Italy’s Tania Cagnotto brought an end to China’s monopoly of the diving titles at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Kazan, claiming her first world crown with success in the women’s one metre springboard event.
The 30-year-old amassed 310.85 points to finish ahead of China’s Shi Tingmao, the silver medallist with 309.20, and defending champion He Zi, also of China, who took bronze with 300.30.
The equivalent event at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona saw Cagnotto lose out to He by only 0.10 points, the smallest margin of defeat in the history of the Championships.
She was not to be denied this time round, however, as she secured her country's first diving world title since Klaus Dibiasi won the men's 10m platform event at Cali in 1975.
“I remember the competition in 2013, when I missed the title by 0.10 points,” said Cagnotto, who hinted this, her eighth World Championships, may be her last.
“I prepared good but got a silver there, so I was scared to repeat that feat again here in Kazan.
“I made my big bang at last.”
China may have failed to make it six medals out of six but soon restored order as double Olympic champion Qin Kai clinched a fifth successive gold medal in the men’s 3m synchronised springboard alongside partner Cao Yuan.
Qin and Cao won with 471.45 points, condemning Russian duo Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Zakharov to a third successive World Championships silver medal with 459.18, while Great Britain’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears collected bronze on 445.20.
“I have competed in many big events, but today's final is the most difficult one because our rivals are very strong,” said Qin.
“The Russian pair is experienced and has the home advantage.
“We just concentrated on each dive.”
Elsewhere, France’s Aurelie Muller became the first female open water swimmer to qualify for Rio 2016 after winning the 10 kilometres event in 1 hour 58min 04.3sec.
Muller finished 2.4 seconds ahead of her Dutch training partner Sharon Van Rouwendaal to claim her country’s first World Championships gold medal in open water swimming.
Third place went to Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, the silver medallist in Barcelona two years ago, who qualified for her home Olympic Games along with the other top-10 finishers.
Meanwhile in synchronised swimming, the United States’ Bill May and Kristina Lum Underwood lead the way after the mixed duet free preliminary round.
May and Lum Underwood scored 90.5000 points to hold a slight advantage over Russia's Aleksandr Maltsev and Darina Valitova, who notched 89.3667 points.
France's Benoit Yves Beaufils and Virginie Dedieu are third with 88.5333 points.
"Today felt great to have the opportunity to show our free programme," said May, who partnered Christina Jones on Sunday (July 26) to win the first-ever mixed duet technical gold medal in a FINA-sanctioned event.
"It was amazing to show another side of the mixed duet, showcasing the artistic elements involved."
The mixed duet free final is scheduled for Thursday (July 30).
July 2015: America's Wilimovsky claims 10km world title to become first Rio 2016 swimming qualifier
July 2015: China regain 10m platform synchro crown at World Aquatics Championships
July 2015: America's Anderson claims first World Aquatics Championships gold medal with 5km success
July 2015: Putin declares World Aquatics Championships open in Kazan after water-themed ceremony
June 2015: FINA to offer record prize fund at this year's World Championships