Saskia Oettinghaus and Jana Lisa Rother take silver – China’s aces dominate once more at the FINA Diving World Cup

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The Chinese diving team continued its success story at the FINA Diving World Cup in Berlin and won all three finals on Saturday. But also the athletes of the German Swimming Federation (DSV) had reason to cheer again. The 3m synchronized pair with Saskia Oettinghaus and Jana Lisa Rother started the day with a strong performance and 272.94 points and deservedly won the silver medal. The German duo was only outperformed by the reigning world champions Chang Yani and Chen Yiwen from China, who dominated once again with 330.03 points. The bronze medal went to Brooke Schultz and Kristen Hayden (USA/257.97).

“We did everything we could. If someone had told us that we would win second place, I wouldn’t have believed it, so we are super satisfied,” Oettinghaus said. The German pair was also not impressed by the fact that they had to dive right after the strong Chinese women. “I didn’t pay attention to that and just did my thing,” Oettinghaus said.

Her partner Rother, who is from Berlin, was excited about the atmosphere in the sold-out stands: “We don’t have such a great atmosphere often, there have never been so many family members and friends in the stands as this time. It’s a nice feeling when everyone is cheering us along – and even nicer when you can celebrate together, too.” On Sunday, she and Oettinghaus will also jump in the individual final from the 3m springboard. “There we can jump even more confidently after having achieved everything we could have dreamed of. We will enjoy this a lot,” she explained.

The German men were also on course for a medal in the 3m synchronized competition for a long time, but after they unfortunately missed the reverse somersault in the penultimate round, it ended up being fifth place for Timo Barthel and Alexander Lube with 344.61 points. Less than five points were missing for a podium place. “We are satisfied, but would have been happy about more after the good jump-in. The synchronicity was right, it was really down to the individual jumps,” Lube said. “But I chalk up the weekend as an important experience, so that I can then call up my potential even better to the point in the future.” The pair had only been reassembled at short notice. At this year’s World Championships Barthel had jumped together with Lars Rüdiger and had won bronze there, but the Berliner is not yet ready for the competition again after an injury.

World Cup winners of the day were the Chinese world champions Wang Zongyuan and Cao Yuan with 442.68 points despite a small mistake on the third jump, which in the end remained only a one-time slip. In the following attempts they received more than 83 points each time, in the final 4.5 forward somersault they even came close to the magic 100-point mark with almost 97 points. Silver went to Tyler Downs and Gregory Duncan (USA/354.00), bronze to Li Shixin and Lachlan Cronin (AUS/349.41).

Chinese platform duo demonstrates world class

The women’s 10m competition was the only individual final of the day, where the complete podium from Budapest was assembled with World Champion Chen Yuxi (CHN), Olympic Champion Quan Hongchan (CHN) and World Championship bronze medalist Pandelela Pamg (MAS). The two Chinese also proved their quality in Berlin and made the judges give a perfect 10.0 time and again.

After a high-class competition Chen won with 449.85 points against her compatriot, who did not disappoint at all with 430.45 points and also made the numerous Chinese fans in the SSE arena applaud. The bronze medal was won by Nike Agunbiade (USA/298.70), behind her Berlin-based Pauline Pfeif finished a good fourth with 263.45 at her home facility.


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