It's time to dive and splash! Competition in the FINA/NVC Diving World Series Dubai started in style with the hotly contested semi-finals of the mens and womens 10m platform delivering world class action as the divers battled it out for a place in the finals.
The men’s first semi-final provided world class entertainment with world champion Qiu Bo up against Olympic champion David Boudia. Boudia’s first dive scored 90.00 and put him in the lead, but Qiu took over from round 2 and showed exactly why he is world champion, scoring the second perfect ten of the competition from one of the judges and registering a massive 96.90 for his 307C reverse 3 1/2 somersault tuck. Qiu then scored another huge 96.90 for his 5156B front 2 1/2 with 3 twists to finish with 542.10, 48.70 points ahead of Boudia on 493. 40.
Italy’s Francesco Dell’Uomo moved into third in round 2 but could not hold off Russia’s Victor Minibaev, who pulled ahead to finish with 468.35 ahead of Dell’Uomo’s 430.45. Great Britain’s Daniel Goodfellow struggled with clean entries and finished with 308.70.
The second men’s semi-final saw the appearance of Olympic bronze medallist and crowd favourite Tom Daley of Great Britain and world championships bronze medallist Sascha Klein of Germany.
Daley delighted the crowds with a brilliant start, posting 91.00 for 626B armstand back triple somersault. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Bondar took the lead in round two, only to see Daley take it back in the next round and hold it from then on. Daley scored a spectacular 97.20 for his 207B back 3.5 somersaults pike in round 5, before posting a 91.80 with his last dive to finish in first place with 516.85, 34.65 ahead of Bondar on 482.20. Klein’s performance was a little erratic, but he managed to secure the third finals spot with 429.50. Italy’s Maicol Verzotto finished fourth with 375.10, missing the final.
In the women’s first semi-final the Olympic bronze medallist, Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg took the lead from the outset, with Canada’s Roseline Filion hot on her heels. By round four Filion had taken over the top spot and she finished with 348.55, 11.30 points ahead of Pamg on 337.25. Mexico’s Alejandra Orozco and Germany’s Maria Kurjo battled it out for the last of the three qualification places in the final, with Kurjo just ahead by round three. In round four Orozco moved into third, but missed her entry on her last dive, costing her a place in the final as Kurjo finished just 2.6 points ahead with 305.55 to Orozco’s 302.95.
In the second semi-final the final result was more predictable, with China’s Liu Huixia in the lead for the entire competition, finishing with 395.40. Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito moved into second place by round three and finished 22.70 points behind Liu with 372.70.
World championship bronze medallist Yulia Prokopchuk of Ukraine had been in second but registered low scores for her third and fourth dive, and dropped back to fourth, missing the final.
Great Britain’s Sarah Barrow took the third spot in the final with 334.90, but team mate Tonia Couch was unsteady on all her dives and finished in fifth with 302.00.
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