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September 24, 2000
Wilkinson breaks China's stranglehold in diving
Laura Wilkinson claimed the Olympic women's platform title for the United States for the first time since 1964 with an upset victory over the Chinese favourites on Sunday.
Wilkinson was more than 20 points behind Chinese pair Li Na and Sang Xue in eighth place from the four-dive semifinal going into the five-dive final.
But, as her rivals faltered, she seized the lead from Li with her third dive and held her nerve to take the gold in an extremely close three-way contest.
Canada's Anne Montminy was just 0.24 points behind going into the final round, with Li a further five points adrift.
Montminy could not match Wilkinson's final effort but Li pulled out a fine last dive, scoring higher than the American for the fifth round but not quite enough to deny her the gold.
Wilkinson won with 543.75 points, with Li taking the silver with 542.01 and Montminy the bronze with 540.15.
China had won the three preceding Olympic women's highboard titles, with Fu Mingxia completing a platform and three-metre springboard double at the 1996 Atlanta games. Fu is competing only on the three-metre board in Sydney.
The last US Olympic highboard champion was Lesley Bush at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
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