China and Mexico added to their impressive medal totals at the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade on Monday as the diving competition came to an end at the Mostra d’Oltremare Swimming Pool.
The Chinese won three of four finals and added a second-place finish to conclude the meet with 15 medals, 11 of them gold. The Mexican squad will return home with 11 medals, including four triumphs thanks to one gold and three silvers on the final day.
Mexico’s Diego Balleza dominated the last individual final of the Games, the men’s 10-metre platform, scoring 453.70 to easily distance Huang Bowen of China (417.35) and 18-year-old Canadian Laurent Gosselin-Paradis (399.10).
It meant the 24-year-old champion, who had placed sixth in the event at the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, ended these Games with four medals from two golds and two silvers.
China then swept the last three podiums of the meet. In the mixed team final, Huang and Jiao Jingjing ran away with the title thanks to a 381.80 score. The battle for second position is what kept spectators on the edge of their seats as Mexico’s Alejandra Estrella and Adan Zuniga (358.80) edged South Korea’s Cho Eunbi and Yi Jaegyeong (357.20) by less than two points.
Once all the action in the pool was done, China was awarded two more gold medals in the women’s and men’s team classification categories, based on teams’ overall performances during the entire competition. Mexico swept the silver medals, while bronze went to the South Korean women and Russian men.
China and Poland came away with the first gold medals of the athletics competitions which got underway on Monday.
At the imposing Stadio San Paolo, Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki broke the Universiade record in the men’s shot-put which was set almost twenty ago.
In a hotly contested event, four other personal bests and season’s bests were set but the 22-year-old Polish former World Junior champion did not have the best of starts recording two fouls. However Bukowiecki did throw for a distance of 21.00 metres and with USA’s Andrew Liskowitz close on his heels, then went on to launching his best effort into the fifth throw with a whopping 21.54. Andrew Liskowitz won silver with a personal best of 20.49 metres and Mexican Uziel Munoz Galarza won bronze with 20.45 metres.
The other final of the evening was the women’s 10,000 metre race which initially got off to a false start. For the first third of the race, no one really took the initiative to set the pace and it was only with 19 laps to go that two Japanese women – Rino Goshima and Natsuki Sekiya – accelerated and went into the lead.
Half way through the race, China’s Zhang Deshun pushed the pace and took the lead and it stayed that way right through until the end, with the only other challenge coming from Canada’s Branna Macdougall. Despite a spirited fight from Goshima in the last 400 metres, it was Deshun who won gold followed by the two Japanese women.
Italy fended off a late rally to beat Russia 45-38 and win the women’s foil fencing team event and claim a fifth gold medal for the hosts.
Erica Cipressa, who won gold in the individual event, put the hosts on top early on, dominating her first leg against Olga Batenina. Italy built on the good start and went into the last third of the match with a 30-20 advantage. But Batenina gave Martina Sinigalia a torrid time in the seventh period to pull the Russians back to 33-27.
Maria Melnikova kept the momentum going, winning her contest with Camilla Mancini 7-4 to bring the gap down to three points before the final period. But Cipressa showed composure and steered the hosts home against Oksana Hauregi Martines in the final battle.
Earlier on Monday, France beat China 41-38 to take the bronze medal in a tight affair that featured several scrappy spells, with Morgane Patru sealing third place with a fine counterattack just before the clock ran out.
In the men’s epee event, South Korea won gold defeating Russia 45-31 in the final, while Italy took bronze. After a close start, the Koreans took command, with Lee Seunghyun and Jang Minhyeok dominating the contests against Alan Fardzinov and Dmitrii Shvelidze taking them from 9-9 to 20-11. The Russians looked like they might be coming back when Fardzinov won five consecutive points in the seventh leg. But the rally did not last and the Koreans cruised home from then on.
Italy beat Poland 45-33 to take the bronze medal.
Pavilion 3 in Mostra d’Oltremare witnessed a dramatic final round in the 10m air rifle mixed team event as Iran clinched gold, followed by Korea with silver, and Russia with bronze.
The rule of the final rounds is for the two teams to compare their score after each shot. The team with the higher score wins two points, with one point awarded to each if it is a draw. The team that gets to 16 points first wins the game.
The first eight shots were neck and neck, and it was only in the ninth round that Iran took the lead. Korea then levelled things up again after the twelfth shot. During the final rounds, athletes from both teams had some trouble with misalignment, but it was the Iranian athletes who seemed to have better control of the last few shots and they successfully ended the game with their fifteenth shot.
The bronze medal match was a tight contest too with China and Russia level until the fifth shot when China took a small lead. But by the ninth shot, Russia took control which by the thirteenth shot was 14:12 in their favour. Finally, Russia ended the match with their fifteenth shot, with the final result 17-13.
The last day of sport shooting at the Universiade takes place today (9 July), with the final of 10m Air Pistol mixed team.