Shi Tingmao earned the women's 3m springboard gold in Rio ©Getty Images

China’s Shi Tingmao lived up to her status as the women’s three metre springboard champion by topping the podium at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Diving World Cup at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre in Rio de Janeiro.

The 24-year-old, named FINA female diver of the year in 2015, shared the lead in the final with her team-mate He Zi after the opening two dives.

Both divers had scored a total of 160.50 points to establish a comfortable advantage over their rivals, making the gold medal contest a straight battle between the two Chinese diving stars.

A superb fourth five, which scored 83.70 points, proved key to Tingmao eventually taking the victory with a score 398.70.

He’s score of 387.90 after five rounds left her in second but she expressed her approval of the Rio 2016 diving facility.

“It is normal to compete between us, it is a healthy competition because we push each other,” He said.

“I like Rio very much and the venue is very beautiful, in China we don’t have much outdoors arena and I like it.

“The main difficulty was the weather.

"In China, it is winter at the moment but it is summer in Rio now, but it will be different in August.”

The podium places in the final women’s event of the World Cup, which has been serving as a Rio 2016 test event, was claimed by Canada’s Jennifer Abel after she scored 354.45.

Silver medallist He Zi praised the outdoor venue after the competition
Silver medallist He Zi praised the outdoor venue after the competition ©Getty Images

Mexico’s Dolores Hernandez and Melany Hernandez secured Rio 2016 quota places due to their performances.

They face face the prospect, however, of competing under the FINA flag due to their country being temporarily suspended by the world governing body.

The Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia, Germany, Britain, Russia, the United States and hosts Brazil also secured berths.

China’s Qiu Bo topped the standings during the preliminary phase of competition in the men's 10m platform, scoring a total of 535.15 points.

The world champion will hope to send a strong message to his rivals in the final tomorrow, as he looks to improve on his London 2012 silver medal later this year.

Mexico’s Ivan Alejandro Garcia Navarro, competing under the FINA flag, could prove one his biggest rivals in the final event of World Cup after finishing second in the preliminary round.

The final day of the competition tomorrow will feature the semi-finals followed by the final three hours later.