China Continues to Dominate Diving in Rio

Si Yajie-Rio Olympics Diving Women

China's dominance at the diving pool shows no signs of waning.

Si Yajie and Ren Qian went 1-2 in the preliminaries of women's 10-meter platform Wednesday, setting themselves up to challenge for China's sixth diving gold medal of the Rio Olympics.

Si scored no lower than 76.50 in any of the five rounds and posted the top score of 397.45 points. Ren was a bit off on her third dive but still claimed the second spot at 385.80.

No one else was even close. Jessica Parratto of the United States took third at 346.80.

The top 18 moved on to Thursday's semifinals.

Reigning world champion Kim Kuk Hyang of North Korea won't be one of them. She stunningly failed to advance, finishing 25th out of 28 divers with just 263.20.

Kim's next-to-last dive was so over-rotated, she nearly did a belly flop entering the water. Her coaches grimaced as Kim climbed out of the pool, taking a quick bow before hustling off the deck. Her last dive was much better, but it didn't make much of a difference.

The first aquatics world champion produced by her reclusive nation, Kim finished 26.25 behind teammate Kim Un Hyang, who was the final qualifier.

Two-time Olympic champion Chen Ruolin didn't get a chance to make it three in a row. In a sign of just how deep and strong the Chinese are in this sport, she wasn't even picked to compete individually off the tower, though she did win gold in the 10-meter synchronized event teaming with Liu Huixia.

With Si and Ren, there appears to be little drop-off.

Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia, bronze medalist in this event four years ago, advanced to the semis with the sixth-best score. She already won silver in 10-meter synchro at Rio, giving her a shot at becoming the first Malaysian athlete in any sport to capture three Olympic medals.

Parratto's American teammate, Katrina Young, moved on as well after finishing 12th.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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