Like Michael Phelps in the swimming, China's divers arrived at these Games wanting eight golds. They made the perfect start yesterday when the local poster girl, Guo Jingjing, and her youthful understudy, Wu Minxia, won the three-metre synchronised springboard title.
Eight medals would represent a clean sweep in the diving but fans in the host nation crave that tally after having had to settle for a disappointing six golds from eight events in Athens four years ago. Guo, 26, and Wu, 22, won then too. They led through all five rounds yesterday to the delight of a raucous, flag-waving crowd.
Russia took silver and Germany bronze, with Britain's pairing of Tandi Gerrard and Hayley Sage, bronze medallists, finishing eighth of eight.
Guo and Wu will face each other in the individual three-metre event, with Guo – famous for her relationship with the Hong Kong playboy Kenneth Fok Kai-kong – then planning to retire.