FINA World Championships 2019 | As it happened: Day 6

Olympic Channel were on site in Korea as the World Championships continued on the sixth day of competition.

By ZK Goh and Andrew Binner ·

Olympic Channel are on site at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The sixth day of competition, Wednesday 17 July, saw Tokyo 2020 Olympic spots up for grabs in the Women's 10m Platform diving final.

Plus, the U.S. artistic swimming team competed in the team free event, showing off their robot moves.

You can re-live all of Wednesday's action with our blog below (newest updates first). Come back for daily live blogs throughout the Championships.

Alternatively, you can catch up with what happened on Tuesday 16 July here.


12 - 28 Jul 2019

FINA World Championships - Gwangju

South Korea

All times below are Korean Standard Time (UTC+9 hours).

10:40 pm - Signing off

So, the Chinese juggernaut rolls on in diving, where they have now won nine golds from nine events. Just four finals remain as China seek a clean sweep of diving golds.

Come back tomorrow to find out if they can make it 10-for-10 in the men's 3m final.

Until then, we leave you with today's photo gallery.

Thanks for joining us!

FINA World Championships Day 6 - the best photos

10:32 pm - Koreans react after tough test against Serbia

We managed to grab a few words with the South Koreans after that battle against Olympic champions Serbia.

The number 10, Han Hyo-min, told us he enjoyed playing against such "global champions".

"They're bigger and stronger, so we just tried to be mentally right to play against them," he said.

"I hope to go play in other countries, it's hard to play water polo in Korea because there isn't much economic support."

Meanwhile, assistant coach Lee Seung-jae was full of praise for his team.

"It was very difficult against the very experienced Serbians, but I'm proud of them," he said.

"I hope our players will get the chance to play more against such players. I'm very happy we scored two goals against the Olympic champions.

"It has been only three months since we've been training together. We haven't had too much practice, so it's not been easy. I think our game today was very helpful and I hope we'll continue to play better in the future games."

9:55 pm - Exciting finish in the water polo too

Meanwhile, over in the water polo, it was an exciting end to the Korea v Serbia clash as well.

The Olympic champs won 22–2, but the hosts hit the post twice and had a penalty saved.

The heavens have absolutely opened up now.

9:54 pm - China one-two in diving, USA third

That's a nice final dive from Schnell, I don't think that'll be enough for a medal for the American. But anything can still happen.

Chen will need to produce a massive error not to take gold. But who's going to win bronze? Here comes Melissa Wu of Australia, fourth after four rounds.

Oh no, that's not the cleanest entry and has probably cost her. Nope, that dive puts her behind Schnell with Benfeito still to dive.

Schnell can't bring herself to watch Benfeito's dive. A big splash on entry and the Canadian coach looks worried. That might be enough for the American!

Only good for fifth with three divers left! A big grin for Schnell, who knows she's all but guaranteed a medal now.

Lu Wei goes above her, as expected, but all eyes are now on Chen Yuxi. Nines. That's easily going to do it for her. A big cheer from the crowd. What will the margin of victory be?

439 points and hugs for Chen. Lu finished on 377.80, 61.2 points back.

364.20 for Schnell. Smiles all around in the U.S. camp!

9:40 pm - Chen pulls further away

There is no stopping this Chinese train.

Chen Yuxi gets 9.5s again! 94.05 points for that dive, 352.60 in total

Teammate Lu Wei is second, on 299.40 points. A whole 53.2 points behind!

It's Canada's Benfeito who's now overtaken Schnell and Pamg to move into bronze medal position with one round of dives left. Australia's Melissa Wu is fourth.

9:26 pm - Ten! Ten! for China

That is a stunning dive from USA's Delaney Schnell, and don't her coaches and teammates know it! Huge first pumps and reactions to that dive. She's gone past Pamg.

The Chinese coaches, by comparison, look pretty sombre.

Not that they have any reason to. Chen and Lu both nail good dives – two tens and lots of 9.5s for Chen!

Chen leads Lu, with Schnell third after three rounds. But Chen has a 40-point lead already!

9:15 pm - Never give up

Korea have a second goal against Serbia!

They may be 14–2 down in the third quarter, but they did find the net again, from a penalty shot.

Well deserved for their persistence!

Korea men score a second goal against Serbia

9:12 pm - Lu Wei struggles

A rare poor dive from the Chinese as Lu Wei finds herself listening to scores of sixes.

No problems for Chen, though - nines and 9.5s.

Chen leads after two rounds from Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia and Benfeito of Canada.

8:55 pm - China looking to make it nine-from-nine in diving

We're also keeping an eye on the day's last final, the Women's 10m Platform diving event, where China's Lu Wei and Chen Yuxi are heavily favoured to make it nine golds for their country in Gwangju.

Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay will hope to spring a surprise, though.

8.45 pm - On the subject of Korean water polo goals...

The men have opened their account for tonight!

It was the tough match we anticipated and the Olympic champions went into a four goal lead, but credit where it's due and a wonderful goal back for the hosts. Someone behind got excited and spilt coffee on me... they are forgiven.

The score is now 6-1 to Serbia at the end of the first quarter.

A Korean fan captures a moment at the water polo arena
The Gwangju crowd get behind their men's water polo team

8:30 pm - Pure joy

Speaking of Korea, their women's team hasn't had the best of time so far, losing 64-0 to Hungary in their opening match before shipping another 30 goals to Russia in their second.

But they did manage to score their first-ever World Championships goal.

Just look at the pure emotion.

8:15 pm - Another men's water polo thriller!

A great crowd witnessed Greece and Montenegro score 10 goals each, under warm Wednesday night lights.

It was high drama to the end with Greece hitting the woodwork with the last play of the game.

Group A has now been thrown wide open with Greece going top a point.

The other two teams in the group, hosts Korea and Olympic champions Serbia, are up next! Stay tuned.

Greece and Montenegro do battle under lights on a warm Gwangju evening

8:00 pm - Romashina wins 25th career world gold

Unsurprisingly, it's gold for Svetlana Romashina of Russia.

She has an incredible 25 world medals now – all gold.

Spain's Ona Carbonell wins silver, Japan's Yukiko Inui bronze.

7:46 pm - Carbonell looks set for medal

94.5667 for Carbonell! That's an improvement on her preliminary 93.83.

Just three athletes left to go, but here comes the favourite, Romashina.

Wow. 97.1333 for the Russian, who set her routine to Georges Bizet's Carmen.

7:41 pm - Approaching medal territory

We have our first 90-plus score! Italy's Linda Cerruti goes into the lead of the Solo Free final with a 90.46.

Next up, a 92.5667 for Marta Fiedina of Ukraine. She overtakes Cerruti, but here comes Spain's Ona Carbonell.

7:00 pm - Romashina looks to shine

We're nearly ready to go in the artistic swimming Solo Free Routine final.

The favourite is Russia's five-time Olympic gold medallist Svetlana Romashina, who's already clinched a number of world titles here in Gwangju.

Each of the 12 finalists' routines will last around 2 minutes and 30 seconds. There are no required elements.

6:55 pm - Jump in!

During the break in diving competition at Nambu University Aquatics Centre, the swimmers sneak a few practice runs in.

The swimming events take place from 21-28 of July and you can see our full schedule of events here.

Swimmers practice in the competition pool in Gwangju

6:23 pm - Italy maintain perfect start in water polo

Italy men's team edged a dogged Japanese outfit 7-9 in a top-of-the-table clash, and now lead Group D.

Japan stay second with Germany, who earlier smashed bottom-placed Brazil 10-2, in third.

5.51 pm - Reaction from Jack Laugher's six hours of diving today

Great Britain's diving Olympic champion has had a mammoth day in the office today, competing in both the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the individual 3m springboard within a few hours of each other.

He has a small breather now, with the final taking place tomorrow evening at 8.45pm. Here's what he had to say after his semi-final:

"Eleven out of my twelve dives were really good, now I can just relax and go all guns blazing tomorrow in the final.

"It's been a really long day, I've had six hours of competing today and it really takes it out of you. My legs are dying, my mind is going, I'm hungry, everything's falling to pieces it feels like but I've done what I need to do."

Jack Laugher: My Rio Highlights

The best moments from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

5:08 pm - China, Russia, and USA gain two finalists

Unsurprisingly, the semi-final ends with a Chinese one-two. Xie leads Cao and they will be the last two divers in tomorrow's final.

Laugher is third.

Both Russians and Americans in the semi-final field also made the top 12, ensuring they will have two divers in this event at Tokyo 2020 as well.

4:50 pm - Xie leads diving semifinal

With one round of dives left, China's Xie Siyi leads the Men's 3m Springboard semifinal.

Great Britain's Jack Laugher is second, and Xie's teammate Cao Yuan is third.

David Boudia is fourth.

A reminder that the 12 finalists will all also secure quota spots for their countries to Tokyo 2020.

4:03 pm - Reaction from USA artistic swimming coach Andrea Fuentes

Team USA's new robot routine in the Team Free event was certainly worth the hype. The traditional smooth and silky pool-entrance routine was replaced by a juttering, mechanical-looking robot walk, which was both funny and unique.

The team executed to plan, finishing 11th in the preliminary round, which means they will compete again in Friday's final.

After the performance we spoke exclusively to their coach Andrea Fuentes, who stressed the importance of 'dreaming big' as they edge closer towards their dream of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Earlier this year we spent the day with Team USA to find out how they learnt those new robotic moves, and you can watch that video here.

3:35 pm - David Boudia returns to pool

Three-time Olympian David Boudia of the United States, London 2012 Olympic champion on the 10m platform, took a break from the sport after Rio 2016.

Now, he's back. And diving off the lower 3m springboard, which he last did competitively at the American collegiate level.

He'll be one to watch here as he seeks a spot in the final during this afternoon's Men's 3m semifinals.

3:15 pm - Olympic Channel Podcast

We're continuing our coverage of the Fina World Championships on our official podcast, which is now past 100 episodes!

In case you missed it, over the last three weeks we've spoken to the USA Artistic Swimming team, Canadian divers (and silver medallists in Gwangju) Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu, and Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Katinka Hosszu.

This week, we have South Africa's Olympic champion Chad le Clos, who shot to stardom at London 2012 when he beat Michael Phelps in the pool. And we also speak to Refugee Olympic Team swimmer Rami Anis. Have a listen!

2:06 pm - We have our diving semi-finalists

After a mammoth qualifying round, the top 18 have been decided in the Men's 3m Springboard Individual preliminary round.

Chinese favourite Siyi Xie finished first, with British Olympic champion Jack Laugher second and home hero Haram Woo in third.

The semi-finals take place at 3.30pm.

1:45 pm - Deadlock in the water polo!

Southern hemisphere rivals South Africa and New Zealand couldn't be separated in the men's water polo, 8-8 the final score.

The result means Hungary stay in control of Group C after their 13-11 win over Spain.

1:15 pm - Reporter suffers suspected perforated eardrum

Not really. But my ears are definitely still ringing after the Korean team took to the pool in the artistic swimming Team Free preliminary round. They love their artistic swimming here!

China have taken a commanding lead after a near-flawless performance, with Japan second and Canada third.

Korean fans go wild at the artistic swimming
The Korean Team Free squad after their performance

12:49 pm - Diving favourites looking strong

China's triple world champion Siyi Xie, British Olympic champion Jack Laugher, and Mexico's recently-crowned 1m Springboard Individual silver medallist Rommel Pacheco are 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Men's 3m Springboard Individual preliminary round.

12:16 pm - How can humans move like that?!

The Olympic Channel has been following the USA artistic swimming team this year and below, you'll see a video about how that amazing robot routine came to life.

Could a dance from 'Mr. Robot' help the USA artistic swim team make history?

The USA team haven't competed at the Olympics since 2008. Now they've asked...

12:03 pm - Croatia crushing it in water polo

The defending men's world champions seem in no mood to relinquish their crown, with a 17-7 demolition of USA.

They stay top of Group B with 31 goals, and two wins from two games. Impressive.

11.35 am - Rock, Robot rock quote famous DJ duo Daft Punk. The USA routine is complete and it was equal parts innovative, creative and crowd-pleasing.

The routine was well executed and they'll be very happy with their effort.

Fingers crossed they make the final, as the continue their mission of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The USA robot routine makes its artistic swimming debut
USA fans show some love for their team

11:32 am - Here comes Team USA with the global debut of their Robot routine...

This arena is magnificent. It's sealed in so any fan noise reverberates around and magnifies. Equal parts scared and excited for the Korean routine, and the fan noise it'll bring!

11.18 am - Japan kick us off in style

The Japanese team have set quite the act to follow with that routine in the artistic swimming Team Free preliminary round.

Their performance, including the music, included lots of nods to ancient Japanese culture. A very classy effort. Their fans shrieked their support every time the athletes' heads came above water!

Japanese fans supporting their team at the artistic swimming

10:50 am - It's warming up at the Yeomju Gymnasium

We are live at the artistic swimming, and it looks like it's going to be a bumper crowd today.

Several local schools are queuing to get into the arena, and are cooling off with ice-pops in the warm Gwangju sun, which is still shining brightly.

Local school kids cool off outside the Yeomju Gymnasium with an ice-pop

9:38 am - Australia secure first men's water polo win

After a tough loss in their Gwangju 2019 opener to World champions Croatia, Australia's men have bounced back to beat Kazakhstan 17-8.

It was never in doubt for the men in yellow, who won three of the four quarters and now sit mid-table in Group B.

9.20 am - VICTORY!

Ana Marcela wins the women's 5km open water swim to claim her ELEVENTH world championship medal.

The Brazilian finished in 57:56:00, one second ahead of France's Aurelie Muller (silver) and two seconds ahead of American Hannah Moore (bronze).

Parabéns Ana!

9:00 am - Stat attack

  • United States has won the women's 5km open water swimming world title a joint-record five times, alongside Russia.
  • Ashley Twichell of USA could become the fourth woman to win the women's 5km world title at least twice, after compatriot Haley Anderson (2), Russia's Larisa Ilchenko (5) and Viola Valli of Italy (3).
  • Brazil's Ana Marcela is one of four women to have won at least 10 open water swimming medals at the world championships, alongside Dutch athlete Edith Van Dijk (15) and Germans Angela Maurer (12) and Britta Kamrau-Corestein (10).

8:15 am - Something to drink, madam?

Just a last quick drink before the Women's 5km open water swimming race begins.

The sun is glistening off the water!

A coach provides nourishment to their swimmer at the Yeosu Ocean Park open water swimming venue

8:05 am - Day 6 highlights

08:00 - 09:15 Open water swimming: Women's 5km final
08:30 - 13:35 Water Polo: Men's preliminary round
10:00 - 12:30 Diving: Men's 3m Springboard Individual preliminary round
11:00 - 14:00 Artistic swimming: Team Free preliminary round
14:15 - 16:00 Beach Water Polo: Men's matches
15:30 - 17:00 Diving: Men's 3m Springboard Individual semi-finals
16:30 - 21:35 Water Polo: Men's preliminary round
19:00 - 20:30 Artistic swimming: Solo Free final
20:45 - 22:15 Diving: Women's 10m Platform Individual final

8:00 am - Good morning from sunny Gwangju

After the tropical rainstorm of yesterday, the Gwangju weather Gods have bestowed upon us a sunny morning for Day 6 of the championships.

The Women's 5km open water swimmers will be most thankful for this, who kick off shortly in our first medal event of the day.

Medals will also be won today in diving and artistic swimming, so let's get to it!

About the FINA World Championships 2019

The 2019 event is the 18th edition of the FINA World Championships, which are held every two years.

The biggest names in swimming, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming, and water polo are competing for medals in Korea, between the 12th and 28th July, with qualifying spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games also available in some of the aquatic disciplines.

You can read all about the FINA World Championships in our full event preview article. Viewers in the USA can watch events from Gwangju live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.