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Guo, Wu retain title, Jiang twins take bronze

CHINA'S Olympic champions Guo Jinjing and Wu Minxia led from start to finish to retain their women's synchronized 3-meter springboard diving title at the world championships in Rome yesterday.

Guo and Wu produced a polished performance to pile up 348.00 points from their five dives. Italy's Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape delighted the home crowd by taking a surprise silver medal with a score of 329.70.

The Russian pair of Julia Pakhalina, who won the 1m springboard gold on Sunday, and Anastasia Pozdniakova recovered from a botched fourth dive to claim bronze.

Guo, who has won more Olympic golds than any other female diver, had already secured her fifth successive individual 3m springboard world title on Tuesday.

China's sixth diving victory here helps reassert its dominance in the event after talks of a 'crisis' earlier when it missed out on three gold medals early on. China won all but one of the eight golds up for grabs at the Beijing Olympics last year.

Huo Liang and Lin Yue also dominated the preliminaries in the men's 10m synchronized diving. The duo received the highest marks in five of the six rounds and totaled 480.06 points.

Patrick Hausding and Sasha Klein of Germany were far behind in second with 447.24, while Cuba's Jose Antonio Guerra Oliva and Jeinkler Ernesto Aguirre Mano took third at 427.38, just ahead of David Boudia and Thomas Finchum of United States with 426.54.

The finals are today, the final diving event of the championships before the focus turns to swimming.

The Chinese also picked up a bronze medal in women's synchronized swimming.

The Russians kept up their domination in the event with Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina snatching gold in duet free yesterday.

The duo received a total score of 98.833 -- all 9.9s for technical merit, 9.8s and 9.9s for artistic impression -- after performing to a composite of tunes dubbed "Secret Agents," even pointing their fingers as if holding guns at one point in the routine.

The Spanish team of Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes took the silver with a 98.333, while China's Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen settled for bronze with 97.000. The bronze medalists are twins, which sure helps in synchronized swimming.

"There are figures that only we, as twins, are able to perform," Jiang Wenwen said. "This is because our legs are equally long."

The Russians have won five of six events at the synchro pool -- every one they've entered. They'll also be heavy favorites in the final event, team free.

"We have been training for eight months," Romashina said. "We didn't select this kind of music for a particular reason. We just wanted to add a new style to our performance."

Mengual, who complained about the scoring when she finished behind Ishchenko in solo free, thought the judges were right on the mark in duet. Spain trailed the Russian by a much larger margin during the preliminaries.

"Compared to yesterday's performance, we corrected a few things and this was appreciated," Mengual said. "I believe this time we have been evaluated correctly and the final score reflects the level of our performance."


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