The Chinese pair of SHI Tingmao and WANG Han have taken the first diving medal at Tokyo 2020, in 2021, winning the women’s synchronised 3m springboard event with a score of 326.40. Leading for all but one round, the duo won by 26 points from Canada’s Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu (300.78), with German twosome Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel picking up the bronze in the final round (284.97).
Shi now has three Olympic golds having won the same event in Rio 2016 with a different partner, as well as the individual event. For her part, Wang has become Olympic champion at her debut Games at 30 years old. The best of friends, Wang has been inspired by her diving superstar partner, who is also favourite for the individual event.
The Canadians started slowly but then performed steadily throughout, finishing the event with a 2.5 inwards pike, and were in tears before their ripple petered out, knowing they had surely done enough to claim silver.
Ebel improved on her bronze medal from London 2012 in the same event – with a different partner – and put to bed the disappointment of coming fourth at Rio 2016.
The Italian pair lost out to the Germans for the second time in recent months as Elena Bertocchi and Chiara Pellacani, who were in pole position for bronze until the fifth and final round, missed an entry on their back 2.5 somersaults pike. The Germans, who won a dramatic European championship in Hungary in May beating the Italians by just 0.9 points, performed a forward 3.5 pike in the final round before waiting nervously for the other divers to finish. On realising they had won Olympic bronze, the duo burst into tears.
The British pair of Grace Reid and Katherine Torrance were in and around the podium positions throughout until the fourth round when they came unstuck on a back 2.5 in pike position, finishing sixth.