Canadian leads the way at swimming meet

Canada’s Blythe Hartley led all the way in winning the 1m springboard title at swimming’s World Championships on Monday night.

It was Canada’s second medal, and first gold, in as many days.

Hartley easily outdistanced silver medallist Wu Min Xia of China, preventing the Chinese from a possible sweep of diving gold medals.

They won two synchronised golds on Sunday on the first day of competition. China are coming off the Athens Olympics where they won six of eight diving golds.

Hartley finished first with 325,65 points. Wu had 299,80.
Heike Fischer of Germany earned bronze with 299,46.

Anna Lindberg of Sweden was fourth, Alejandra Fuentes of Venezuela was fifth and American Christina Loukas finished last in the field of six.

Hartley, a 23-year-old from Vancouver, won the 1m world title in 2001 and finished third in the event two years later.

The former gymnast, who attends the University of Southern California, won a bronze in synchronised platform diving with Emilie Heymans at the Athens Games.

Hartley wasn’t the Canadian diver most likely to derail the Chinese on their gold-medal march to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Her teammates, Heymans and Alexandre Despatie, are better known.

But she took a 20-point lead into her final dive—an inward reverse with one-and-a-half twists and one-and-a-half somersaults that Wu and Fischer also performed last.

Hartley scored highest among the three, even though her arms weren’t perfectly straight, causing a large splash upon entering the water.

Canada collected their first medal on Sunday when Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won bronze in 10m synchronised platform diving.

The Chinese lead the medal standings after two days with two golds and a silver. Germany have one gold, one silver and one bronze. Canada have one gold and a silver. The United States have two silvers and a bronze.

The 1m springboard was the only medal event on Monday’s schedule.—Sapa-AP

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