Skip to content

Li defends 1m title in Barcelona

July 23, 2013

BCN 2013 Li Shixin

China‘s Li Shixin drew inspiration from the spectacular hilltop setting to help secure his second consecutive men’s one-metre springboard title.

The Montjuic pool affords stunning views over the Catalan capital and Li held his nerve through a tense battle to produce a superb final dive and extend Chinese domination in the event he won in Shanghai two years ago.

Ukraine’s Illya Kvasha took silver, while Alejandro Chavez of Mexico sprang a surprise by pipping Li’s team-mate Sun Zhiyi to the bronze. It was the first time China had failed to win both gold and silver in four championships.

“When I was younger my coach showed me a video of this pool during the 1992 Olympic Games,” Li, who spends a lot of time in Spain and is known back home as ‘the Spanish diver’, said.

“It was my dream to compete here and of course to dive well,” he added.

“I was a bit nervous until the fourth dive but then my coach told me to relax and I made my last two rounds with more confidence.”

Li’s gold was China’s second of the championships after Wu Minxia won an unprecedented sixth three-metre springboard synchro title on Saturday and diving’s dominant nation secured their third later on Monday when Chen Ruolin swept to her fourth 10-metre synchro gold in a row.

Chen and Liu Huixia, her fourth team-mate in four championships, amassed 356.28 points from their five dives, comfortably beating Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion into second on 331.41.

Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Mun Yee Leong repeated their bronze medal from 2009 in third on 331.14.

Twice a double Olympic champion in the 10-metre individual and synchro in Beijing in 2008 and London last year, Chen said the secret of her success was simple, hard grind.

“Our coach often tells us: when you step down from the podium you start again from zero,” she said.

“The experience is important but it is not enough to get a medal. You have to continue working hard.

“In 2007 when I got my first gold in this event with Jia Tong, we were a very new duet.

“Today, pairing with Liu is an entire new experience. She is very young, but at the same time very strong and quite adaptable.”

In the men’s springboard, Li trailed for the first four rounds of the final before moving into the lead in the fifth round with an inward 2.5 somersaults.

He then bagged 87.45 points for his sixth and last dive, a forward 3.5 somersaults, the highest score of the final, to triumph by more than 26 points.

“The other competitors were very strong,” Li said. “I was simply luckier today.”

Li scored 460.95 points, with Kvasha on 434.30, Chavez 431.55 and Sun 425.05.

Things have not always gone Li’s way since his victory in Shanghai and he said suggestions from some quarters that he should retire had proved premature.

“My coach and my team leader always supported me to continue,” he said. “They were right! Today, their help paid off.

“Spain is a very special country for me. Since 2005, I came here seven times so this is almost a second home for me.”

China have won seven out of 10 one-metre springboard golds since the event was introduced in 1991, with Alexandre Despatie of Canada the last non-Chinese winner in 2005.

yahoosport

Advertisements

From → Aquatic News

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ZwemZa

The Independent Swim News Site

ZwemZa

The Independent Swim News Site

kalantzo.wordpress.com/

Here I will post my views and my photos. Thank you for visiting. All photos (C) Kostas Kalantzopoulos

pinoyathletics.com

Reporting and Analyzing Philippine Athletics The Way It Should Be

southafricanstylediary.wordpress.com/

A South African Style Blog by Penelope Robertson

Owen O'Keefe

Fermoy Fish • Eo na Mainistreach • Peixe da Planície

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: