China wins first 2 diving gold medals at world championships
United States' Olivia Rosendahl and Zachary Cooper compete during the mixed's 10m synchro platform final competitions at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 4:53AM EDT
GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of -- Favourites Lian Junjie and Si Yajie of China easily won gold in the 10-meter platform mixed synchro on the opening day of the diving program at the world championships Saturday.
China also won the second event when Chen Yiwen took gold in the women's 1-meter springboard, a non-Olympic event, with a total of 285.45 points. The silver went to American Sarah Bacon with 262.00 and the bronze was earned by Suji Kim of South Korea with 257.20.
The U.S. diver moved into the silver medal spot and ahead of Kim after her fifth and final dive. Katherine Torrance of Britain was fourth with 255.40.
Bacon will also compete in the 3-meter springboard, an Olympic event, next Friday, where a top-12 finish would guarantee the U.S. a spot in the competition next year at the Tokyo Games.
Lian and Si, the 2016 silver medallists at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, finished with 356.14 points. Ekaterina Beliaeva and Viktor Minibaev of Russia took the silver with 311.28 points, 35 points behind the winners, followed by the Mexican pair of Maria Jose Sanchez and Jose Balleza Isaias with 287.64.
Britain's Robyn Birch and Noah Williams were a close fourth with 285.18, followed by Americans Olivia Rosendahl and Zachary Cooper with 267.96 points.
China won seven of the eight diving gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016 -- four by its women and three from the men.
Chinese divers look to sweep all three first-day events in Gwangju -- the country qualified first for the later 3-meter springboard men's synchro.