Golden treble for Qiu gives China 10 world titles out of 13

Kazan 2015 - DV

Qiu Bo overcame Olympic champion David Boudia on the 10m tower for the third time in succession at the FINA World Championships to complete a golden treble to match the great Greg Louganis and give China a final tally of 10 diving titles out of 13 in the Kazan Aquatics Palace. Qiu, consigned to silver by Boudia at the 2012 London Olympics, made it three world 10m golds for himself and three silvers for the 26-year-old American, who led for the first two rounds of the six-dive final, performed superbly throughout but could not withstand the challenge of the peerless Chinese master. Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley of Great Britain, the 2009 world 10m champion, won his last-round duel with Mexico’s Ivan Garcia to claim a bronze to add to the gold he won with Rebecca Gallantree in the inaugural mixed 3m/10m team event.

Qiu scored more than 100 points with two of his dives and amassed a six-dive aggregate of 587.00 points to win by 26.80 points from Boudia (560.20) and 49.05 from Daley (537.95), each of whom could also boast single scores of over 100 in the final. Garcia, who racked up 104.55 points from his penultimate inward 4-1/2 somersaults with an astronomical 4.1 degree of difficulty (DD) to stand exactly level with Daley, could not pull off another high DD dive as he had hoped and Daley stormed past with a back 3-1/2 somersaults which earned 102.60 points.

Boudia got back to within 11.30 points of Qiu in the fifth round with a 100.80 score from a back 3-1/2 somersaults but Qiu, whose dives all earned at least 90 points, saved best for last with a forward 4-1/2 somersaults, which netted 107.30 with three perfect 10s, to go with his fourth round back 3-1/2 (102.60 and one 10) which had put him well in charge. Qiu, Boudia and Daley, fine champions all, fittingly received their awards on the podium from two all-time diving greats, former Olympic champions Dmitry Sautin (RUS) and Klaus Dibiasi (ITA).

Dibiasi and Sautin each won the world 10m title twice, when the Worlds were not as frequent as today, and only Qiu and Louganis have outdone them with three, the reign of Louganis stretching longest so far, his titles coming in 1978, 1982 and 1986.

Yang Jian, second behind team-mate Qiu in the semi-final round, had looked a powerful potential challenger, having a unique forward 4-1/2 somersaults in pike position (109B/4.1 DD) in his armoury which had scored 110.70 and 104.55 respectively in the preliminary and semi-final rounds. But he could not make it work in a final in which his only high-scoring dive, including a 10, came in the first round. He finished 10th of the 12 finalists, a vast 135.80 points behind Qiu. Germany’s Sascha Klein, bronze medallist on the 10m board behind Qiu and Boudia at both the last two Worlds, was 11th, having caused the big surprise of the 2013 championships by winning the 10m synchro with Patrick Hausding, the only title to escape China.

Daley, who beat Qiu into second place to win the world title in 2009, hoisted the British diving medal tally in Kazan to four, with his 10m bronze adding to the mixed team gold he won with Gallantree and the bronzes for Jack Laugher in the 3m and Laugher and Chris Mears in the men’s 3m synchro.
Earlier in the day, Wang Han and Yang Hao had claimed China’s ninth Kazan title with victory in the mixed 3m synchro.

BO Qiu ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Gold medallist Qiu Bo: “It was a tough battle tonight because everyone performed very well. I just showed my normal form, not my best because my training before the Worlds was not as good as my teammate Yang Jian. The most important for my victory was no big mistakes, though I had some small errors. I always have a dream which is to stand on the top of the podium at the Olympic Games. This World title will encourage me to reach my dream step by step. I loved the local audience and enjoy the competition atmosphere."

Silver medallist David Boudia: “It was an exciting competition, but I did not watch a lot of it. It would have made me  feel the pressure. It was not an easy competition, not an easy event.”