China is using its home advantage to full effect at the world championships, winning its second gold medal in diving on Sunday.
Qiu Bo and Huo Liang dominated the men’s 10-meter synchronized event, earning eight perfect 10s while totaling 480.03 points during the six-dive final.
It was Huo’s third consecutive victory in the event at the worlds, having teamed with a different partner to win two years ago in Rome and in 2007 at Melbourne.
“I am happy to win the title because we work very hard,” said Huo, the 2008 Olympic champion in the event with Lin Yue, who is injured.
Huo and Qiu have trained together for just two months. The Chinese team originally planned to send the duo of Zhang Yanquan and Cao Yuan, but Zhang was injured before worlds.
Germany’s Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein earned the silver with 443.01.
Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Oleksandr Bondar of Ukraine took the bronze with 435.36. They earned the only other 10 of the competition for their inward 3 1/2 somersault.
China won the first gold medal awarded at the championships on Saturday, when Wu Minxia and He Zi claimed the women’s 3-meter synchro event.
China’s golden haul could continue on Monday and Tuesday because the country has the leading qualifiers for the men’s and women’s 1-meter springboard finals.
“They are like the table tennis players, they don’t make any mistakes,” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge told The Associated Press about the Chinese.
Rogge attended the event with FINA president Julio Maglione on a humid night at the outdoor pool, and Rogge helped present some of the medals. One of China’s star divers, Guo Jingjing, who retired in January, was on hand.
Qiu and Huo, who is from Shanghai, had the partisan fans cheering loudly on their second dive, a reverse that earned them five 10s — three for execution and two for synchronization.
They added another 10 on their next dive, then finished off the performance with two 10s on a backward 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists.
“The opponents are all hard to beat, but we just think about our performance,” Huo said. “The coach told us that the only opponent is ourselves and that if you can focus you win the title.”
Peter Waterfield and Tom Daley, the 10-meter champions in Rome, finished sixth, but Britain is assured of a spot in the synchronized events as the host nation at next year’s London Olympics.
The 17-year-old Daley’s training has been affected by the death of his father in late May, while Waterfield arrived for the meet from the team’s training camp in Xian with flu-like symptoms.
“This is a tough week,” Daley said. “The world championships is very valuable to us to be well prepared for the London Games. There are still lots of things we need to work on. London is going to be incredible.”