Gold medallists Si Yajie and Lian Junjie of China pose on Saturday. Kim Hong-Ji/ Reuters
China’s teenage diving sensation Lian Junjie helped retain the mixed 10-metre synchro world crown by partnering Si Yajie to a crushing victory in Saturday’s final in Gwangju.
The 18-year-old successfully defended the title he won with Rio Olympic champion Ren Qian in Budapest two years ago as he and Si racked up a winning total of 346.14 points — a whopping 35 points clear of their nearest rivals.
Russian pair Ekaterina Beliaeva and Viktor Minibaev were distant runners-up on 311.28 points followed by Mexicans Maria Jose Sanchez and Jose Balleza Isaias, who took bronze with 287.64.
For Si, who took silver behind Ren in the women’s 10m platform at the 2016 Rio Games, it was a fourth world title.
She captured the 10m gold as a 14-year-old at the 2013 Barcelona championships, won the mixed synchro with Tai Xiaohu in Kazan two years later and partnered Ren to victory in the women’s 10m synchro in 2017.
Britain’s Robyn Birch and Noah Williams narrowly missed out on a medal in the first of three diving finals on Saturday.
The women’s one-metre springboard and the men’s three-meter springboard synchro take place later on Saturday.
All 13 diving events count as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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