China divers go 2-for-2 at Beijing Olympics

Aug. 11, 2008, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) The Chinese divers are in perfect sync with their Olympic expectations.

The host country made it 2-for-2 in one of its favorite sports when Lin Yue and Huo Liang won the men's 10-meter synchronized title on Monday, spurred on by their chanting, flag-waving fans at the Water Cube.

The Chinese led throughout, taking gold with a mark of 468.18 points. Germany's duo of Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding rallied for the silver at 450.42, leaving Russia's Gleb Galperin and Dmitry Dobroskok to settle for bronze at 445.26 - just 0.42 ahead of fourth-place Australia.

As the same arena where Michael Phelps is trying to win eight gold medals, the Chinese have hopes of a similar sweep in the eight diving events.

No country has won that many diving golds, but the Chinese are a quarter of the way there and look unstoppable. Lin and Huo set the tone in the very first round with a forward dive in the pike position that barely rippled the water, receiving one perfect 10 and a string of 9.5s.

They had they joint really rockin' in the next round with their inward pike dive, receiving all 10s for synchronization.

The Chinese have a huge diving program, and Lin summed up the sport's importance when asked how long he has been waiting for the chance to win Olympic gold.

"Since I knew what the Olympic games were," the 17-year-old said.

Lin and Huo added to the title they won at the 2007 world championships, even though they are mere blips atop the big tower. Huo is only 5-foot-1, while Lin is an inch taller.

"I'm a little short and that may affect my execution in the air," the 18-year-old Huo said, "but it will be OK if I pay attention to it."

The Russians appeared to have the silver locked up until Dobroskok botched his entry on the next-to-last of six rounds, opening the door for Germany. Klein and Hausding earned the top score of the final round and slid into the runner-up spot.

"The fifth jump, yes, I made a mistake," Dobroskok said through a translator. "This was a technical mistake and I don't think it was nerves. I was a bit too pressed up at the beginning of the dive and didn't have a strong entry."

At least the Russians won a medal.

The once-powerful U.S. diving team, eager to avoid the medal shutout it had in Athens four years ago, is 0-for-2 at the Water Cube.

David Boudia and Thomas Finchum were third after the fourth round, but couldn't hold on. They took fifth in 440.64.

"We have proved ourselves in the past, but it just wasn't there today," Finchum said. "I'm a little disappointed. I wanted to win a gold medal today and I didn't. I can't explain why."

China added to the title that Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia won in women's 3-meter synchro on Sunday. The Americans finished fourth in that one.