With a day-high of 106.40 points in his last dive, Xie Siyi of China managed a strong comeback in the men's 3m springboard final to beat the pace-setter Jack Laugher of Britain, winning his first world series gold on the second day of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2017 here on Friday.
Laugher, who claimed the title in the first leg, last weekend in Beijing, built up an early lead after the first five dives and enjoyed 105.30 for his 5156B.
Despite a 19.85-disadvantage to Laugher at this stage, Xie performed his trademark 109C with 106.40 and surged back to win the gold medal for a total 556.20. Laugher dove after Xie but made a big splash on his 207C which brought him 59.40. Laugher had to concede to a silver in 529.05. Olympic champion Cao Yuan (CHN) finished third (519.80).
"Jack was the leader while I made a mistake in my third dive 207C, so I had no expectation on the medal. I concentrated on my own dives. I was glad that my last dive helped me to win the gold which is my first victory at an individual event in the World Series. I really appreciate my rivals," said Xie, who became a new partner with Cao Yuan this year.
Laugher was a little bit disappointed about his last dive. "My performance is generally pretty good through semi-final and final. My first five dives were very good in the final tonight that I was looking on to make a personal best. The last dive was not as good as what I wanted, and that dropped me to the second place. But I want to congratulate the Chinese divers. I am very proud to compete with such brilliant athletes. I will train for the next stops in Russia and Canada and try to improve myself."
"I lost some concentration in my last round because I was far ahead, with about 20 points lead. It is a kind of shame but it is the time to make mistakes and to learn to go for the World Championships," Laugher said.
Olympic champion Cao Yuan said he was lack of training in the past few months. "I could accept the result since I was lack of training after the Olympic Games. I need to work harder and concentrate on the next Olympics," Cao considered.
Shi Tingmao (CHN) - Photo by Jia Yuchen (Xinhua News)
Two-time Olympic champion Shi took the crown in the women's 3m springboard with 395.40, well ahead of young teammate Chang Yani (360.60) and Maddison Keeney of Australia (357.00).
Shi, who had a cold in Guangzhou, said she felt more confident in her dives in recent years. "I made my international debut here at the Guangzhou Asian Games seven years ago. Now I grow up to a veteran status, along with young divers. The more competitions I had, the more confidence and consistence I got. The cold did not impact on my performance today. I hope I can continue the winning streak as long as possible. I am not good at high difficulties, but consistence. The only advantage I have is the system training."
Wang Han/Li Zheng snatched the mixed 3m springboard gold in 333.00, edging Jennifer Abel/Francois Imbeau-Dulac of Canada (326.16) and Maddison Keeney/Dominic Bedggood of Australia (324.66).
"I am happy with our performance, as we are just training as a pair for one month. Today's competition is very tough as the Canadians and Australians are getting closer to us," Wang said.