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September 23, 2000
Russia wins synchronised diving goldThe Rediff Team
Vera Ilina and Ioulia Pakhalina of Russia claimed gold in the synchronised diving event at the Sydney Acquatic Centre on Saturday morning, totalling 332.64 over the five rounds
Fu Mingxia and Guo Jingjing of China came in second, 11.04 points off the winners with a total of 321.60.
The Bronze went to Ganna Sorokina and Olena Zhupina of the Ukraine, tallying 290.34 points.
The battle was between the Russians and Chinese right through. The latter, diving second to last of the 8 pairs on view, kicked off with a fine 48.6, but the Russians, diving last, turned in a 52.80 first dive to take the lead.
From that point on, the Russian girls stayed ahead through the next four rounds, in a superb display of precision and coordination.
For Fu Mingxia, the 13-year-old darling of Barcelona and 17-year-old veteran of Atlanta, this was the curtain call. The 'big sister' of Chinese diving had the crowd sentiment with her, but her less experienced partner did not have the nous to help her mount an effective counter to the Russian divers.
The event made its debut as an Olympic sport this year.
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