March 12 - The International Swimming Federation (FINA) Diving World Series starts this weekend in Beijing, as some of the world's top divers take to the boards at 2008 Olympic Games venue the Water Cube.
China will once again be among the favourites to land the top honours as they line up with a number of Olympic and world champions.
Four-time Olympic and five-time world champion Ruolin Chen will lead the home charge for medals as she looks to reaffirm her standing as one of the all-time greats in the women's 10 metre platform events, where she will be competing with Huixia Liu, who partnered her to World Championship gold in the 10 metre synchro event in Barcelona last year.
London 2012 silver medallists Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco of Mexico and Olympic bronze medal winner Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia are expected to provide the main challenges to the Chinese contingent.
In the women's 3m springboard events, Olympic champion Minxia Wu and world champion Zi He, along with rising star Tingmao Shi, will carry the home threat, with the likes of Mexico's London 2012 bronze medallist and runner-up in last year's Diving World Series, Laura Sanchez, and Italian World Championship silver medal winner, Tania Cagnotto, expected to challenge.
On the men's side, reigning 3m springboard champion He Chong will look to provide the home support with something to cheer about but will face stiff competition in the form of Yahel Castillo of Mexico, who will be looking to get the defence of his Diving World Series title off to a perfect start.
Meanwhile the men's platform competitions look set to be a highlight of the meeting which runs from March 14 to 16.
China's reigning world champion Qiu Bo will be up against London 2012 gold medallist David Boudia of the United States, Britain's Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley and Russian Victor Minibaev who won the overall series title last year.
The synchro events will feature a battle between world champions Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein of Germany and the Mexican Olympic silver medal winning duo of Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez.
Beijing is the first of six stops on the Diving World Series tour and will be followed by Dubai a week later before moving on to London in April, Moscow and Windsor, Canada, in May, then finishing in Monterrey, Mexico, in June.
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