washingtonpost.com  > Sports > Leagues and Sports > Olympics > 2004

Li Du of China Wins Games' First Gold

Sunday, August 15, 2004; Page E17

No surprises here: China won the first two golds in what is expected to be a rather large haul of medals.

Tian Liang and Yang Jinghui took the men's synchronized 10-meter platform title, and Wu Minxia and Guo Jingjing won the women's synchronized three-meter springboard.


China's Wu Minxia, left, and Guo Jingjing find a springboard to Olympic glory. (Arko Datta -- Reuters)


_____Free E-mail Newsletters_____
• Redskins
• News Headlines
• News Alert

While other teams performed a better single round than the Chinese in both the men's and women's events, China was simply more consistent.

Tian and Yang won with a score of 383.88 points. Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor of Britain took the silver with 371.52, and Australia's reigning world champions Mathew Helm and Robert Newbery repeated their bronze medal from Sydney with 366.84.

Hitting the water at about 34 mph from the highest platform, the Chinese were first or second in each of their five dives, while the British pair started out with a fourth and a sixth before moving into contention in the later rounds.

Wu and Guo took their title by easily beating their only serious rivals -- the Russian team of Vera Ilina and Yulia Pakhalina -- with a score of 336.90 points.

Synchronized diving, in which two divers leap at the same time from adjacent boards, made its Olympic debut in Sydney, doubling the overall number of events in the sport from two to four. Nine judges -- two more than for individual diving -- are broken down into a group of four that inspects individual dives and five that review synchronization.


© 2004 The Washington Post Company