Ishchenko clinches title

Chinese divers continue to dominate

in perfect sync: China’s Chen Ruolin (left) and Wang Xin  perform in the 10M platform synchronised diving in the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome on Sunday. AP

The judges rolled off a string of 9.9s after her sombre but controlled display and she splashed to the top of the standings with an overall score of 98.667.

The music was rather more classical than the Bruce Springsteen concert which took place next door the previous evening, but the girls more than matched the veteran rocker's famed dexterity.

With no performance-enhancing bodysuits in sight, the girls glided through the water in their colourful costumes with Spain's Gemma Mengual finishing second and Canada's Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon taking bronze.

The electronic scoring system broke down towards the end, causing confusion for competitors and fans already flustered by the intense Rome heat.

China continued their diving dominance on Sunday, but Russia's Julia Pakhalina showed they could be beaten when she surged to one-metre springboard gold.

The diminutive , the bronze medallist at the Melbourne Worlds two years ago, was first after the morning's elimination round and continued to wow a packed crowd in the final with her third dive out of five particularly impressive.

She finished with an overall score of 325.05 to leave China's Wu Minxia with a third one-metre springboard silver in five World Championships. Compatriot Wang Han took bronze.

"Wu is the best diver. She fights til the end and she never gives up. China are winning a lot but today it was my turn," the Russian told reporters at the sun-baked open air pool in Rome. The Chinese quickly recovered and Chen Ruolin and Xin Wang produced some sumptuous dives to easily seize gold in the women's 10-metre synchronised competition.
Their first dive of five prompted rave reviews from the judges and although they could not match their opener, silver medallists the United States and surprise bronze winners Malaysia did not come close to overhauling their score.

Chen had already taken silver in the individual competition on Saturday when Olympic champions Qin Kai and Wang Feng also retained their men's three-metre synchronised title.

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