China is back atop the standings at the diving pool.
Chen Ruolin led the women’s 10-meter platform preliminaries at the London Olympics on Wednesday,with the teenager trying to add a gold medal in the individual event to the one she won in platform synchro.
Chen totaled 392.35 points during five rounds. She is the defending champion in the individual event,and won both 10-meter titles four years ago in Beijing when she was 15.
China has won five of six diving golds so far in London,including the women’s 10-meter synchronized title claimed by Chen and Wang Hao. The country’s attempt to sweep all eight golds was spoiled when Ilya Zakharov of Russia won the men’s 3-meter springboard on Tuesday.
Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia was second at 349.00,followed by Christin Steuer of Germany in third at 341.75.
Steuer was in London as a reserve athlete and only got into the competition when teammate Nora Subshinski withdrew because of a neck injury.
When she wasn’t getting better,I just jumped in,” said Steuer,who found out at lunch Tuesday that she would get to compete in her third Olympics. The girls who are here for the first time must be nervous. I’m a bit more mature,that might be why I did a bit better.”
The top 18 advanced to the morning semifinal Thursday,with the final in the evening.
Katie Bell of the U.S. rallied from 24th to finish ninth.
I didn’t think I could get back in the game again,” she said. I calmed down a lot after those first two dives. I was able to do my last three dives like I do every day in practice.”
Bell’s teammate,Brittany Viola,was sixth after two rounds and qualified in 14th.
My nerves were OK,” she said. I greatly enjoyed myself. It’s so cool to be here.”
Viola was cheered on by her father Frank,a retired Major League Baseball pitcher who was MVP at the 1987 World Series for the Minnesota Twins.
Chen was second after her opening dive,then moved into first and stayed there the rest of the way.
I feel it’s all right,” she said,adding that she was not in control on her second and fourth dives. ”I just focus on my dives. I do not really notice the performances of others.”
Brittany Broben of Australia was fourth at 339.80. Her teammate,Melissa Wu,was fifth at 337.90.
Chen’s teammate,Hu Yadan,advanced in sixth. She missed her fourth dive when her legs smashed the water and she earned mostly 5.0s.
Both of North Korea’s divers made the semifinal. Kim Jin Ok was 15th and Kim Un Hyang grabbed the last spot in 18th.