BUDAPEST: China’s Xie Siyi burst into tears after winning the men’s 3m springboard gold at the world aquatic championships on Thursday as reigning Olympic champion Cao Yuan finished a lowly 10th.
Having won the 1m springboard title at the 2015 world championships in Kazan, Xie made a seamless transition to the higher height in Budapest to claim gold with 547.50 points.
Germany’s Patrick Hausding took silver with 526.16 while Ilia Zakharov of Russia finished third on 505.90 to pocket bronze.
Xie’s success was China’s seventh gold medal from the 10 diving events so far in Hungary as the Chinese continued their domination.
“I’m still really moved, I still feel really excited about winning this,” said Xie.
The 21-year-old Xie sobbed on his coach’s shoulder following his final dive after seizing the lead from compatriot Cao in the fourth round.
It was a shock defeat for the 22-year-old Cao, who led after the first three rounds until a disastrous fourth dive saw him slip back to sixth, from which he never recovered.
After Chinese divers failed to strike gold both on Wednesday, when Malaysia’s Cheong Jun Hoong won the women’s 10m platform final, and Tuesday as France won the team event, Xie was under pressure to get China back on top of the podium.
“In the previous few days, it felt like the team had been racing into the wind, we had a lot of pressure on ourselves,” he said.
“I tried not to over-think it, calm myself down and dive well.
“I was calm and focused and that was the result.”