Fu Mingxia of China, the world's supreme women's highboard diver since she was 12, retained her Olympic 10-metre platform title on Saturday.
Fu, now 17, won by the enormous margin of 42.36 points, leaving the rest of the 12-strong final field to scrap for silver and bronze. Fu won her first world title in 1991 and retained it in 1994. She was far from overwhelmed by her performance on Saturday. "I think that today I did OK - not particularly well, but no big mistakes either."
"I am happy and, as well as my family, all of China will be happy for me. The important thing was to bring back a gold." Fu piled up 521.58 points from a combination of the morning's four semi-final compulsory dives and the late-evening final's five optionals.
Germany's Annika Walter, who moved into second place in the penultimate round, clinched the silver with 479.22 and Mary Ellen Clark, of the United States, at 33 the oldest in the field by seven years, took the bronze, as she had done in 1992 at Barcelona.
The superiority of Fu was so marked that when she still had her final dive to come and everyone else had finished, only Walter and Clark were still ahead of her. It was China's fourth successive gold in the event.Reuse content