China, Russia grab golds again in diving, synchro at worlds

BY AP • July 21, 2017

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Olympic champion Shi Tingmao led a China 1-2 in the women's 3-meter springboard competition at the world championships on Friday.

Shi, the defending champion, won comfortably ahead of Wang Han to claim China's ninth straight gold in this event, and its seventh in 11 diving events in Budapest so far. The last two diving finals are scheduled for Saturday.

Shi also won on Monday with Chang Yani in the 3-meter springboard synchronized dive.

''I need to work harder in order to achieve a higher score and win more gold medals,'' Shi said.

Chinese divers have won 20 of the last 21 Olympic and world titles in women's 3-meter springboard since 1986.

Canada's Jennifer Abel finished third for her second bronze in 3-meter springboard at a worlds. In 2011, Abel finished behind two Chinese divers, too.

''This world championships has a big value for me, because it was my time to turn the page from the Olympic Games, and I did it really good,'' said Abel, who was fourth in Rio last year. ''I'm really going to leave Budapest with a smile.''

Earlier, Russia again showed its class in synchronized swimming, taking the women's team free title for its sixth gold from seven competitions.

The only slip-up was a silver behind Italy in mixed duet technical, a relatively new, non-Olympic event in which men are allowed to compete.

But Russia has won each of six editions of the team free at the worlds.

Vlada Chigireva, Maria Shurochkina, Veronika Kalinina, Maryna Goliadkina, Daria Bayandina, Anastasia Bayandina, Darina Valitova and Polina Komar were awarded a huge 97.3000 points for another almost perfect routine.

''The world championships provide us a great opportunity to be together and unite,'' said Shurochkina, who, along with Chigireva, claimed her third consecutive world title in the event.

China was second, and Ukraine third.

In open water swimming on Lake Balaton, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Budapest, Axel Reymond was the first of the 44 finishers in the 25 kilometer races. Swimming for more than five hours, the Frenchman beat Matteo Furlan of Italy by only six tenths of a second to win the men's title.

''When there are 200 meters left, all you think about is touching the board,'' Reymond told The Associated Press.

Defending champion Ana Marcela Cunha won the women's race for her third world title.

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