Wang and Yang win mixed 3m synchro for China’s ninth diving world title

Kazan 2015 - DV

Wang Han and Yang Hao spun to China’s ninth diving title of the FINA World Championships, comfortably winning the mixed 3m synchro, one of three new events in the programme, from Canada and Italy, for whom Tania Cagnotto claimed her third medal in Kazan.

Canada’s Jennifer Abel, who let a medal slip from her grasp in the final round of the women’s 3m final the previous evening to usher in Cagnotto for bronze, enjoyed a spectacular change of fortune for the better to leap from sixth to silver with her last effort in the mixed synchro.

Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac performed a brilliant pair of forward 2-1/2 somersaults and 2 twists, earning the competition’s top score of 80.58 points, to soar from sixth of 13 pairs in round four to clinch the silver in final round five. Abel, who had plummeted from third to sixth in the individual 3m, ended up with a second Kazan silver medal to go with the one she gained with Pamela Ware in the women’s 3m synchro. 

But nobody could deny China’s superiority, not even Cagnotto, who had stopped the Chinese gold rush in Kazan by winning the 1m springboard crown, the first of three titles to escape China, with just one final to come. The Italian pair led through the first two rounds but then yielded pride of place to the Chinese, who eventually won by 22.89 points. Wang and Yao accumulated 339.90 points from their five dives, with Abel and Imbeau-Dulac second on 317.01 and Cagnotto and Italian team-mate Maicol Verzotto third on 315.30, edging out fourth-placed Australians Maddison Keeney and Grant Nel by 5.28 points.

For Wang, it was her first world championship gold, having collected two silvers (1m in 2011 and 3m in 2013) and two bronzes (1m in 2009 and 2013) in past editions, while Yao, at 17 seven years younger than Wang, was double Youth Olympic champion in 2014 on the 3m and 10m boards.
Cagnotto concluded her excellent Kazan experience with a medal treble - 1m gold, 3m bronze and mixed 3m synchro bronze. The 30-year-old Italian, who has said these will be her last Worlds, now has 10 medals from six editions of the championships – one gold, three silvers and six bronzes. 

WANG Han and YANG Hao (CHN) - gold medal


Gold medallist Wang Han (CHN):  “We started to team up since early in the year and we trained more often during the training camp for the World Championships. Our event was held in the last day that made us a little bit rusty, but it all depended on our mind-set. We really did not expect to win the event as every athlete wants to win the gold medal. But the most important is to do our best. In fact, we did not perform our best, but in a good training form (laugh).

Gold medallist Yang Hao (CHN): “ I am happy with the gold medal. It was my first Worlds and I was a little bit nervous. However, we performed our normal form and it allowed us to win the title.

Silver medallist Jennifer Abel: “We were really happy about our last dive 5154B (with 80.58 points). The reason we did this dive was because we knew we could do it very well. So we choose this one in particular for our last dive. We did it very well today.

Silver medallist Francois Imbeau-Dulac (CAN): “The competition was very tough for sure, all were really good teams. The first two dives, we did not do our best. We had small mistakes in the second dive 301B. Usually we would have around 100 points after two dives, but it was part of the competition. We knew we were good at the last three dives and we knew that we could get a medal.

Bronze medallist Tania Cagnotto (ITA): “I am really satisfied with this World Championships. I couldn’t have asked more. Today I finished the Worlds with another medal, it’s great! We only started to team up this year but we have been training with the same team for almost 13 years, because we are living in the same city. We know each other very well.

Bronze medallist Maicol Verzotto (ITA): “Actually I am happy with today’s performance. We were consistent in today's competition, nothing great but everything relatively good.” 

Tania Cagnotto and Maicol Verzotto (ITA) - silver medal