating Jack Laugher/Chris Mears of Britain 450.60 and Illia Zakharov/Evgenii Kuznetsov of Russia, 430.86. It was the Russian pair who collected the day-high 93.48 points for their last dive 109C and helped them to reach the podium.

"We improved in some technique details, after the mistakes we did in Beijing. We are always learning and improving. For me, I am not afraid of failure since there are many competitive divers in the world. I want to take the challenges and become tougher and tougher through hard battles," Cao said.