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Hosts dive to glory again

other Updated: Aug 11, 2008 23:56 IST

Reuters
Highlight Story

Two Chinese Olympic debutants dived to the host nation's second synchronised gold on Monday, overcoming an adolescent growth spurt that their mentors feared could sink the duo's medal chances.

Teenagers Lin Yue and Huo Liang, world champions in the 10 metre platform synchronised event, shrugged off the pressure from a home crowd to take the lead from the first round.

They never relinquished it, winning what they made appear an almost effortless victory. However, China's diving team leader Zhou Jihong said she had been fretting until the last minute.

"Winning this gold is not easy for us," Zhou said afterwards.

"Lin has grown more than 10 cm and that affects our training a lot. The coaches, doctors and researchers of our team are all worried about this. Lin's condition has not been good until the last two weeks of our training camp."

The seventeen year-old is listed as 1.57 metres tall in Olympic data, although it is not clear if he was measured before or after the growth spurt that so worried his coaches.

His partner Huo is shorter, coming in at just 1.55 metres and might have welcomed a little extra height. He has joked that as a child he was considered too short to dive, but winning the gold should silence critics.