BARCELONA (Reuters) - He Zi secured her second world championship gold of the week and dominant China’s eighth out of nine so far contested when she left her rivals trailing in the three-meter springboard on Saturday.
The 22-year-old led from start to finish at Barcelona’s spectacular hilltop Montjuic pool, site of the diving events at the 1992 Olympics, to improve on her silver behind compatriot Wu Minxia at the previous world championships, in Shanghai in 2011.
He amassed 383.40 points from her five dives, with Wang Han, another Chinese who took bronze when He won Tuesday’s one-meter springboard, a distant second on 356.25.
Canada’s Pamela Ware sprang something of a surprise by pipping Tania Cagnotto of Italy for the bronze on 350.25.
Cagnotto finished an agonizing tenth of a point behind He in the one-meter event, the smallest victory margin at a diving world championships.
The Montjuic venue affords impressive views over Barcelona, including Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church, and He said she now wants to visit the iconic building.
“The photos with the Sagrada Familia are surely a must,” she told reporters.
It was China’s seventh straight success in the three-meter springboard. Guo Jingjing won five golds between 2001 and 2009, with Wu, champion in Saturday’s three-meter springboard synchro with Shi Tingmao, triumphing in Shanghai two years ago.
He said it is too early to talk about taking over as the dominant force in her events.
“You can only speak of era when an athlete performs well for a long time, it’s still very early to say that about me,” she told reporters.
“I am of course happy with the gold but not so much with my performance. I could have done better,” she added after a disappointing final dive by her standards.
China swept all 10 diving golds in Shanghai but Germany’s surprise success in the men’s 10-metre synchronized platform on Sunday means they can win only nine this time around.
The final diving event is Sunday’s men’s 10-metre platform.
Editing by Stephen Wood