19-year-old will complete a grand slam if she wins individual event on Thursday
SHANGHAI - Chinese Olympic champion Chen Ruolin has her sights set on a repeat golden performance at the 2012 London Olympics after she went closer to completing a grand slam of gold medals in the individual and synchronized events on Monday in Shanghai.
Teaming with Wang Hao, Chen claimed gold in the women's 10m platform synchro event at the 14th FINA World Championships, continuing China's domination of the event. Her compatriot, Li Shixin, won the men's 1m springboard earlier in the day. If Chen wins the individual event on Thursday she will have pocketed gold in the individual and synchro events at all three major international competitions, the Olympics, World Championships and World Cup.
"I don't want to think too much about the so called 'grand slam', otherwise my dives will be affected," said Chen. "The grand slam is not my goal, but the 2012 London Olympics are."
Chen, 19, a 2008 Olympic champion in the individual and synchro 10m platform, compiled 335.34 points to win the fourth gold for the host, which has won every heat and gold medal so far as it chases a sweep of the diving honors.
The Chinese duo left Australia's Alexandra Croak and Melissa Wu, Olympic silver medalists, second with 325.92 points, followed by Christin Steuer and Nora Subschinski of Germany, with 316.29 points.
Chen had won the event at the two previous worlds with different partners. She and Jia Tong were crowned in Melbourne in 2007 and then she won with Wang Xin at the 2009 Rome worlds. She also became the first three-time medalists in the event.
"I am quite excited. I am still suffering from a waist injury but it didn't cause much trouble in today's competition," Chen said.
"I will also enter the 10m platform event on Wednesday, so I must stay focused. I'm looking forward to it."
Earlier on Monday, Li scored 463.90 points to win the men's 1m springboard, while compatriot He Min, who blew his second dive before finishing strongly, claimed silver with 444.00 points after scoring an impressive 81.60 points on his final dive. Germany's Pavlo Rozenberg finished third (436.50).
"You don't know how excited I am now. I didn't execute one of the dives well enough. But it didn't affect my whole competition," said Li. "This is my first time taking part in the World Championships. It means my effort during the years has paid off. I am very delighted with the gold medal."