February 20 - The formidable Chinese duo of Qin Kai and Luo Yutong ensured that there were no upsets on day one of the London 2012 diving test event as the reigning world champions claimed an easy victory in the mens 3 metre synchro competition here.
The competition, the 18th FINA Diving World Cup, will see over 250 of the world's best divers in action over six days and Kai and Yutong did not disappoint a rapturous crowd as the pair cruised to victory with 445.71 points to underline their status as favourites for the gold medal at London 2012.
Russian pair Evgeny Kuznetsov and Illya Zakharov won silver with 439.83 points to produce a repeat of the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, where they also finished second behind Kai and Yutong (pictured below).
Malaysia's Bryan Nickson Lomas and Huang Qiang took bronze with 432.09 points while the British pairing of Chris Mears and Nick Robinson-Baker finished in 10th with an overall score of 255.96.
The result was largely irrelevant for the duo as Britain already holds a host nation place in the synchro events at London 2012, and Robinson-Baker admitted that that atmosphere had been electric.
"Unfortunately today it didn't quite pay off for us but there are five months until the Olympics and we can perfect that skill," Robinson-Baker said.
"We are happy to be 10th in the world at this point.
"This morning there were some jittery nerves but this afternoon our main goal was to come in here and have a good time and enjoy the experience.
"The crowd were fantastic and I just can't wait for London 2012."
Meanwhile in the women's 10m platform, Britain's Monique Gladding and Stacie Powell qualified in sixth and 14th place to reach the semi-final later this week.
By reaching the final 18 in the event, the athletes have both achieved an Olympic quota place for Britain.
Gladding scored a total of 320.30 to finish sixth while Powell finished with a score of 299.70 to take in 14th place.
"For both of us today the job was to get through to the semi-final and now we can go back and focus ready for tomorrow," said Gladding.
"To be fair today was about getting through this round.
"Finishing sixth is fantastic but we can both move forward to the semis now."
Powell added she felt a lot of nerves before the event but is glad to have qualified.
"There is a lot of pressure with the home crowd because you don't want to let them down but it was so great to hear them," she said.
"It is great to be back after my injury.
"I'm diving better now than I was back then so getting through this round with the intense pressure now I can relax a bit and enjoy it and hopefully step up a gear."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2012: FINA President excited about London 2012 Olympics diving test event