The Chinese national anthem ran on a continuous loop at the FINA Diving World Cup in Berlin. On Sunday, too, the top stars from China were unbeatable in both individual finals and thus completed the “sweep” in the individual and synchronized competitions – the Chinese won all eight Olympic disciplines in the sports metropolis. Only in the final team event was China not represented. The American team with Kristen Hayden, Katrina Young, Zachary Cooper and Tyler Downs took advantage of this opportunity and secured the gold medal with 375.80 points.
Just five points behind was the German quartet with Saskia Oettinghaus, Pauline Pfeif, Timo Barthel and Lou Massenberg in second place with 370.85. Overall, the divers of the German Swimming Federation (DSV) won four medals at this World Cup – three silver and one bronze – and thus ended up in third place in the medal table. “The atmosphere here in Berlin was great. I am very proud I was able to be a part of this World Cup and I hope that this new format is not a one time show and that we will have more chances to compete at home in the future”, Barthel drew a positive balance. Finally, bronze went to the Australian team (Brittany O’Brien, Nikita Hains, Lachlan Cronin, Jason Bowshire/356.65).
In the team competition, a maximum of four active participants per nation start, but at least one woman and one man. Then one man and one woman each compete in the jumps from the 3m board and the 3m mixed synchronized jumping, then it goes up to the platform for the individual jumps of both sexes and the 10m mixed synchronized jumping. “Of course, as a man, you have to take a step back. You have to jump with a little less power, I managed that quite well today,” said Massenberg, who took on both mixed jumps, explaining the special challenge.
Yang Jian unpacks the world’s most difficult jump in the 10m final
In the women’s 3m board final, Chang Yani (CHN), third at the World Championships, won with 363.75 points, putting world champion Chen Yiwen (CHN/346.95) in her place. The day before, both had already won the synchronized competition together and now also dominated the singles at will. Third-placed Sayaka Mikami (JPN) was almost 60 points behind the top duo with 287.05. Chang in particular showed a flawless performance again, whereas her compatriot Chen, like in the prelim, didn’t quite do the 3.5-somersault forward into the water, which was probably the deciding factor in the fight for gold and silver in the end. The two German starters, Saskia Oettinghaus (250.55) and Jana Lisa Rother (226.70), finished the final in eighth and eleventh place. The day before they had won silver together in the synchronized competition. “Unfortunately, there was a little lack of excitement today, but overall I can be very satisfied with my performance in this World Cup,” said Rother.
In the men’s 10m diving, the audience got to see the jump with the highest level of difficulty that is currently jumped at all: World champion Yang Jian finally showed the 4.5-fold somersault forward, for which he scored a whopping 92.75 points despite not being completely perfect got – one of a total of four 90-plus ratings for him. He won with 537.70 ahead of the second Chinese Yang Hao (472.20), who was the strongest in the prelim three days ago. The American Brandon Loschiavo secured bronze (350.75). Halle’s Timo Barthel finished sixth with 383.95 and once again jumped into the price money category this weekend. “I wanted to improve on the prelim, I did it. Today was only my fourth time back on the platform after the season break, so it was pretty decent,” he said. By the way, Barthel has been good friends with the winner Yang Jian for years and was therefore not only happy about his own medal in the team competition but also here with his colleague.