‘Irresponsible’ loss steels China’s 3m springboard diving king Qin Kai in quest for record third straight Olympic gold

The 30-year-old is looking to become the first man to win three gold medals in the event – each time with a different partner

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 8:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 2:58pm

China’s Qin Kai, who almost quit diving after the 2012 Olympic Games in London, has promised not to be “irresponsible” again as he seeks to become the first man to win three gold medals in the synchronised 3m springboard event – each time with a different partner.

Qin and Cao Yuan were beaten by Germany’s Stephan Feck and Patrick Hausding at the Fina World Cup meet Rio de Janeiro in January – his only defeat in nine major meetings before the Olympics.

Having experienced a loss in Rio before, Qin is keen not to do it again. “I was irresponsible,” Qin was quoted as saying.

The 30-year-old won the 2008 Beijing Games gold with Wang Feng and partnered Luo Yutong to victory in London four years later.

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But he was also on the verge of quitting the sport in 2012 after he could only manage a silver medal in the 3m individual springboard in London after losing to Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and preventing China from sweeping all eight diving gold medals.

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“When we finished the last round and I saw the silver medal, I wondered whether I would continue in the sport. I was a very hard time and I could not hold back the tears,” Qin said.

“How could I explain it? Failure is also good because it gives you life experience.”

Qin also admitted that age has taken its toll on certain aspects of his skills and he felt slightly envious of the younger divers who are able to perform manoeuvres with ease.

“During my 20s, my agility was the envy of all others, but from 2012 onwards, it was I who began to feel envious of others.

“Although I was willing to face the challenges, reality was harder than I had imagined. But I’m stubborn and have a persevering nature and I will fight to the end.”

Cao is also looking for a piece of history by becoming the first diver to win golds in both Olympic synchronised events after winning he men’s 10 platform gold with Zhang Yanquan in London.

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