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Debutant Wang Zongyuan takes men’s 1m springboard gold at Gwangju worlds

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 14 (Xinhua) — Chinese teenager Wang Zongyuan made a perfect debut at the 18th FINA World Swimming Championships, coming back from behind to take the men’s 1m springboard title here on Sunday.

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Wang, pace setter in the heat, suffered a rusty start in the 1m springboard final with a tied third place in his first dive, 5th in the second and down to 7th in the third dive.

The 18-year-old Wang finally found his correct form in the fourth round and moved up to the second. He led the last two dives, collecting a total of 440.25 points for the gold medal.

“I was in a fog and got lost in the first half of the competition. Then I started to realize I should calm down and find out my normal form. My coach also encouraged me to be focused on the technical details. I was happy with gold medal at the end. I hope I could compete the Olympic Games some day,” Wang said.

Mexican veteran Rommel Pacheco Marrufo and defending champion Peng Jianfeng of China both did the same feat as they surged from behind to win the silver on 420.15 and bronze on 415.00 respectively.

Pacheco Marrufo revealed he just celebrated his 33-year-old birthday two days ago.

“It was my eighth World Championships and a silver medal was the best birthday gift. I did not train much in the 1m springboard, so my Degree of Difficulty was lower than most of the divers. I tried to dive as good as possible and waited until the last dive,” said the Mexican diving star.

Peng was disappointed in his own performance. “I could not believe that I was not me today. I did much worse in the final than I usually did during training. But a bronze at last was a comfort to me, “Peng said.

Local favorite Haram Woo failed to win a medal for the hosts as he scored 406.15 for a fourth place finish.

Women’s 10m synchro final will be held later in the evening as the Chinese pair Zhang Jiaqi/Lu Wei topped the heat.

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