Having snapped up more than a third of all diving medals on at the London 2012 Olympics, China are obviously at the forefront of the world diving movement.
This is something that the nation’s been quick to promote at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, as the female duo of Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao progressed to the women’s 3-meter synchronised springboard at the head of the class.
Boasting an overall score of 334.20, the pair beat their nearest competition by more than 30 points, while the difference between the rest of the field and their fellow competitors was a lot tighter.
For example, the gap between Italy and Canada, second and third, respectively, was just two points. Furthermore, the difference between Australia, who came in fourth, and Japan, who came in 11th, was just 20 points.
From this, we can see that China, at least in this event, are miles ahead of their competition and fully deserving of any favourites tags they might have coming to the tournament.
While this may have just been the preliminary round, participants will still be giving their all in the pursuit of not only qualification, but, for some countries at least, the highest qualifying place possible.
Another piece of evidence pointing towards China’s rise to diving dominance is their sense of ambition. Wu and Shi saw four of their dives ranked as the best in the group, Italy being the only nation who managed to spoil them from getting a perfect five.
Wu is a survivor of the women’s 3-meter synchronised springboard team who won gold at the last Summer Olympics, too, and she is aware of the demands when it comes to living up to the expectations of others.
Coming from a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, it’s somewhat remarkable that other athletes from smaller countries feel they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Wu, now a three-time consecutive gold medal winner, winning at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, has the experience, but she has perhaps had her last say on the Olympic stage.
Regardless, the evidence is there to believe that a batch of new and upcoming divers and acrobats will fill in when needed, ready to assume the mantle of the world’s best.