Duque, the King in Barcelona, Treble for Franklin

Barcelona – Spain, Aug 01, 2013: He was already the most iconic athlete in High Diving. His successes at the Cliff Diving World Series, his charisma and his experience (38 years old) had made Orlando Duque, from Colombia, a symbol of this thrilling and challenging discipline. Today, in the port of Barcelona (ESP) he officially became the first men’s world champion in High Diving, after a brilliant final, in which he was able to mix technique, steadiness and harmony in all three dives he performed. Moreover, he also won the first title ever for Colombia in the history of the FINA World Championships. Duque, literally meaning Duke, was this time King in Barcelona!

In the end of the two-day competition – the first two dives for each of the 13 participating athletes in this première were executed on July 29 -, the Colombian star concluded in 590.20, a mere 0.90 points ahead of silver medallist, Gary Hunt, from Great Britain. Hunt, 10 years young than Duque, was the fourth after Monday’s preliminaries, but two very solid dives (DD 3.8 and 6.3!) allowed him to gain the leadership after the fourth round. But a less successful last combination (DD 5.6) dictated his second place. The bronze went to Jonathan Paredes, the 23-year-old athlete from Mexico, who was also third after the first session of heats.

Duque has been competing in this sport for the last 15 years, and was the man to beat in this final, but Hunt, the winner of the World Series in the last three years had also the eyes at the first official world title in High Diving. Presenting the most difficult dives of the final – notably the above mentioned 6.3, an impressive three somersaults and four twists, the highest possible DD in diving -, the British star is known for pushing always further the boundaries of difficulty in the sport he loves.

Paredes is the rookie of the company. At 23, the Mexican diver is evolving very fast and has demonstrated in the past two years that the fear of the height is now just a bad memory.

Treble for Franklin, Phelps inheritance for Le Clos

Missy Franklin (USA) bagged her third Barcelona gold and Chad le Clos (RSA) claimed one more global title that had belonged to Michael Phelps on Day 4 of swimming at the FINA World Championships. Yang Sun (CHN), furthering his quest for a distance freestyle treble, added the 800m crown to the 400m title he won on Day 1, while Cameron van der Burgh made it double gold on the day for South Africa with victory in the men’s 50m breaststroke.

Franklin, golds in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m freestyle relay already in her possession, beat defending champion Federica Pellegrini (ITA) in the 200m freestyle. She seized the lead from Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) on the second length and won in 1:54.81, with Pellegrini charging through the field to claim silver in 1:55.14 and Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72. World record holder Pellegrini, Olympic champion in 2008, said she had had a difficult year and the result was very encouraging for the future. “I’m really surprised with the silver medal,” she said.

Le Clos (RSA), who beat Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics, inherited the great man’s world crown in the same event, the American having won it at five of the last six World Championships before retiring after the London Games with a record 18 Olympic gold medals to his name. Le Clos swung past Pawel Korzeniowski (POL) on the last length to win in 1:54.32. Korzeniowski, who won the title when Phelps did not defend it in 2005, took the silver in 1:55.01 and Peng Wu (CHN) the bronze (1:55.09) for his fourth World Championship medal in the event, following a silver and two bronzes.

Olympic medallists battle way to women’s world final

Australia and Spain will clash on Friday for the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Championship at the Bernat Picornell Pool.

Australia will be seeking a second crown to go with its win in the inaugural women’s World Championships in 1986 – ironically, also in Spain (Madrid) – and Spain will finish higher than before, having done no better than seventh in Melbourne 2007 and 11th in Shanghai two years ago.In London, Spain finished with silver and Australia bronze so two of the top three teams in the world will clash in a real blockbuster.

Australia defeated Russia 9-6 with Nicola Zagame claiming three goals and Spain won a see-sawing encounter with Hungary 13-12 – the winning two goals coming from Laura Lopez in the final quarter.

In the round of 5-8 semifinals, Greece beat Canada 12-8, thanks to four goals from Christina Tsoukala, and Olympic champion United States of America led by three goals early in the final quarter before just holding out Netherlands 12-11. This means Greece will play USA for fifth and Canada faces Netherlands for seventh.

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