BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Qiu Bo won his second consecutive world title in the men's 10-meter platform on Sunday, giving China its ninth gold medal in 10 diving events at the world championships.
Defending champion Qiu destroyed the 12-man field with his six dives — including two near perfect efforts — to rake in 581 points. Behind Qiu, Olympic champion David Boudia took his second straight silver and Germany's Sascha Klein again secured bronze to replicate the podium from the 2011 world championships in Shanghai.
With the win, Qiu became the only man other than Greg Louganis to medal in three straight worlds in this event after also taking home the silver in 2009. The 20-year-old Qiu said he was motivated by his second-place finish to Boudia in the 2012 Games.
"Before the London Olympics I had a few injuries and I made quite a few mistakes in my performance," Qiu said. "I wasn't too satisfied with a silver, but I was happy that I did as well as I did. "Even though I lost in London it didn't mean it was a failure because of what I was able to learn. I trained hard and was able to boost my confidence, and I believe that today everyone saw how my hard work has paid off."
More than anyone, Boudia surely did. He finished far behind Qiu with 517.40 points, even if Boudia did manage to save the United States from being shut out of the medals in the diving at the Montjuic Municipal pool overlooking Barcelona.
Boudia said that after a whirlwind year - which included him getting married - he was content to settle for a silver. "After achieving your ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic gold medalist, to come to the world championships and be on the podium is great," the 24-year-old American said, adding that the result was "encouraging" as he looked toward the 2016 Olympics.
Klein claimed third with 508.55 to earn his second medal after his gold from the 10-meter synchronized platform last week with partner Patrick Hausding, the only event Chinese divers didn't dominate. China finished this week's diving events just one gold medal shy of a 10-for-10 sweep.
Boudia had led the semifinals with Qiu only managing to classify in sixth place, but the expected competition between the old rivals quickly turned into Boudia watching Qiu cruise to the title with an untouchable performance.
"I didn't do too well in the semifinals because I had trained a lot and was tired," Qiu said. "But I'm happy with how well I did in the final. I just prepared myself and did it up to my standards." They are some standards. Qiu had four of the five best individual dives of the final, including two massive hauls of 108 and 110.70 points that were among the best of all the diving this week.
Boudia led after the first two rounds, but Qiu had closed the gap to just five points before he went ahead for good in the third. Qiu then practically decided the title with two dives to go by nailing a backward pike with three-and-a-half somersaults that six of seven judges scored as a 10, with only one giving it a 9.5.
Mexican pair German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia finished fourth and fifth, followed by Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley of Britain in sixth.