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China miss out on clean sweep - London 2012 - Diving

China miss out on clean sweep - London 2012 - Diving
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12/08/2012

China reaffirmed their dominance in the Diving pool but could not get the clean sweep of gold they had aimed for after Russia and the USA had moments of glory at London 2012.

The Chinese were odds-on to go one better than at Beijing 2008 and replicate their perfect record from last year's World Championships.

The sweep was on after the opening week of the Olympics when all four of their synchro teams stood on the top podium.

But two of the most memorable Individual finals in Games history denied them total dominance.

Arguably the most dramatic was in the men's 10m Platform on the final night of competition when China's biggest star, Qiu Bo, took silver.

Qiu had been unbeatable for the past two years and coasted to the world title 12 months ago.

The 19-year-old maintained the trend in the opening two qualifying rounds before he came unstuck in one of the greatest Diving finals of all time.

Great Britain's Tom Daley led deadlocked duo Qiu and the USA's David Boudia by just 0.15 points heading into the final round.

With a 17,500-strong crowd in attendence, Daley attracted a single score of 10 for his final effort.

The 18-year-old's degree of difficulty paled in comparison to Boudia and Qiu though, and when the USA diver produced a brilliant effort before Qiu slightly missed his a stunning upset was celebrated.

Boudia, who edged into the semi-final in 18th, was left amazed while Qiu stood shattered as his quest for a first Olympic gold was ended.

'It still hasn't sunk in that I had a gold medal, that I was standing on the podium and the anthem was playing,' said Boudia.

'Diving is extremely competitive and the rest of the world is catching up but they've stamped their feet on the sport, China.'

Four days earlier, Russia's Ilya Zakharov sprung another major surprise in the men's 3m Springboard.

Zakharov scored an astonishing total of 555.90 points to get the better of China's Qin Kai and world champion He Chong.

'I just can't believe it as of now. I have done it finally,' he said.

China's Wu Minxia equalled the record of six Olympic Diving medals. She completed a hat-trick of Synchro 3m Springboard Olympic titles alongside He Zi before announcing her intention to retire after winning gold in the individual 3m Springboard to equal the record.

On the women's Platform, Chen Ruolin defended both her titles winning the individual and synchro alongside Wang Hao.

The Chinese men's synchro teams were also dominant, with Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan defying their youth to win the Platform while Luo Yutong and Qin won the Springboard.

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