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Chinese divers make strong start at world championships

Wang Feilong and Zhang Jiaqi celebrate with the gold medal. Photo: AFP

China began their bid for another clean sweep in diving at the world championships in Japan on Saturday, winning all three of the opening day’s medal events.

They won every diving gold at last year’s world championships in Budapest, and Wang Feilong and Zhang Jiaqi got them off to a successful start in Fukuoka with victory in the mixed 10m synchronised event.

Wang and Zhang scored 339.54 to finish ahead of Mexico’s Jose Balleza Isaias and Viviana del Angel Peniche on 313.44 and Japan’s Hiroki Ito and Minami Itahashi on 305.34.

“I am very honoured to be the first gold medallist in the Chinese team,” said Zhang.

“I want to encourage my teammates to follow and win gold medals as well.”

Lin Shan claimed China’s second gold later in the afternoon in the women’s 1m springboard.

Lin scored 318.60 to finish ahead of compatriot Li Yajie — the defending world champion — on 306.35. Mexico’s Aranza Vazquez Montano was third on 285.05.

In the day’s final medal event, Wang Zongyuan and Long Daoyi won the men’s 3m synchronised title.

The Chinese pair scored 456.33 to finish ahead of Britain’s Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding on 424.62 and France’s Jules Bouyer and Alexis Jandard on 389.10.

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