China's Qiu Bo perfect on way to winning the gold at Diving World Series

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Perfect dives: (L-R) Daley, Bo and Yang.

The curtains were brought down on the Dubai leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series last night with five perfect dives – three from world champion Qiu Bo, and one each from Tom Daley and Jian Yang – at the Hamdan Sports Complex.

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Along with Bo, Daley and Jian, the field included Olympic champion David Boudia, world championships bronze medallist Sascha Klein, and Mexico’s Ivan Garcia.

After Daley produced a perfect dive in the 10m semi-final in the morning, hopes were high for another gold medal for Great Britain after Jack Laugher won the 3m gold last night.

A brilliant start with a perfect dive from Bo saw him take the lead, and despite tough challenges from every diver, he produced perfect dives again in rounds four and six to stay in front for the entire competition, finishing with 612.75, beating his previous personal best of 609.00.

Daley’s perfect dive in round three set the stage alight, and moved the Briton into second position which he held onto, finishing with 578.25, and also beating his personal best of 578.15.

Yang had moved into second by round two, but missed his next dive. He regrouped for a perfect score in round four to keep him in the medal hunt in third position, taking bronze with 563.90.

Garcia of Mexico finished fourth with 530.75, just 1.5 points ahead of Boudia on 529.25. Klein finished in sixth with 512.15.

Bo said: “In the morning I did not warm up properly so didn’t perform well, but by evening I was better. I am happy with that.”

Daley was thrilled with the silver medal, and said: “It’s definitely nice to know that China are beatable now, and it’s just about making sure that you put as much pressure on them as possible, because who knows what can happen in competition, as we saw yesterday in the men’s 3m.

“You just have to keep plugging away and try to chase them. We’re catching up.”

The women’s final saw Tonia Couch of Great Britain emerge as the early leader. A lower scoring dive from Couch in round three opened the door for Chen Ruolin, who regained the lead and went on to win with 386.05.

Team-mate Liu Huixia posted the best dive of the final in round six, scoring 89.60 to finish second. Couch hung on for third with 367.70, just ahead of Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg on 362.55. Canada’s Roseline Filion finished in fifth on 356.05.

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XDubai win in XCAT World Series Round 2 thriller

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XDubai (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi) prevailed to take top honours.

If Round 1 was all about outlasting the challenging conditions in Fujairah, round two of the UIM XCAT World Series, which took place in Dubai on Saturday, was all to do with strategy and speed.

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After one of the most exciting XCAT races to date that even had the race commentator losing his voice, it was last year’s Series champions XDubai (Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi) who prevailed to take top honours.

And once again it was the T-bone Station team of Giovanni Carpitella and Ahmed Al Hamli who left disappointed, after leading the race for much of the afternoon.

The T-bone boat had a blistering start to power ahead of XDubai, who started on poll, only to be called back for a restart after Air Team were adjudged to have jumped the gun.

T-Bone Station.

Carpitella and Al Hamli managed to do it a second time though, getting the edge on XDubai to take the lead on the first lap.

XDubai then took the strategic decision to complete their obligatory long lap immediately and steadily worked their way back up through the field closing the gap on T-Bone Station and Fujairah winners Abu Dhabi (Rashid Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori) who were then in first and second spot and yet to take their long laps.

They left it a bit long perhaps, and only took the compulsory detour on the third last lap.

TBone still managed to come out in front of the chasing XDubai but only just, with Abu Dhabi relegated to third.

And the defending Series champions proved too strong, manoeuvring their way into the lead on the penultimate lap, much to the cheering crowd’s delight.

By that stage T-Bone had pushed as hard as they could and a problem with the fuel feed to one of their engines saw them dropping out of contention completely, eventually spluttering across the line in ninth place.

Abu Dhabi took second spot to ensure they maintain their lead at the top of the Series standings with the Dubai team of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali completing the all-UAE podium.

With Abu Dhabi still at the top of the overall rankings, Dubai have jumped up to equal second after this weekend’s performance with 49 points – a position they currently share with Victory Team teammates XDubai.

XCAT racing now moves to Europe for the third and fourth rounds, with the next race taking place in May. For all the more details, results and photos, log on to www.xcatracing.com.

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Tom Daley hoping to master ‘firework’ routine in Dubai leg of Diving World Series

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Eye on qualification: Tom Daley is hoping to seal his Olympics spot this year.

Tom Daley will be hoping to bring some “fireworks” to the pool at the Hamdan Sports Complex today when he lines up for the 10m platform event in the Diving World Series second leg in Dubai.

– China claim first gold medals in FINA Diving World Series Dubai 2015
– #360view: Everything going swimmingly as the UAE moves forward 
– World’s top divers join FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2015 in Dubai

The British Olympic bronze medallist debuted a new dive in the opening leg of the series last week in Beijing, a forward 3.5 somersault with one twist in pike position, dubbed ‘the firework’, replacing the ‘demon’ routine – backwards 2.5 somersault with 2.5 twists in pike position – which he performed at the London Games in 2012.

Daley, who admitted he struggled psychologically with the ‘demon’ after taking bronze in London, will be performing his new dive in international competition for just the second time in Dubai today and is looking to fare better than the lowly 54.00 he scored last week in Beijing, where he failed to qualify for the 10m platform final.

“It’s nice to get a little bit of bad diving out of your system early on in the season. It’s better to do it then than to do it in the next few competitions and at the World Championships,” Daley told Sport360°, adding that he prefers to call his new dive the ‘twister’ rather than the ‘firework’.

“It’s always scary doing a new dive in international competition for the first time. And that was the first time. I just didn’t have a good time in Beijing. I felt good, I had no injuries and everything was really good, but sometimes you just have a bad day.

“And that’s the frustrating thing about sport; sometimes you’re in it and sometimes you’re not. This has given me a bit of a kick and motivational drive to want to do really well here (in Dubai) and show that I can really do these dives well.”

Daley, 20, is looking to build competition endurance and perfect his new routines ahead of this summer’s World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, where he can seal a qualification spot for the Rio 2016 Olympics.Man to beat: Chinese world champion Qiu Bo

“You have to drill down your routine and you have to make sure everything’s really good because you have to qualify for a spot (for the Olympics) at the World Championships.

“Because if you don’t then you have to do it next year, and it’s going to add pressure. So it’s always nice to know you’ve got your Olympics spot before you go into offseason training,” the former world champion explained.

The Dubai leg of the world series concludes with its third day of action today at the HSC. Reigning Olympic champion David Boudia and three-time world champion Qiu Bo will feature in the first 10m platform semi-final while Daley will be joined by China’s new threat, Yang Jian, in semi-final B.

Yesterday, Great Britain’s Jack Laugher ensured there would be no Chinese gold medal sweep in Dubai as he clinched gold in the 3m springboard ahead of He Chong and Cao Yuan. The Chinese team have won six of the seven events staged so far this weekend.

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