World champions Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia maintained China’s pursuit of all eight Olympic gold medals in the diving at Rio 2016 after winning the women’s synchronised 10 metreplatform event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre in Rio de Janeiro today.
The 23-year-old Chen was bidding to claim the title for the third consecutive Olympic Games following victories at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 with Wang Xin and then Wang Xin.
The Chinese pair made an ideal start to the competition, despite the pool having turned a lurid green colour, compared to the clear blue look it had boasted yesterday.
Their first two efforts were both given a score of 55.80 points, taking them onto a total of 111.60 and more than six clear of their nearest challengers.
The North Korean pair of Kim Kuk-hyang and Kim Mi-rae scored 81.00 with their third round dive to briefly look like putting pressure on the Chinese duo, but they proved unable to maintain their form in the final two rounds.
China’s world champions sealed their victory in style by scoring 87.36 points, the highest score of the competition, with their final dive.
It gave them a winning total of 354.00 points.
"This particular cycle has been a very challenging one for me,” said Chen, after securing the fifth Olympic gold of her career having also won the 10m event at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
“In the past four years there have been some injuries and also I had some prolonged recoveries.
“When you're injured you cannot participate in your normal training and your training will fall behind schedule.
“And that is a huge challenge."
The silver medal was won by Malaysia's Cheong Jun Hoong and Pandelela Rinong, who scored 344.34 points to achieve their country’s first medal of Rio 2016.
An excellent final dive saw Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion take the bronze with a score of 335.14 points.
They were helped by poor final attempts from their North Korean rivals and British pair Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson, who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Following the competition Rio 2016 claimed they would begin an investigation to discover the reason for the change in the colour of the pool.
"The water quality at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre was tested and there were no risks for the athletes," a statement read.
"We are investigating the cause."