Teenagers Chen, Wang keep China perfect in diving

Aug. 12, 2008, 4:55 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Teenagers Wang Xin and Chen Ruolin gave China its third straight victory in Olympic diving, easily winning the women's 10-meter synchronized competition on Tuesday.

Chen and Wang totaled 363.54 points in an event China has won since it was introduced at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Australia's Briony Cole and Melissa Wu took the silver at 335.16, while Mexico's Paola Espinosa and Tatiana Ortiz earned the bronze at 330.06.

The gold medal was a delayed birthday present for Wang, who turned 16 on Monday. Chen is 15.

"The gold medal is the best birthday present I have ever had," Wang said. "I hope the luck can be with me all the time."

The duo could have more celebrating in store since Chen and Wang are ranked 1-2 on individual platform.

The Chinese also won synchro events in women's 3-meter springboard and men's 10-meter platform. They're hoping to sweep all eight golds in diving, a sport that has produced the country's most Olympic medals.

It was a full house at the Water Cube, with partisan fans waving large and small red flags and doing chants in Chinese, punctuated by the cry, "Go China!"

Chen and Wang led through all five rounds, earning a perfect 10 for execution from one judge on their second dive, a reverse from the pike position.

Before taking the medals podium, Chen and Wang circled around it to shake hands with the Mexicans and Australians, continuing a tradition the victorious Chinese began after earning their first gold medal.

"I hope to be diving with her for a long time," said Wang, who became Chen's partner last year after Chen won a world title with another partner.

The tiny Chinese pair held hands as they stepped onto the podium, then waved and smiled while cheers rang out and flashbulbs popped around the vast reaches of the arena's seating area.