Ruolin completes clean sweep for hosts with her final flourish
Friday 22 August 2008
Stacie Powell and Tonia Couch immediately turned their focus to London 2012 after impressing in the final of the 10m platform in Beijing. Powell was 10th, two places behind team-mate Couch in a thrilling final at the Water Cube which was won in stunning style by China's Chen Ruolin. The 15-year-old scored an astonishing 100.30 with the final dive of the competition to beat Canada's Emilie Heymans into second and complete a clean sweep of diving medals for the home nation.
Both Powell and Couch were never in medal contention, with their respective best dives of 76.50 and 73.10 way lower than the lowest scores of the top two. But Powell, 22, said the pair will use the experience of competing in an Olympic final to their advantage in the run up to 2012. "It was our first Olympics, we didn't know what to expect but we can now prepare ourselves over the next four years," she said. "I'm really looking forward to London. We're going to use this experience and hopefully be challenging for the medals in 2012."
Powell's last jump was the best either British diver could manage but she was also delighted with her first attempt, an armstand forward double somersault with one twist. She added: "I was pleased with my last dive and I was pleased with my first dive as well because it was an armstand and you're always a bit more nervous on your first dive than the other dives. You can be a bit wobbly but my handstand was fine and it was the best I did in all three rounds so I was pleased with that."
Couch was fifth going into the final dive but slipped to eighth after her worst score of the competition in the last round. But just being in an Olympic final was enough for the 19-year-old to look back on it as a success.
She said: "I'm really pleased with myself. I was in the semi, which I was proud of and then I made it to the final. I was 12th [in qualifying] so I just came out here and enjoyed myself and that's what I've done. I'm not just an Olympian, I'm an Olympic finalist!"
Attentions now turn to the men's 10m event today, featuring Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield.
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