Cagnotto wins gold at last and breaks China’s winning streak in Kazan

Kazan 2015 - DV

Tania Cagnotto finally won the world gold which had eluded her for so long when she scored a superb victory on the 1m springboard which ended China’s monopoly of the diving titles in Kazan. The 30-year-old Italian, who claimed her first FINA World Championship medal 10 years ago, took charge from the start and held off the Chinese challenge through the five rounds of the final to relegate former 1m world champions Shi Tingmao and He Zi to silver and bronze after China had bagged the first five titles of the meet.

Cagnotto, three silver and four bronze medals already in her collection from five previous editions of the FINA World Championships, was pipped for gold by a tiny 0.10 points – the smallest margin in the history of the championships - by He Zi at the last Worlds in 2013 after having led through three of the five rounds. But this time she was not to be denied her rule at the Aquatics Palace as she claimed Italy's first World Championship diving gold in 40 years since Klaus Dibiasi won the men's 10m title at the first two editions in 1973 and 1975.

Tania Cagnotto (ITA) finally got the gold at the FINA World Championships - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Leading by over 10 points going into the final round, she was able to resist a storming last challenge from 2011 world 1m champion Shi. Shi, already a gold medallist in Kazan in the 3m synchro with Olympic champion Wu Minxia, reduced the gap to less than two points with the last dive of the final but it was not enough to beat Cagnotto, who was tearfully hugged in joyous embrace by the Italian entourage. 

The Chinese pair fell short of their best but Cagnotto kept cool and was very much worth her win. She amassed 310.85 points, with Shi taking the silver with 309.20 and defending champion He, out of the top three till round four, the bronze with 300.30, well clear of fourth-placed Olena Fedorova of Ukraine (286.95).

The medallists in the women's 1m springboard - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia


Tania Cagnotto (ITA, gold):
“I am really happy about the gold medal. I did not expect to win before the competition. The Chinese girls are always good and they are my idols. The feeling of beating them is so enjoyable. It is a perfect competition today. My dream came true!”

“It is the first world champion in 40 years for Italy. It is unbelievable! These are my eighth World Championships, I had only silver and bronze medals all those years. I can finish my career in a better way now as a world champion. It is maybe my last World Championships”.

“I remember the competition in 2013, when I missed the title by 0.10 points. I prepared good but got a silver there, so I was scared to repeat that feat again here in Kazan. I made my big bang at last!”

Shi Tingmao (CHN, silver): “My second dive was not perfect but I managed to come back in the last. I want to congratulate Tania. She did very well today. We will continue to vie for the gold in the 3m springboard. It is the competition that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If you want to win, you need to learn from the failure”.

He Zi (CHN, bronze): “I learned a lot from Tania. Congratulations to her! I respect her very much!”