FINA World Championships Budapest 2022, as it happened: Day nine - China dominate diving

Live updates from Budapest, Hungary, with diving and open water swimming on Sunday 26 June 2022.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Chinese Olympic gold medallists Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan put on a diving masterclass to take home men's 3m synchronised gold at the FINA World Championships 2022.

It was a third gold medal in the event for Cao, with his third diving partner, while it was a second world title for Wang.

Their compatriots Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan dominated the qualifying rounds of the women's 10m platform, and go into tomorrow's final as the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively.

There was also high drama at the open water swimming, where a Florian Wellbrock-inspired Germany won the first ever 4x1500m mixed relay race.

In the same race, ast night's men's 1500 freestyle winner Gregorio Paltrinieri was out-touched for the silver medal by Hungary's Kristof Razovszky.

Olympics.com carried live updates the entire day from Budapest, which you can re-live as they happened below.

All times Central European Time (UTC/GMT +2 hours). Most recent updates first.

8:50 pm - China surge up the medal table

China are expected to dominate the diving medals this week, so expect to see the red flag keep rising on the medal table.

Join us tomorrow for men's 3m springboard qualification, the women's 10m platform final, and the men's and women's 5km open water swimming finals.

8:35 pm - Final berths decided

With her place in the final seemingly set already, Oliveira delivers her best dive yet.

The Brazilian is awarded a fantastic 81.60 from an inward 3.5 somersaults tuck.

Quan then goes one better, taking 89.60 for a back 2.5 somersaults with 1.5 twists pike, giving her an overall total of 413.70 from her five dives and a place in the final.

There were no mistakes from Chen who did the sensible thing by securing her place in the final with 88.00, which was still good enough to give her top spot overall with 427.00.

Tomorrow's final will be contested by the following divers (in order of tonight's highest scores): Chen Yuxi (China), Quan Hongchan (China), Caeli McKay (Canada), Ingrid Oliveira (Brazil), Matsuri Arai (Japan), Nikita Hains (Australia), Pandelela Pamg (Malaysia), Christina Wassen (Germany), Sarah Jodoin Di Maria (Italy), Daryn Wright (USA), Guurtje Praasterink (Netherlands), and Emily Boyd (Australia).

8:14 pm - Chen earns dive of the night

Consistency is key for Oliveira of Brazil posts an impressive 64.50 to go fourth overall in Round 4, and put one step into the final.

Next up it's normal service resumed for Quan in, who makes barely a splash as she is awarded a seismic 86.40 from her armstand back 2 somersaults 1.5 twists free.

Her points total of 324.10 takes her into the temporary lead, but Chen has a dive in hand.

And she makes it count with perhaps the dive of the night. A technical back 3.5 somersaults tuck is rewarded with 9s and 9.5s for a score of 94.05 - moving her back into first with 339.00 overall.

7:55 pm - Slight wobble from Quan

Quan is human, after all. Her entry into the water from back 3.5 somersaults tuck is a little heavy, and she's awarded a (still very good) 62.70, taking her to 237.70 after three rounds.

Her experienced compatriot Chen needs no second invitation to take top spot.

She executes an armstand back triple tuck with precision to score 77.55, for a total of 244.95.

Caeli McKay is also going nicely. The Canadian scores an impressive 75.20 for her inward 4.5 somersaults tuck, and is right in the hunt for a final berth.

7:35 pm - Watch out for Christina Wassen!

Germany's Christina Wassen has saved her best for when it matters.

She just squeezed into this semi-final as the 16th qualifier, but has posted two magnificent dives so far, the most recent of which was a 63.00 forward 3.5 somersaults pike. It's good enough for a temporary top-5 spot, and she's closing in on a place in tomorrow's final.

But the standard continues to be set by Quan. The reigning Olympic champion steps up to deliver all 9.0s and 9.5's for her inward 3.5 somersaults tuck to retake first position.

Chen stays in touch with an excellent 86.40 from the same routine, to make second her own.

Another surprise package has been Nikita Hains who currently is in a final position, despite being the lowest-ranked diver to progress from this morning's heats.

The Australian pulled off an impressive armstand back double somersault with 1.5 twists free that scored her a 62.40.

7:15 pm - Quan nails first jump of 10m platform semi-final

18 athletes, five rounds, let's get this women's 10m platform semi-final underway!

It's frightening up there, but 15-year-old Quan Hongchan - competing at her first World Championships - is a picture of calm.

The Chinese diver takes top spot of Round 1 with a score of 87.00 thanks to her 3.5 somersault pike. Just wow.

Her compatriot Chen Yuxi replies with a 81.00 for the same routine, taking second for now.

Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg scores 67.50.

6:35 pm - Open water mixed relay highlights...

There was no shortage of drama in the maiden 4x1500m open water swimming event ever.

Germany took gold, there was a photo finish for second and several disqualifications on picturesque Luna Beach. Relive it all below, while we await the start of the women's 10m platform diving at 7:00 pm.

5.20 pm - MEDAL MOMENT: China wins first diving gold in Budapest

Germany finish strongly with an 86.64 forward 4.5 somersault tuck to temporarily take the lead, and that should be enough to get them a bronze medal.

GB need to go all out here if they want gold, but that will also risk their medal position if they get it wrong.

They deliver a great jump - but a small overreach on their forward 2.5 somersault 3 twist pike takes them slightly out of synchronisation. They still score 90.09 to take the lead with China to go. Britain will be hoping for a mistake here.

It wasn't their best dive, but Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan seal the gold medal with a 79.8 on their forward 4.5 somersault tuck. Huge congratulations to the Chinese Olympic gold medallists on another magnificent performance.

It is Cao's third 3m synchro World Championships win, each with a different partner. It's is Wang's second world title, following his 1m springboard victory at Gwangju 2019.

Final standings:

Gold - China, 459.18

Silver - Great Britain, 451.71

Bronze - Germany, 406.44

5.05 pm - Britain bite back

Great Britain aren't done yet!

Knowing that they needed a big score on in the penultimate round to try and make up some ground on the leaders, Laugher and Harding took on a forward 4.5 somersault tuck - and deliver in SYTLE.

They score 98.04 to take the lead and the crowd have gone wild! They received 8.5 and 9s across the board and take the lead with 361.62.

China don't need to trump that, but rather keep delivering their dives with precision, and that's exactly what they do. A supposedly easier 1.5 somersault 3.5 twist free dive is executed with a 90.3. They retake the lead with 379.38.

We have an exciting final round in store.!

4.50 pm - The more difficult, the better

The higher the degree of difficulty, the better China gets.

Taking on the inward 3.5 somersaults tuck, Cao and Wang deliver an amazing 89.78 to extend their overall lead to 289.08.

Team GB scored 79.56 on the same jump, but now sit 25.5 points adrift of China.

The bronze medal is currently with Germany, who are 39.63 behind the leaders.

4.40 pm - GB retake silver-medal position!

A huge dive from Laugher and Harding sees Britain reclaim second position!

Taking on the technical forward 2.5 somersault 2 twist pike, they showed nerves to steal to execute an 82.6 dive. That means they temporarily take top spot having jumped once more than China.

But not for long. The Asian giants were up to the challenge, and performed the same dive for a score of 87.72, and retake top spot. Pure class.

At the half-way point it's China, Great Britain, and Germany in the gold, silver, and bronze medal positions respectively.

4.20 pm - China push further ahead

The Chinese pair extend their lead with a 55.2 reverse dive pike. They were awarded a 9 for execution and a whopping 9.5 for synchronisation!

Germany make second their own with a tidy reverse dive pike, while the GB pair struggled with their synchronisation and drop down to third, with a 49.8 dive.

The crowd are into it, and are clapping in unison to Lady Gaga between dives.

4:10 - Cao and Wang take early lead

The Chinese pair doing what China does best: perfect dives. Cao and Wang put on a back dive pike masterclass to take an early lead with 56.1.

A Chinese crowd in here, all wearing red, really liked that one.

The second biggest cheer was for Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding of Team GB, who like in the heats, are nestled up nicely in second with 51.6. They just need to stay in touch and hope for a mistake from the leaders.

German veteran Timo Barthel and Lars Rudiger are joint second.

4:00 pm - Time for the first diving final

The first diving gold medal of these championships will be won shortly.

As with the swimming finals the divers are walking out to videos of themselves dancing on the big screen - the crowd like it. And it must be said, the divers are much better dancers than the swimmers!

Chinese No. 1 seeds Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan are the strong favourites for this men's 3m synchronised final, and will dive last. Six dives for each pair each, let's go!

A man in a hoop entertains the crowd before the men's 3m synchronised diving final at the 2022 FINA World Championships.

15:30 - Check out Melissa Wu's story

The diving finals are approaching, but while waiting for that, why not check out an episode of the Olympic Channel original series Splash In. Australia's Melissa Wu began diving at the age of 10, and won bronze at Tokyo 2020 in 2021, her fourth Olympics. She also won a silver medallist at the World Aquatics Championships in 2007.

Watch to hear how she coped with the pressure and anxiety, to the tunes of Bree Runway, and find out more about the Splash In series here.

2:20pm - Medal moment: Germany win open water swimming mixed relay

The brand new open water swimming event didn't disappoint!

German quartet Lea Boy, Oliver Klemet, Leonie Beck and Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock covered the stunning 6km (4x1500m) Lupa Beach course in 1.04.40.50 to comfortably take top spot.

There was a thrilling photo finish for second and third, with Hungarian anchor Kristof Razovszky just out-touching yesterday's men's 1500m freestyle winner Gregorio Paltrinieri from Italy to take the silver medal.

There was some controversy in the race too, with South Africa, Greece, Spain, and Korea all disqualified for swimming the wrong route.

2:15 pm - Yuxi lays down statement of intent

China's Chen Yuxi put on a diving masterclass to take top spot in the women's 10m platform heats qualifying.

The reigning world champion and Tokyo 2020 synchro Olympic gold medallist will go into this evening's semi-finals as the No.1 seed after her mammoth score of 413.95.

Her compatriot, and reigning Olympic champion, Quan Hongchan was the only close competition, taking second place with 410.85.

Third went to Ingrid Oliveira of Brazil, way back with 340.10.

Malaysian superstar Pandelela Rinong Pamg is also safely through, courtesy of her fourth-place finish.

1:00 pm - Breaking new ground at open water swimming

Stunning Lupa Beach - which was opened in 2017 specifically for water sports in Budapest - plays host to open water swimming, where the first mixed team event ever is held over 6km - 4x1500m, begins shortly. The previous mixed events at the world aquatics championships were held in 5km or 25km formats.

Germany won the mixed team event at three of the past four world aquatics championships (2013, 2015, 2019). It recorded its worst result in the mixed team event at the previous world championships in Budapest, in 2017 (8th place).

France won the mixed team event at Budapest 2017. Aurélie Muller (FRA) and Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA) were part of that gold-medal winning team and they could win a record-equalling second gold medal in the mixed team event.

United States (2 gold - 1 silver - 1 bronze) and Germany (G3-S0-B1) have won a record four medals in the mixed team events at the world aquatics championships.

Rachele Bruni (ITA, G0-S1-B1) and Giulia Gabbrielleschi (ITA) could equal the record of winning three medals in mixed team events at the world aquatics championships, set by Isabelle Härle (GER, G2-S0-B1) and Ashley Twichell (USA, G1-S1-B1).

Open water swimming at the 2022 FINA World Championships takes place at Lupa Beach, Hungary.

12:02 pm - Today at the 2022 FINA World Championships

Diving in the fully enclosed, air-conditioned Duna Arena is far from the only thing happening today.

The beautiful, sunny conditions in Budapest today will provide the perfect background for the open water swimming and the water polo.

Check out what's on below...

11:15 am - How Tokyo 2020 gave Jack Laugher his mojo back

The Rio 2016 gold medallist almost threw in the towel after mental health struggles left him spiralling downwards.

Ahead of the FINA 2022 World Championships in Budapest, he spoke to Olympics.com about how Tokyo 2020 reignited a fire within him, and how the experiences of Simone Biles helped him return to his brilliant best. 

You can read our interview with Jack Laugher here.

10:30 am - Cao and Wang set the standard

China's Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan showed why they are the No. 1 seeds for this evening's final, taking top spot over their six jumps with 446.07.

The Chinese Olympic gold medallists barely put a foot wrong, and will take some stopping when the final begins at 4:00 pm local time.

As the heats winners, they dive last with the benefit of knowing what score they'll need to win.

GB's Laugher and Harding put in an assured performance to make their first Worlds final together, taking second with 413.13.

The other qualifiers are France, Colombia, Germany, Italy and Mexico.

9:20 am - Laugher's golden moment in Rio

Great Britain's Jack Laugher and Chris Mears were the only non-Chinese athletes to win an Olympic gold medal in diving at the Rio 2016 Olympics. You can see that performance below.

Laugher will be hoping to recreate some of that magic here in Budapest alongside Anthony Harding, with the men's 3m synchro heats this morning.

8:55 am - In case you missed it...

Here are the Round 3 results in men's water polo from last night, where home heroes Hungary secured an automatic place in the quarter-finals alongside Greece, Spain, and Serbia.

Group A

Montenegro 20 - 5 Brazil

Hungary 18 - 14 Georgia

Group B

Croatia 21 - 13 Japan

Greece 16 - 8 Germany

Group C

Spain 14 - 12 Italy

Group D

Serbia 22 - 3 Kazakhstan

USA 14 - 9 Australia

8:30 am - Today's programme

Good morning and welcome back to the FINA World Championships 2022 live blog, where today the diving action begins.

Up first is the men's 3m synchronised heats where all eyes will be on the British and Chinese pairs.

For Team GB, Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Jack Laugher feels 'rejuvenated' alongside new diving partner Anthony Harding, and they are strong early favourites to medal in this afternoon's final.

But it's difficult to look past China's Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan for the gold, who are a perfect blend of experience and youth.

Cao is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, one of which came in the individual 3m springboard in Rio. Wang, meanwhile, is a reigning men's 3m synchro Olympic champion, after winning at Tokyo 2020 alongside Xie Siyi.

In the women's 10m platform, expect fireworks from Chinese Olympic champion Quan Hongchan and 10m platform synchro Olympic gold medallist Chen Yuxi.

Elsewhere, keep an eye out for Malaysia's double Olympic and five-time world medallist Pandelela Pamg.

Here's today's diving schedule:

10:00 am - Men's 3m synchronised heats

12:00 pm - Women's 10m platform heats

4:00 pm - Men's 3m synchronised final

6:30 pm - Women's 10m platform synchronised semi-finals

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