Performing on home soil in Shanghai will add to China’s top divers’ motivation when the world aquatics championships open this weekend in Shanghai.
The Chinese team has long dominated the diving portion of the worlds, winning 14 medals in Rome in 2009, including seven out of 10 golds. But in recent years, the marquee swimming events have tended to be showdowns between the American, Australian and European teams, with China lagging behind.
With the worlds in China for the first time, Chinese swimmers are expected to fare much better. The United States and China each won 29 medals overall in Rome, including 11 golds.
“We have conducted very systematic practices and exercises and the whole team is in very high spirits,” said He Chong, the defending champion in the men’s 3-metre springboard. “I am confident I’ll be able to defend my championship in the 3-metre springboard. I want to give a wonderful performance for all of my supporters.”
Teammate Huo Liang, the reigning Olympic and world champion in the men’s 10-metre synchro with partner Lin Yue, is also hoping for a good showing, particularly given he is from Shanghai.
“I’m very happy to compete in my hometown,” Huo said Tuesday. “It inspires my motivation.”