Huo Liang wins third synchro platform diving gold

Shanghai: China`s Huo Liang clinched his third successive world title in the men`s 10 metres synchronised diving on Sunday, combining with new partner Qiu Bo to give the hosts their second gold medal of the world swimming championships.

Huo and Qiu ran away with the title on 480.03 points, Germany`s Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein finished second on 443.01 and Ukraine`s Oleksander Gorshkovozov and Oleksander Bondar were third on 435.36.

The 21-year-old Huo, the first man to win three world titles in the synchronised platform event, had won his previous two championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Lin Yue, and had only started training with Qiu two months ago after Lin was forced out with injury.

Despite dominating the competition, however, neither are certain they will still be together at the London Olympics next year, sidestepping questions about their future after being presented with their medals by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

"We don`t know yet, that will depend on the (team) leaders` arrangements," Qiu told reporters through an interpreter.

Huo said after qualifying that he had been nervous in his first competition with Qiu and that they had lacked a little in their synchronisation.

Those problems did not appear to make any difference in the final as the pair produced a series of high quality dives, while their nearest challengers -- especially the American duo David Boudia and Nick McCrory -- faltered as they attempted more difficult dives in the final rounds.

The Chinese pair, who had a 30-point lead heading into the final round, stamped their class on the event with their final dive, scoring 98.28 points from a twisting back, two and half somersault with two and half twists dive.

"I have not worked with Qui for that long and we are both very happy to have achieved such a performance," Huo said.

Britain`s Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield finished sixth on 407.46 points. Waterfield had been battling illness before the competition.

"This was a tough week," Daley told reporters. "The London (Olympics) are going to be incredible and this competition is very valuable to us.

"There are still a couple of things we need to work on."

Bureau Report

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