x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Media call for revival as China lose golds in two events

Chinese media have ridiculed the country's divers after they failed to dominate the medal positions at the World Championships in Rome.

Chinese media have ridiculed the country's divers after they failed to dominate the medal positions at the World Championships in Rome. The planet's most populous nation has a proud tradition in diving, having won nine of 10 titles - including all five women's events - in this competition two years ago. Chinese divers also claimed seven of eight available golds in last year's Beijing Games to confirm their credentials.

However, Chinese star Wu Minxia's defeat to Russian Julia Pakhalina in the 1m springboard - coupled with Mexican Paola Espinosa's triumph from the 10 metre platform - has provoked widespread public anger. With Chinese media driving the hysteria with 'Crisis!' headlines and descriptions of Wu's defeat as "just the start of the decline in women's diving," the athlete herself did little to quell the darkening storm.

"Our rivals are catching up and I think we don't have a lot of advantages now," said the two-time Olympic champion. We must learn from this defeat and train harder in the future. All the divers from other countries are learning our skills." Despite losing two of their precious pool medals, all is not lost for China. They have already taken three titles in Rome and their best diver - Olympic winner and world champion Guo Jingjing - is expected to win the women's 3m springboard individual and synchronised golds, the latter with Wu.

emegson@thenational.ae