Diving: Klein and Hausding take gold to halt China

German pair Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding won the gold medal in the men’s synchronized 10-metre platform in Barcelona yesterday, bringing an end to China’s run of three consecutive titles at the swimming world championships.

Luisa Jimenez of Puerto Rico takes to the air during the womens onemetre springboard preliminary as yesterdays action in Barcelona unfolded. Picture: Reuters

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 awesome,” said Hausding. “I was dreaming about being a world champion all my diving life and today it finally happened.”

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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 Also in diving yesterday, China’s He Zi led qualification for the women’s one-metre springboard.

He, who won gold in the women’s 1m springboard at the age of 16 at the 2007 worlds, collected the highest score for tomorrow’s final through five dives for a total of 287.70 points. She was followed by Italy’s Tania Cagnotto with 284.85 points.

Today sees the start of the open water swimming, which will feature Daniel Fogg.

Amidst the recriminations of London, Fogg exceeded all his expectations. Softly spoken and with no desire for the limelight, the Loughborough swimmer made a nonsense of his rankings in both the 10km open water and 1,500m freestyle, finishing fifth and eighth respectively.

For a number of British swimmers, the Olympics were a severe disappointment but not so for the 25-year-old, although his open water effort at the Serpentine made few ripples coming a day after favourite Keri-anne Payne had been edged out of the medals in the women’s race.

He said: “It surpassed anything I imagined – I had no right in making the 1,500 final on paper. I was extremely pleased with that – and going hard in the heat and hard in the final. I surpassed my expectations in the pool but I didn’t have the belief I could win a medal in the open water.

“I was lacking confidence from the World Championships in Shanghai so to come out fifth was pretty good – especially considering I was 22nd with two laps to go and turned it round.”
Fifth place gave Fogg an injection of confidence, further augmented when he won his maiden World Cup title in Mexico in April against a 75-strong field missing only Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli among his main 
rivals. Now Fogg will go into today’s race at the World Championships as a real medal contender alongside Loughborough team-mate Jack Burnell.

The race will start at midday, later than last month’s test event won by Payne, when the glare of the lower-
lying sun off the water was dazzling.

The open water has been the subject of scrutiny since the tragic death of Fran Crippen in 2010 in the warm water of the United Arab Emirates.

At the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai a number of swimmers either scratched from the 25km races or were fished out of the water. Earlier this week FINA set an upper limit of 
31 degrees celsius only for the United States to counter with a recommendation to their swimmers not to compete in water above 29.45 degrees. Should the athlete still choose to participate, USA Swimming would ask them to sign a waiver and release.

While the water in Barcelona is in the mid-20s celsius, the 10km events are set to start at midday. Renshaw said: “I have absolutely no idea [why it is starting then] – it’s a strange time. It’s not like it was in Shanghai but it is going to be hot, a 12 o’clock race start is not normal. Usually we deal with 9am but.. .it won’t affect them.”

A searingly-hot sun, a challenging course and flying elbows from his rivals is all part and parcel of the event for Fogg, who will also take on the 800m and 1,500m freestyle in the pool.