Out with a bang: China’s Wu Minxia wins record fifth diving Olympic gold medal before retirement
China’s Wu Minxia became the first five-time Olympic diving gold medallist with a resounding victory on Sunday (Rio time) in the women’s synchronised three-metre springboard along with partner Shi Tingmao, making her dreams come true before retiring.
Wu and Shi launched the powerful Chinese team’s Rio Games campaign in style, handily beating Italian silver medallists Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape with a score of 345.60, and bronze winners Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith of Australia.
Although it appeared to be an easy victory for the petite duo from China, a country that has always dominated the springboards, Wu said she did not think too much before the finals.
“I did not know what the results would be. I just went to the finals with a peace of mind. I have competed in many major events. Winning or losing are both a kind of experience,” said Wu, 30.
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Asked of her future plans, Wu said she just wanted to relax as she was exhausted after training for and competing in the Olympics.
One thing is for sure, she still wants to contribute to the development of sport in China.
“No matter what lies ahead of me, I know that I have done my very best in my career,” Wu added.
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First-time Olympian Shi, 24, was over the moon with the victory.
“I have been waiting for this moment for not just four years. I have been waiting for it for 17 years, when I first got into diving,” she said.
Italy’s Cagnotto said she knew there was no way she could compete with the China duo.
“We didn’t think about gold because gold is for the Chinese. We were fighting for a medal,” she said.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse