RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - China’s Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia claimed gold in the women’s synchronized 10 meter platform diving event at the Rio Games on Tuesday, with Malaysia and Canada respectively taking the silver and bronze medals as the venue’s pool turned a bright green hue.
Chen, competing in her third summer Olympics, has won every title in the synchronized 10m platform event since 2006.
The duo failed to achieve the top score in their third and fourth dives but came back strongly in the final one, breaking into big grins and hugging as they achieved a total score of 354.00 points.
The triumph also makes Chen a five-time Olympic gold medalist, and puts her on a par with compatriot Wu Minxia for the title of most Olympic diving gold medals in a career. Wu won her fifth gold in the women’s 3 meter synchronized springboard event on Sunday.
Having fought through injuries to compete, Chen said she shed tears after her win because it suddenly felt like the pressure had gone away.
“It’s been extremely difficult to persevere for the last four years. I did think of giving up at times and felt that I couldn’t continue but I ultimately managed to, however the price I had to pay for it was very high,” she said.
Silver medalists Cheong Jun Hoong and Pandelela Rinong delivered Malaysia’s first medal of the Games with a score of 344.34, while Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion took third place with 336.18 points.
North Korean teenagers Kim Kuk Hyang and Kim Mi Rae had been in medal position until their final dive, allowing Canada to snatch the bronze.
“I had no idea where we were (on the scoreboard), I didn’t know that we needed a really, really good dive, we just went up there and we said to each other, okay we need this,” Benfeito said.
The event’s pool, however, raised questions when it turned a strange green hue although organizers said it was not harmful to the athletes’ health.
Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Ken Ferris and Meredith Mazzilli