BEIJING, August 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The outcome of the University
Games' diving competitions is in line with what one has come to
expect: It was once again the Chinese who distinguished themselves.
They turned in a stunning performance on their home soil,
taking all twelve gold medals on offer, including two team titles,
plus four silvers. This is much better than their haul of four
golds and one silver in six events at the last Universiade.
It also eclipsed their previous best Universiade record - a
sweep of all four golds in as many events and both team titles at
the Zagreb Universiade in 1987, when the 1m springboard events
have not yet been introduced.
A distant second in the medal tally is Mexico, which got three
silvers mainly by courtesy of veteran Fernando Platas. The 28-year-
old was beaten into second by Chinese in both the individual and
the synchronized men's 3m springboard events, as he was at the
Sydney Olympics and the Fukuoka World Championships. Mexico also
ranked second in the men's team standings.
Ukraine took two silvers and a bronze to be the third, followed
by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with one silver and
Cuba got one silver and one bronze to place fifth, ahead of
Spain with one silver only.
Russia, Japan and Germany shared the seventh slot in the medal
tally, with two bronzes each. Hungary and the United States tied
for tenth, with one bronze each.
In the diving program which drew more than 90 divers from 25
countries and regions, the hosts China were simply unstoppable in
each and every diving event. They powered along through
preliminaries, semifinals and finals, leaving their rivals far
behind and gaping. Their matchless skills and breath-taking
elegance in the air filled not only the audience, but their rivals,
"They're excellent," Mexican veteran Fernando Platas said after
taking his second silver medal at the Universiade, in the men's
synchronized 3m springboard. He had earlier been denied gold in
the 3m individual event by China's Wang Tianling.
The Olympic and world championships silver medalist said he was
not disappointed. "It's always a pleasure to be able to compete
with such excellent divers. I'm happy to get the medal," he said.
Other divers also willingly admitted defeat. "Chinese divers
seem to be kind of in a different league," German Ditte Kotzian
said after finishing third in the women's synchronized 3m
springboard Wednesday. "Our performance here were all right. I
think we've done pretty well," she said of the only two bronzes
Germany managed to get.
Olympic bronze medalist Ukrainian Ganna Sorokina also praised
Chinese divers. "They are on a very high level. We tried to beat
them in all the competitions, but we didn't," she said.
"We hope to have better luck in the future," Sorokina said
after finishing second in the women's synchronized 3m springboard.
Ukrainian coach Tatyana Turova described China as "the best in
the world". "Everybody would have to work very hard to perform as
well as they do," she said.
Zhou Jihong, Chinese diving team manager, said China have done
pretty well at the Universiade. "We sent our best student divers
to the games, and their performances were not bad," she said after
the awarding ceremony of the team titles.
But she warned against complacency, saying there were still
room for improvement. "Some of our divers have not done well in
the competition. They made mistakes with some difficult dives.
This showed that we still need to work on that, to improve the
stability on difficult dives," she said.
She was referring to Wang Feng, who came fourth in the men's 3m
springboard final and Li Chengwei, who came fifth in the men's 10m
platform final. Li's fifth place was the worst showing of any one
Chinese diver at the Universiade.
While expressing satisfaction with his team's performance at
the games, Mexican coach Stefan Marinov spoke highly of China's
organization of the University Games. "Chinese divers are
excellent. China's organization of the games are also very good.
I want to congratulate China for its wonderful organization of the
games. The tournament is a success," he said. Enditem