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July 21, 2009

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Home » Sports » Swimming

Guo leads in 3m preliminaries

OVERWHELMING favorite Guo Jingjing has finished first by a large margin in the women's 3-meter springboard diving preliminaries at the world championships in Rome yesterday.

Guo totaled 377.55 points, Chinese teammate He Zi was second with 341.40 points and local favorite Tania Cagnotto of Italy was third with 321.90.

Guo has won the 3-meter springboard discipline at the last two Olympics and the last four worlds.

The top 18 finishers in the 31-woman field qualified for the semifinals later yesterday.

Earlier, Natalia Ishchenko of Russia successfully defended her gold medal in the solo tech event in synchronized swimming.

Ishchenko totaled 98.667 points for execution and overall impression. Gemma Mengual of Spain again took silver with 97.833 points and Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon of Canada was third with 96.000.

Ishchenko swam to the opera notes of Luciano Pavarotti's "Sadness," Mengual chose a soul piece with Otis Redding's "I Have Been Loving You," and Boudreau-Gagnon used a rock piece.

Separate medals

The solo free and tech events began standing alone for separate medals at the last worlds in Melbourne, Australia, two years ago, when Ishchenko and Mengual also placed 1-2. It is not an Olympic event.

"Everything worked well," Ishchenko said. "Now it's time to start preparing for the 2012 London Olympics."

The 32-year-old Mengual won two silvers at last year's Beijing Games, but isn't sure she'll make it to London.

"I haven't decided yet what I'll do in the future," Mengual said.

Boudreau-Gagnon won her first major medal. "It's really an honor for me to be on the podium with the best swimmers in the world," she said.

"These girls have always been an example for me. I used to watch them on video trying to reach their high level."

Late on Sunday, Olympic champions Chen Roulin and Wang Xin of China cruised to the gold medal in 10-meter synchronized diving.

Chen and Wang compiled 369.18 points, leading after all five rounds. Mary Beth Dunnichay and Haley Ishimatsu of the United States took the silver medal with 324.66 points, and Mun Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia were third with 321.66.


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