Mitcham prevents Chinese clean sweep in diving

Society Materials 23 August 2008 19:47 (UTC +04:00)

Australia's Matthew Mitcham prevented China from making it eight victories out of eight in the diving events at the Beijing Games Saturday by taking gold in the men's 10-metre platform.

Mitcham withheld the challenge of Zhou Luxin, who led going into the final round, to win with a total of 537.95 points. Zhou had to be satisfied with silver on 533.15 while Russia's Gleb Galperin claimed bronze with 525.80 points, the dpa reported.

China's Huo Liang, the 2007 world champion, finished down in fourth.

The 20-year-old Mitcham, who advanced to the semi-finals with the second-highest points total, secured victory with a score of 112.10 on his final dive.

"It's going to take a while to sink in," said Mitcham. "My cheeks hurt from smiling, my face hurts from the chlorine, my legs are sore from jumping up and down. I'm in pain and I'm tired but I'm so happy."

Mitcham said that only in his "wildest dreams" did he ever envisage winning gold and that he had simply gone out to enjoy the occasion.

"I couldn't hear the crowd. In my mind I was saying 'just enjoy it'. There is nothing I can do to make the dive better or worse," he said.

"I thought maybe I could have gotten the bronze or silver medal."

Huo, meanwhile, was full of praise for Mitcham and how he produced a gold-medal winning final dive.

"He deserves it," he said.