China wins 7th gold to wrap up diving

Jul 25, 2009 - 2:09 PM By PAUL NEWBERRY AP National Writer

ROME(AP) -- Huo Liang and Lin Yue gave China its seventh diving gold medal of the world championships, cruising to an easy win in men's 10-meter synchro Saturday.

The Chinese duo led through all six rounds and finished with 482.58 points. The real race was for the silver.

David Boudia and Thomas Finchum of the United States nabbed the runner-up spot with 456.84, edging Cuba's Jose Antonio Guerra Oliva and Jeinkler Ernesto Aguirre Manso, who took bronze with 456.60.

Germany's Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein just missed a medal. They finished fourth with 455.76, a mere 1.08 points separating the next three teams behind China.

"Before the last dive, I could see my heart beating," Finchum said. "I was like, 'Uh, oh, this is going to be close."'

No one's close to China.

The world's diving superpower showed no signs of letting up with seven gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the 10 diving events - nearly more than every other nation combined and just two shy of the maximum it could earn. Two fourth-place finishes were the only thing that kept the China from putting all its divers on the medal stand.

"We had a great team here," Lin said. "We were working well even after Beijing," where the home team took seven of eight golds at the last Olympics.

Huo and Lin had the top-scoring dive in four rounds, the second-highest in the other two. No one else was even close to the precision and synchronization of the Chinese, who looked like mirror images as they twisted and spun toward the water. They earned at least one perfect 10 on three of their dives.

"We work well together," Lin said. "But we still think we can do better."

So does the United States, trying to rebuild after failing to win a medal at the last two Olympics. The Americans grabbed four silvers in Rome, ranking second in the medals standings for their best showing at worlds since 1991, when they also captured four.

The U.S. showed a big improvement on the last worlds at Melbourne, where it was limited to a single bronze.

"We're excited to get USA Diving back on the map," Boudia said. "I hope this isn't the end of the medal winning."

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