Qin Kai (L) and Cao Yuan of China celebrate during the awarding ceremony for the men's 3m synchronised springboard final at the 2015 Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, July 28, 2015. The Chinese pair claimed the title of the event with a score of 471.45 points. (Xinhua/Jia Yuchen)
KAZAN, Russia, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Double Olympic champion Qin Kai won a hard battle against the home favorites to take his fifth men's 3m synchro springboard champion in a row with his new partner Cao Yuan at the FINA World Swimming Championships here on Tuesday.
China has six titles so far out of seven events.
Facing the full-house home crowds and strong competition of Evgeny Kuznetsov/Ilya Zakharov of Russia, the defending champions Qin and Cao showed superb synchronization and stability. The Chinese pair won in 471.45 points, followed by the Russians 459.18 and Jack Laugher/Chris Mears of Britain 445.20.
"I have competed in many big events, but today's final is the most difficult one because our rivals are very strong. The Russian pair is experienced and has the home advantage. We have to concentrate on each dive. I changed partners every time and I am pleased to help the youngsters to be better," said the 29-year-old Qin.
Cao revealed he was nervous during the preliminary. "I am very happy and excited. It is my first world title in springboard. I want to thank to all who support me, especially Qin Kai. He is experienced veteran and helps me relax in the final. I was very nervous in the preliminary and was not in a good shape. Fortunately, I learned from that and improved in the final. It is a hard battle," Cao added.
Tania Cagnotto of Italy denied China's gold sweep by taking women's 1m springboard title, 1.65 points over China's Shi Tingmao and defending champion He Zi.
As a 30-year-old veteran, it was Cagnotto's eighth world championship and first gold medal. "It is unbelievable that I win the gold medal! I have won silvers and bronzes all these years. I respect the Chinese girls as they are my idols. The feeling of beating them is enjoyable. I could finish my career in a better way now as a world champion," Cagnotto said.
China's Si Yu and Yan Siyu finished 18th and 26th in the women's 10km open water while Aurelie Muller of France clinched the title in one hour 58 minutes and 4.3 seconds.
The finals of team free combination in synchronized swimming and mixed team diving will be held on July 29.