goes for fifth gold in diving
China's TIAN Liang
began his bid for his first Olympic gold medal by winning
the preliminary round of the men's 10 meters platform at the
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Friday.
Hu Jia of China
Susumu Takahashi / Reuters
has already won a total of eight diving medals - four gold
and four silver - in the seven diving events held to date.
TIAN and HU Jia, who finished second Friday, have already
won a silver medal for China in the men's synchronized 10m
they will have tough competition from three-time Olympian
Dmitri SAOUTINE of Russia, the defending Olympic champion,
who finished third in the preliminary. The Russian won gold
in Saturday's synchronized 10m platform event and won individual
titles at the 1998 World Championships in Perth and the 1994
World Championships in Rome.
will be looking to win after a disappointing finish in the
3m springboard, where he led up until the final round and
managed only a bronze.
than China, both Australia and the United States have two
divers in the top 10. Australia has already won two bronze
medals - ninth place Robert NEWBERY helped win one in the
synchronized 3m springboard - and the US one gold.
Alexandre DESPATIE, at 15 the youngest competitor in the entire
diving competition, performed exceptionally well. The defending
Commonwealth Games champion was among the top four places
for most of the program before finishing eighth in his first
Olympic Games preliminaries.
program was highlighted by dives valiantly performed by British
competitors Leon TAYLOR and Peter WAKEFIELD. In their second
attempt, each performed a back 2-1/2 somersault with 2-1/2
twists. The dive has a meet-high degree of difficulty of 3.8
and is so rare, it is not officially rated by the sport's
governing body, Federation Internationale Natation Amateur
top 18 divers from the preliminaries advanced to Friday night's