Everyone deals with nerves in their own way, but Chinese diving sensation Wu Shengping showed she has a particularly effective method, as she swooped to gold in the women’s 10m platform diving on 23 August.
“I didn’t feel any pressure while diving. Actually I’m a bit short-sighted, so even if I was trying to look at the results, I couldn’t see clearly,” she said after clinching the title at the Nanjing Olympic Sport Centre Natatorium.
Wu took the lead after her first dive and never looked back, dominating the programme, as she scored a nine in two of her four dives, and picked up a competition high of 86.40 with a 3.2 degree difficulty inward three-and-a-half somersault.
Wu led comfortably throughout qualifying and maintained her tunnel vision, executing her four dives in the final with barely a splash to win the first diving gold medal of Nanjing 2014 with 526.20 points.
The youngster said she was satisfied, having “performed really well”, although she admitted that she “did a bit better in the preliminaries and a little worse in the final”.
The Chinese finished 75.55 points ahead of the silver medallist, Malaysia’s Loh Zhiayi.
“This is my first medal at international level. It’s a belated birthday gift,” said Wu, who had turned 18 two days earlier.
There was no chance for Loh to challenge Wu, as the 17-year-old Malaysian reached 450.65 points. “I’m really happy with the silver medal, China deserved to win the gold,” she said.
Seventeen-year-old Alejandra Orozco Loza (MEX), a silver medallist in the women’s synchronised 10m platform event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was happy with the bronze medal and her 430.25 points.
“I was expecting to win a medal because I trained very hard and prepared a lot to be here,” she said.
“This result is very moving for me, this medal is the outcome of all my daily training, all my efforts and all I sacrificed. I deserved it.”