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13-year-old diver Chen takes victory for China

July 19,2019
Chen Yuxi of China won the women’s 10 meter platform diving event at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center on Wednesday.

Having topped the preliminary and the semifinals, Chen once again got off to a great start by receiving 76.50 points in her first dive, good enough to be ranked first. Then, Chen excelled in her third and fourth dive, receiving high scores of 94.05 points.

By receiving a total of 439 points, Chen dominated the women’s 10 meter platform, finishing a good 61.20 points ahead of the silver-medalist.

“Everybody told me to relax before the final, but I still could hear my heart beat,” Chen told FINA. “I was shaky in the first two dives and then I felt better and better. I thought about challenging myself and reaching 440 plus. I did my best and I was excited to be the champion on the podium.”

At age 13, Chen won her first gold at the world championships. Chen’s achievement is beyond impressive as she also only joined the national team at the end of last year.

“I entered the national team at the end of last year,” Chen told FINA. “The biggest difference of the national team and provincial team was the quality and training time. I trained longer and much harder than before. I had a secret wish - to be the surprising winner in Gwangju, and I did it.”

With Chen’s gold, China continued their golden streak in diving at this year’s World Championships.

Although China is the powerhouse in diving, they haven’t won gold in the women’s 10 meter platform for a while. Chen’s gold was the first time since Si Yajie during the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona that China took gold in the event.

Lu Wei of China came in second by receiving 377.80 points followed by Delaney Schnell of the United States in third place with 364.20 points.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]