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China wins first 3 diving golds at worlds; Bacon gets silver

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China’s Cao Yuan and Xie Siyi perform in the men’s 3m synchro springboard final at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jin-man Lee)

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Xie Siyi and Cao Yuan won the men’s 3-meter springboard synchro on Saturday to complete a Chinese sweep of all three diving events on the opening day of the world championships.

Xie and Cao finished with 439.74 points, well ahead of the second-place pair of Jack Laugher of Britain, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics champion, and his new partner Daniel Goodfellow, who had 415.02. Juan Manuel Celaya Hernandez and Yahel Castillo Huerta of Mexico took the bronze with 413.94.

The results gave China, Britain and Mexico guaranteed spots in the same event at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Earlier, favorites Lian Junjie and Si Yajie of China easily won gold in the 10-meter platform mixed synchro and Chen Yiwen won the women’s 1-meter springboard, a non-Olympic event, with a total of 285.45 points.

The 1-meter springboard silver went to American Sarah Bacon with 262.00 and the bronze was earned by Suji Kim of South Korea with 257.20. The U.S. diver moved into the silver medal spot and ahead of Kim after her fifth and final dive. Katherine Torrance of Britain was fourth with 255.40.

Bacon will also compete in the 3-meter springboard, an Olympic event, next Friday.

Lian and Si finished with 346.14 points in the 10-meter mixed synchro. Ekaterina Beliaeva and Viktor Minibaev of Russia took the silver with 311.28 points, followed by the Mexican pair of Maria Jose Sanchez and Jose Balleza Isaias with 287.64.

Britain’s Robyn Birch and Noah Williams were a close fourth with 285.18, followed by Americans Olivia Rosendahl and Zachary Cooper with 267.96 points.

China won seven of the eight diving gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016 — four by its women and three from the men.

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