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China wins 1st gold medal of world championships
Divers Wu, He win China's 1st gold medal of world championships
By The Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) ' China won the first gold medal of the world championships, with divers Wu Minxia and He Zi claiming the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard title.

Wu and He led after each round of the five-dive final, totaling 356.40 points on Saturday night in front of partisan Chinese fans who endured wilting humidity at the Oriental Sports Center's outdoor pool.

Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel of Canada took the silver with 313.50. Australia's Anabelle Smith and Sharleen Stratton earned the bronze with 306.90.



Americans Christina Loukas and Kassidy Cook finished seventh.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SHANGHAI (AP) ' Cheered on by her hometown fans, diver Wu Minxia and partner He Zi put China in position to win its first gold medal of the world championships after taking the lead in the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard preliminaries on Saturday.

Wu and He led after each of the five rounds and totaled 324.90 points. They received the loudest cheers from the mostly Chinese fans who withstood oppressive humidity to watch the outdoor competition on the opening day of the world meet at the Oriental Sports Center.

Anna Pysmenska and Olena Fedorova of Ukraine were second with 291.90 points and Italians Francesca Dallape and Tania Cagnotto were third with 288.30.

Svetlana Philippova and Anastasia Pozdniakova of Russia were fourth. Australians Anabelle Smith and Sharleen Stratton were fifth.

Americans Christina Loukas and Kassidy Cook tied for sixth with Germany at 276.90.

The top 12 teams advanced to the final later Saturday.

Chinese men finished 1-2 in men's 1-meter springboard qualifying, with 12 divers advancing to Monday's final in the non-Olympic event. Li Shixin was first with 438.00 points, followed by countryman He Min, who was 5.05 points behind. Javier Illana Garcia of Spain was third. American Chris Colwill was fifth and teammate Aaron Fleshner ninth.

Wu is pairing with He since her superstar teammate Guo Jingjing retired in January with six Olympic medals and 10 world titles. If Wu and He win, it would be Wu's fifth gold in the 3-meter synchro event, tying her with Guo with whom she won four times.

"Competing at home doesn't feel much different from previous worlds because this is my sixth world championships. The only difference is I have a new partner," said Wu, who is from Shanghai.

"I feel very, very confident. This morning's performance was OK and now we just want to get some rest and concentrate on performing well tonight."

He is competing on an injured leg, having hurt it in training last week, which cost her two days out of the pool.

In the synchronized events, the top three finishers, along with Britain as the host nation, will earn a spot for their country at next year's London Olympics.


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