TOKYO: Even with a mistake that led to their lowest scoring dive, Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi couldn’t be caught.
The Chinese led all the way in winning men’s the 3m synchronised springboard yesterday, giving the diving powerhouse their third gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics.
Zongyuan and Siyi finished with 467.82 points in their Olympic debuts. They hugged each other and their coaches, and shed tears in celebration.
“We were really feeling relieved,” Zongyuan said through a translator.
“Three hours ago, I was an unknown athlete. Now I can say I’m a winner of the Olympics.”
Zongyuan, who is 19, views the 25-year-old Siyi as a big brother.
“He has experience, he’s very steady, always very calm, self-controlled,” Zongyuan said.
Siyi said of his partner: “He’s willing to learn and he’s a fast learner.”
Zongyuan and Siyi gave China a gold medal in the only event they did not win five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
The Chinese earned seven golds at the 2016 Games.
The United States earned their second diving medal in Tokyo.
Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon finished second with 444.36 points. It’s the same colour medal that Hixon won five years ago in Rio de Janeiro with a different partner. American teammates Delaney Schnell and Jessica Parratto finished second in women’s 10m synchro on Tuesday.
Capobianco and Hixon took turns hanging their medals around each other’s necks on the podium. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many changes at the Games.
“There’s always silver linings around Covid-19,” Hixon said. “Maybe that’s one of them.”
The Americans kept up their synchronicity during the medals ceremony, turning left and right together before receiving their prizes on a tray.
“Just to make sure we looked good,” Hixon said.
Patrick Hausding and Lars Rudiger of Germany rallied from sixth to take bronze with 404.73 points. It was Hausding’s third Olympic medal – most by a German diver – after winning silver in 10m synchro in 2008 and bronze in individual springboard in 2016.
The Chinese claimed three of the four synchro diving medals. — AP