- The youngest member of China’s team at Tokyo Games racks up a stunning overall score of 466.20 points
- Her 15-year-old teammate, Chen Yuxi, takes the silver medal, more than 40 points back
China’s 14-year-old diver Quan Hongchan wrapped up the 10m platform gold medal in stunning style after producing three perfect-10 dives at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
All six judges awarded her second, fourth and fifth dives – which all had a difficulty rating of 3.2 – with scores of 10 on Thursday afternoon.
Appearing in her first Games, Quan sealed China’s 33rd gold medal in Tokyo, obliterating the field with an incredible final overall score of 466.20.
“I want to thank [my parents] for encouraging me to relax and telling me to just go for my dives freely because it doesn‘t matter whether I get a medal or not,” she said.
Quan became the second-youngest Chinese Olympic gold medallist in diving, behind only Fu Mingxia who won 10m platform gold at Barcelona 1992 aged 13.
“I don’t think I’m a prodigy,” she added. “I don’t do well in my studies. You ask me all these questions and there’s only a blank in my mind.”
It was a one-two on the podium for China, with 15-year-old Chen Yuxi taking silver after finishing more than 40 points behind teammate Quan on 425.40.
Chen also won 10m synchro gold with teammate Zhang Jiaqi in Tokyo.
“I felt emotional,” Chen said. “You feel that all the sacrifices you made has amounted to something. Even if it’s not gold, a silver medal is also a great encouragement. I hope to continue and be there in Paris.”
Australia’s Melissa Wu, 29, took the bronze medal, more than 50 points back from Chen, and nearly 95 points off Quan, with 371.40. Wu also won 10m synchro gold at the 2008 Beijing Games with Briony Cole.
“They’re amazing to watch and I’ve always looked up to all of the Chinese divers,” Wu said. “I definitely try to emulate their work ethic and I’m so happy that they also had a really good performance today.”
Quan led from the first round, where her forward three-and-a-half somersaults pike (3.0 difficulty) earned her a score of 82.50.
Then came her first perfect 96.0 score, for an inward three-and-a-half somersaults tuck.
She followed that up with a backward three-and-a-half somersaults tuck (3.3 difficulty), which earned 10s from six of the seven judges, scoring a 95.70.
Then came a backward arm stand with two somersaults and one-and-a-half twists, again earning a 96.0, and the performance was capped with a backward two-and-a-half somersaults pike with one-and-a-half twists, again for 96.0.
The youngest Chinese athlete at these Games, Quan ensured a clean sweep for China in the women’s diving events for the fourth consecutive Olympics.
She had advanced to the 10m platform finals in first place earlier in the morning, having finished second in Wednesday’s preliminaries.