FINA World Championships 2019 | As it happened: Day 9

Olympic Channel are on site in Korea as the World Championships saw the last day of diving and artistic swimming events.

By ZK Goh and Andrew Binner ·

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

It was the last day of diving and artistic swimming at these Championships on Saturday 20 July.

You can re-live all of Saturday'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 Friday 19 July here.


12 - 28 Jul 2019

FINA World Championships - Gwangju

South Korea

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

11:30 pm - Ready for swimming?

We certainly are.

Our man on the ground, Andrew Binner, has written a review of what went down in the first week and what we can expect in the coming week.

"A special atmosphere is building in Gwangju," he writes, as swimmers start to arrive.

There's still eight days of competition left in Korea.

See you tomorrow for more! Until then, here are today's best photos.

FINA World Championships Day 9 - the best photos

10:50 pm - Yangs react

New world champion Yang Jian says his emotions at the moment are complex.

"I have mixed feelings right now, they're quite complicated, but primarily I'm very proud of myself for representing my country and getting a gold medal today," he says at the press conference.

"This is my third Worlds, the first two didn't go too smoothly but in these four years, in all the competitions, I've been testing myself.

"I've been learning a lot, training hard, eating and sleeping well. Everything has added up, and with the guidance of my coach, this has paid off and I'm able to win this gold medal.

"I'm satisfied right now."

Meanwhile, silver medallist Yang Hao explains his absence from this morning's mixed 3m springboard final: "I withdrew from the mixed event as arranged by the team to focus on this goal."

10:30 pm - Only halfway

It's been an incredible first nine days of competition in Gwangju but we're only halfway through!

The swimming events start tomorrow, of course, while water polo continues.

10:10 pm - Wow!

Wow. Have you got your breath back yet?

That was an incredible final. We'll have reaction from the medallists to come.

Back in the artistic swimming, we're nearly done with the gala, and there's currently a performance from the hosts to conclude the action from the Yeomju Gymnasium pool.

10:02 pm - Yang Jian wins 10m platform final in tight head-to-head fight

Bondar scores another 90-plus dive for a final total of 541.05.

There's a wave for the camera. He's pretty confident he's got bronze in the bag.

Here comes Oleksii Sereda for his final dive at these World Championships. Still just 13 years old, he's definitely won over the crowd and the hearts of everyone watching this week. Nines from the judges in there for a total of 490 points or so. Remember the name.

Can Daley sign off with a good dive? He's had a bit of a nightmare here this evening. That's not bad. Too little, too late, for the Briton but at least he's signed off on a positive note. 97.20 points for that dive and if he hadn't messed up his middle dives, we could be talking about the 2019 world champion.

Not to be for Daley, but can Yang Hao overhaul his colleague Yang Jian?

Oh, he could! That's stunning! He was meant to be in this morning's mixed 3m final but withdrew, and wow, what a decision. Only one man stands in his way now.

Yang Jian with a very, very difficult high-tariff final dive and they're all up in the stands! That is incredible, there are no words! Yang Jian kisses the edge of the pool as he leaves the water.

Diving of the highest standard. 114.80 for the dive! Yang Jian is world champion! A big hug for his coach, and for Sereda too. A pat on the head for Sereda from Yang.

A cool 13 points clear of Yang Hao in the end. Bronze for Bondar, and Sereda finishes fourth!

Final standings in the Men's 10m Platform

9:47 pm - More perfection for Yang Hao as Daley fades

Bondar continues to extend his gap to the rest of the field. 99.90 points for his fifth dive, and it's hard to look past the Russian for bronze now.

Tom Daley's up, and that's completely fluffed as well, oh no. As close to a belly flop as you can get without it being a belly flop. Fours across the board on his most difficult dive and we won't be seeing him on the podium.

Here's Yang Hao, fresh off his perfect 10 dive in the last round and I tell you what, that could get a few more 10s! Four 10s and three 9.5s from the judges! 106.20 points.

He's really putting the pressure on Yang Jian. The Chinese coaches and fans are on their feet and jumping. This is a truly stunning display of diving. 104.40 for that dive, and Yang Jian now leads Yang Hao by only 3.55 points.

One round to go.

9:36 pm - Perfect 10s for Yang Hao

There's a 10 in there for Aleksandr Bondar, the European champion at 10m representing Russia. Into the lead for Bondar. He wants that medal that won't go to China.

He won two silver medals at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games for Ukraine.

Speaking of Ukraine, Sereda is showing no signs of nerves! He's on the push for a top-five finish.

The crowd is making lots of noise every time home favourite Woo comes up to dive, and again when he hits the water. A huge roar! He has really announced himself as an all-round diver at these Championships.

Here's Daley with his 3.5-difficulty armstand back triple somersault pike. Another splash on entry into the water, and it's just not working out for him. Did this morning's mixed 3m final take it out of him?

Wow, China are really unstoppable. Yang Hao gets perfect 10s from all seven judges! He's the first to score 100-plus for a dive.

And how's that for Yang Jian? He's stepped it up too with a high-difficulty dive that gets "only" nines and 9.5s. He'll stay in first, but only by five points. Bondar leads the rest of the field.

Perfect 10s for Yang Hao!

9:23 pm - Chinese fight for gold

Tom Daley is back up with a 5172B (Forward 3.5 somersault 1 twist pike) dive, difficulty 3.6.

Not sure he's caught that right either. I think that may be that for the defending champion, unfortunately. Late in the twist and got his entry wrong. That'll drop him further down the rankings.

Yang Hao gets nines from all but one of the judges, who gives him a 9.5.

This is a straight fight between Yang Hao and Yang Jian for gold now, it appears. Stunning from Yang Jian, 96.90, and he's 11 points clear of Yang Hao, who's 23 points clear of South Korea's Woo Ha-ram.

9:14 pm - Judges performing!

This is quite something - the artistic swimming judges are performing a routine (on stage, it must be said, not in the water) set to ABBA's Dancing Queen at the gala.

Oh, look, the scoreboard has given them a score of 100.0000!

9:10 pm - Daley falls back

That's not as clean as Daley would've liked for his second dive, I think.

Only 72 and he's not even top with two divers left.

And Yang Hao takes full advantage. 91.20 and that mistake could cost Daley.

Here's Yang Jian. 94.50 and he moves ahead of his compatriot.

Yang Hao's impressive second-round dive at the Nambu University Aquatics Centre

8:57 pm - Daley ahead after stunning opening round

A 10 for Daley here as well! What a start for the defending champ, 93.50.

Here comes Yang Hao.

That doesn't look as good, maybe just slightly over-rotated at the end. Seven points behind Daley for Yang Hao.

Here's his teammate, Yang Jian. Nines across the board with a 9.5 thrown in there too. 91.80.

Nines for Tom Daley!
Men's 10m Platform 1st round leaderboard

8:51 pm - First 10 of final

The 13-year-old, Sereda, gets the first 10 of this final!

His dive wasn't as high on difficulty as some of the others so he's not going to lead, but that was very impressive.

8:45 pm - Slight delay in the artistic swim gala

The medal ceremony for the Team Free Combination event has only just finished, so we're in for a short delay before the gala swim can begin.

There's also a ceremony for the Top Team Trophy in the sport, which Russia – with nine golds – have undoubtedly won, too.

8:40 pm - China ready to go for 12th gold

So, we're almost set for the blue riband event in diving, the Men's 10m Platform final.

China, represented here by Yang Hao and Yang Jian, are unbeaten so far in their 11 events here (after not taking part in this morning's mixed 3m synchro).

Among the athletes aiming to stop them will be defending world champion in this event, Great Britain's Tom Daley.

And look out too for 13-year-old Oleksii Sereda, who despite his tender age has threatened the podium already this week.

It's the biggest crowd of the week at the diving!

Dancing otters get the crowd excited ahead of the diving finale

8:24 pm - Russia finish with nine golds in artistic swimming

And there it is, Russia clinch the Team Free Combination title to go home from Gwangju with nine of the 10 events.

China win silver.

Ukraine, who take bronze here, won the Team Highlight Routine final earlier this season.

That's the end of competition here in Gwangju but there is still the Exhibition Gala to come tonight.

7:56 pm - Russia jump for joy

The Russian girls can't believe their score!

Jumping for joy as they receive an incredible 98.00 points for their routine.

The camera cuts to Svetlana Kolesnichenko, supporting her teammates from the stands.

That will be tough to beat.

7:37 pm - Brazil with big improvement

The fifth team up, Brazil, have gone for a choreography with a high degree of difficulty to pull off.

They look pretty happy with themselves as they exit the pool.

And for good reason - they're up into second with 83.63 points, nearly two points better than their prelim score!

7:08 pm - Delight for Korea

The athletes can't quite believe their score as it comes up on screen. There are deafening cheers from the crowd. 78.8 points means they've improved on their preliminary score by over a point.

That will have been their main goal in this final and they are delighted. Big grins.

7:00 pm - Last final in artistic swimming!

We're back in the pool for the very last artistic swimming final of these Championships, in the Team Free Combination event.

There are 12 teams in this final, and there are big screeching screams from the crowd as the hosts Korea are up first.

6:15 pm - It's warm, wet and and windy in Gwangju

There's even an aquatics show outside the venues this evening!

Happily the cover over the temporary extra seating in the aquatics centre is doing its job dutifully and keeping everyone nice and dry.

6:04 pm - Japan join Russia and Italy on podium

Japan's pair look pretty happy with that.

And rightly so, as Atsushi Abe and Yumi Adachi score 90.40 to take bronze.

5:52 pm - Spain out of medals in artistic swimming

No luck for Spain in the Mixed Duet Free final, fourth with two pairs still left.

It's Russians Mayya Gurbanberdieva and Aleksandr Maltsev who lead Italy's Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini by 1.1 points.

China and Japan to come.

5:42 pm - Maddison Keeney reaction: "It was our first time diving together"

Can you believe it? Newly-crowned Australian Mixed 3m Synchro world champions Maddison Keeney and Matthew Carter dived together for the first time in training two hours before the final!

The switch was made after Keeney’s usual partner Domonic Bedggood was forced to pull out yesterday.

“This is the very first time we’ve either trained or competed so we’ve exceeded all expectations," she told Olympic Channel after.

“We’re both good divers and Matt is so talented he can change his technique to dive with anyone so I’m very blessed to be diving with him."

On keeping their new winning partnership together Carter said: “We will see what happens. We’re pretty good together so we will see.”

Maddison Keeney and Matthew Carter of Australia celebrate winning gold in the Mixed 3m Synchro Springboard Final during day nine of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre on July 20, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

5:35 pm - Tom Daley reacts to missing out on medal

Tom Daley will go again later tonight in the Men's 10m Platform final, but the silver medallist from the mixed 3m synchro in 2017 missed out today.

"Obviously whenever you don’t come away with a medal you can be a little disappointed, but I thought we hung in there pretty well.

"We missed our fourth round dive which put us back a little bit out of contention of the medals but you know, you just gotta keep fighting until the end because you never know what can happen in a diving competition.

"I’m pretty gutted but still happy with some of our dives and really looking forward too. I’ve gotta go out try the 10m dives, and then rest, recover, and get back out there."

5:25 pm - Unlikely finalists

There were only 11 pairs entered in the artistic swimming Mixed Duet Free preliminaries, which means all of them have qualified for the final.

We're being treated to routines from countries who rarely make artistic swimming finals, including Colombia, Australia, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.

All eyes, of course, will be on traditional powerhouses Russia.

5:18 pm - Advance Australia Fair

For the first time at the diving arena, an anthem other than China's March of the Volunteers rings out.

Maddison Keeney and Matthew Carter share a hug on the top step of the podium, and Advance Australia Fair is played for the winners.

We'll have reaction from them, as well as fourth-placed Tom Daley and Grace Reid, shortly.

5:02 pm - Artistic swimming final

Two more artistic swimming finals today, too, and we're just underway in the Mixed Duet Free final.

5:00 pm - Another medal for Abel

Congratulations to Canada's No. 1 diver Jenny Abel for sealing her second medal of Gwangju 2019 alongside Francois Imbeau-Dulac.

She also won silver with Melissea Ctrini-Beaulieu in the 3m Springboard Synchro.

4:58 pm - Gold to Australia in Mixed 3m Springboard Synchro

65.70 points for Massenberg and Punzel means they go into the lead with a total of 301.62 for now, but they have quite a long wait to find out if that'll be good enough for a medal.

Imbeau-Dulac and Abel have bettered that! 70.38 for a total of 304.08 on their last dive. The Canadians share a hug and a smile.

Here come Daley and Reid. They have to overtake the Americans, Briadam Herrera and Maria Coburn, to stand a shot at a medal with Carter and Keeney still to dive.

Forward 3.5 somersaults pike for the Brits, 3.1 degree of difficulty. May be not a high enough tariff for gold but what will they produce? A big splash on entry to the water from Reid, and I'm not sure that'll be enough.

It'll put them into third for now, but Carter and Keeney are still to dive and the silver medallists from 2017 could be out of the medals.

Here come the Aussies. That looks solid! This could be gold!

Yes! 304.86 total for Australia and they've beaten Canada by just 0.78 points!

In the first diving World Championships event without China since 1978 in West Berlin, that was a brilliant open fight for the medals. Congratulations to Australia, Canada, and Germany.

4:42 pm - Australia lead with one round left

It's Australia's Carter and Keeney who've taken the lead with one round of dives left!

Who is Maddison Keeney? Read more about the 23-year-old here.

Germany's Lou Massenberg and Tina Punzel are second, with Imbeau-Dulac and Abel in third.

Daley and Reid are currently fifth.

Just three points separate first from third.

The Egyptians did not take their fourth dive after the accident in the last round and will finish last.

4:25 pm - Three rounds done

Canada lead Germany by just 1.5 points after three of five rounds.

Daley and Reid lead Australia's Matthew Carter and Maddison Keeney for bronze by 0.78 points.

4:21 pm - Egyptian girl misses dive

Ouch! The Egyptian girl has landed on her back! She never got her balance as she jumped off the springboard and that's got to hurt. Her partner's gone to make sure she's okay.

4:16 pm - Cross-country support

Ireland's Oliver Dingley was born and grew up in Harrogate, England, and clearly has friends in the Great Britain set-up.

We've just had a shot of GB's Daniel Goodfellow waving an Irish flag in support as Dingley dived alongside Clare Cryan.

4:07 pm - Mandatory-difficulty dives done

Each team's two compulsory 2.0-difficulty dives are now out of the way.

Imbeau-Dulac and Abel are now in the sole lead. Germany are second and Great Britain third.

Now here come the free choice dives with no limit on difficulty.

3:48 pm - Tight at the top

Four teams are tied for the lead after the first 2.0-difficulty dives.

There are another four teams tied for seventh.

Daley and Reid are 11th. The Canadians are one of the teams in the lead.

3:30 pm - Straight to final

There are no preliminary or semi-final rounds in this event, meaning we'll have all 18 teams in this final.

Each team will take five dives, so we could be in for an extended event.

Tom Daley and Grace Reid of Great Britain, silver medallists in 2017, are the favourites with no Chinese pair today. Francois Imbeau-Dulac and Jennifer Abel of Canada won bronze in Budapest last time.

The teams will dive in an order randomly drawn before the start.

2:45 pm - Breaking: No Chinese entry in mixed 3m synchro

There will be no Chinese clean sweep in the diving events.

Yang Hao and Chang Yani had been listed to compete for China in this afternoon's Mixed 3m Springboard Synchro final.

But they, along with the team from Switzerland, appear to have withdrawn from the event. Neither team now appears on today's start list, meaning we will have a final of 18 teams.

China have already set the record for the most diving golds won at a single championships, with 11, and have the opportunity to make it 12 tonight when Yang Hao and Yang Jian go in the men's 10m platform final.

2:20 pm - Water polo play-offs

The women's water polo play-offs are also taking place today.

Four group winners have received a bye to the quarter-finals, with the four teams finishing bottom of their pools going into the 13th–16th classification round.

In that, South Africa have beaten hosts South Korea 26–3. For the third straight game after being shut out by Hungary 64–0, the Koreans have now scored an increasing number of goals (netting once against Russia and twice against Canada).

There are also cross-pool elimination matches between teams that finished second and third in their pools, with the winners moving on to the quarter-finals and the losers going into the 9th–12th classification bracket.

Netherlands play Canada, New Zealand face Hungary, Greece take on China, and Kazakhstan face off against Australia in those four games today.

10:55 am - Tom Daley could win two further diving medals today

It's going to be a busy day for British diver Tom Daley, who earlier in the week secured Men's 10m Platform Synchro bronze alongside Matty Lee.

At 3.30 pm he will compete alongside Grace Reid in the Mixed 3m Springboard Synchro final, before returning to the Nambu University Aquatics Centre at 8:45 pm for the Men's 10m Platform Individual competition.

Tom has had a roller-coaster couple of years in which he considered retiring, before being inspired to return to his best form in the pursuit of Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020. Watch this video to find out what inspired him to return.

Mixed 3m Synchro diving partners Grace Reid and Tom Daley

08:42 am - Robot routine revisited

Last night saw the return of the USA artistic swimming's robot routine in the final of the Team Free event.

The technology-loving Korean fans loved it and, despite not finishing high enough for a Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying berth, the team is gaining confidence ahead of the Pan American Games in Peru.

Have a read of their performance, in a night of high drama in the Yeomju Gymnasium, below.

8:15 am – Day 9 highlights

13:30 - 17:00 Diving: Mixed 3m Springboard Synchro final
17:00 - 18:30 Artistic swimming: Mixed Duet Free final
19:00 - 20:30 Artistic swimming: Free Combination final
20:45 - 22:15 Diving: Men's 10m Platform Individual final

As you can see it's a quieter day of action in Gwangju today before it ramps back up tomorrow with the first swimming events.

8:10 am - Tropical storm warning

Hello and welcome back to the Olympic Channel live blog.

Last night at around 11:50 pm our phones started buzzing with an emergency message in Korean. A colleague informed me that it was a tropical storm alert, and was just precautionary!

Happily the open water swimming has finished, but this may prove problematic for the high diving in Week 2 of the FINA World Championships 2019.

Today we have four (indoor) medal finals to bring you from diving and artistic swimming.