BARCELONA, Spain — German pair Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding won the gold medal in the men’s synchronized 10-metre platform on Sunday, bringing an end to China’s run of three consecutive titles at the swimming world championships.
The silver medallists from the 2011 worlds and 2008 Olympics proved to be the most consistent twosome through all six rounds to win the tightly contested final with a score of 461.46 points.
Russian duo Victor Minibaev and Artem Chesakov took silver with 445.95, while Olympic champions Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan of China had to settle for bronze with 445.56.
"It feels just awesome to be here right now," said Hausding. "I was dreaming about being a world champion all my diving life and today it finally happened. Nobody can take that away from me.
"It’s just positive feelings and positive motivation for the next two or three years until the Rio (de Janeiro Olympics)".
Germany may not have pulled off the most spectacular dives, but they avoided the slips-ups that cost their main rivals the gold and took full advantage of their opportunities when China and Mexico both apparently let the moment get the best of them.
China was favoured to maintain its dominance of an event in which it had won at the past three Olympics as well as the last three worlds.
But a poor performance by Cao and Zhang left them playing catch-up to finish third on the winners’ stand, meaning the Asian country has now won medals in this event in all eight editions since its inclusion at the 1998 worlds.
Hausding said he would "be lying" to say that beating the Chinese wasn’t an "upset."
"Of course it is good for us to have beaten the Chinese, but nevertheless everyone was very strong, the Russians, the Cubans," he said.
China led early but a poor effort on its third dive cost it the lead to the resurgent Mexican pair of German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia, who finished second behind them at the 2012 London Games.
Then it was Mexico’s turn to fail to execute a reverse tuck with 3 1/2 somersaults in the fifth and penultimate round. Sanchez and Garcia finished fourth in front of the surprisingly strong Cuba pair of Jose Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre
Klein and Hausding then a reverse pike with 3 1/2 somersaults in the final round. But they could only celebrate after China’s final dive, worth 99.36 points, was not enough to overtake them or the Russians.
Also in diving on Sunday, China’s He Zi led qualification for the women’s 1-metre springboard.
He, who won gold in the women’s 1-metre springboard at the age of 16 at the 2007 worlds, collected the highest score for Tuesday’s final through five dives for a total of 287.70 points. She was followed by Italy’s Tania Cagnotto with 284.85 points.
Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., was sixth.
Ware, a bronze medallist Saturday on three-metre synchro with Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., totaled 261.45. She delivered a solid performance except for her fourth dive in which she he hit her hand on the board attempting a reverse two and half.
"That one scared me a bit but it’s a dive I know I can do well," said Ware, who was not injured. "My take off was very good so I’m hopeful I can climb up in the standings if I do it better in the final. I’m not surprised to do this well on one-metre, it’s very similar to my three-metre except adapted for the lower board."