Sunday, March 16, 2008

Diving Update (Incl. Must Read Articles)

The 2008 FINA World Cup recently took place at the Water Cube in Beijing, also serving as the Olympic Test Event. As expected, China dominated, winning seven gold and four silver medals. China recorded the same medal tally at last year's World Championships. (The best finish China could possibly record would be eight gold and four silver)
What's the hiccup? Zhou Luxin, 19, finished second in men's platform at both the World Cup and the World Championships.
Russia's Gleb Galperin won the World Championships but sat out the World Cup due to injury. In his absence, Germany's Sascha Klein shocked many by upsetting Zhou for gold.
On the American front, the divers secured a maximum 12 Olympic spots by their performance, which included two bronze medal finishes. David Boudia won bronze in men's platform, while Ariel Rittenhouse and Kelci Bryant recorded the same result in the women's 3-meter synchro.
Former Olympic Champion Laura Wilkinson delivered the weakest performance by an American, finishing 12th out of 12 competitors in the women's platform finals. If history repeats itself, Wilkinson has nothing to worry about. Wilkinson finished 12th at the 2000 World Cup before winning Olympic Gold months later.
Texas' Harrison Jones may have finished 10th in men's platform, but he made history by being the first man to perform an inward 4 1/2 in international competition. Jones is also the first man to perform a diver with a degree of difficulty greater than 4.0. (The inward 4 1/2 has a DD of 4.1)
Guo Jinging garnered headlines in China after the competition, but it wasn't for being upset by teammate (and synchro partner) Wu Minxia in the women's 3-meter springboard competition. Guo was widely criticized for "snubbing" the press and demonstrating "divalike behavior." Guo also attracted attention for referring to her "fat Canadian competitor," but publicists are claiming that isn't necessarily an insult in Chinese culture.

Required Reading:
Guo's Divalike Behavior

Decide for yourself if "fat" was meant to be insulting.

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