Monday, July 23, 2012

Chinese Divers Unstoppable

It is incredible to imagine, but China now appears to be in a stronger position in the Olympics betting with its Olympic diving squad than in either of the last eight years. 
At Athens 2004, the Chinese picked up in six of the eight events they entered, while four years ago, in front of an ecstatic home crowd in Beijing, they went one better and struck gold seven times from eight attempts.
And in a chilling portent of things to come, they swept the board with all eight gold medals at the 2011 World Championships in Shangai. That is some going, and with each and everyone of their divers ranked top in the world, they will only have themselves to blame if they end London 2012 without a perfect score.
There does not appear to be a chink in any part of their aquatic armoury, so quite simply, to beat them will require the dive of a lifetime from the opposition. That is just what Australian, Mathew Mitcham, achieved in Beijing with a flawless final dive from the 10-metre board, but he arrives in London with an interrupted preparation due to abdominal imjuries.
Teenage Chinese entry, Bo Qiu, will be taking part in his first Olympics, but he is rated superstar material back home, so will be favourite for that event, while American, David Boudia, who was 10th in Beijing, has been working on his degree of difficulty to try and upset the Chinese.
Sascha Klein of Germany picked up the 10-metre synchronised silver in Beijing, and is another with more experience than Qiu, so there is some hope that he can be beaten.
Great Britain will of course rely on Tom Daley, who has all the ingredients to excel, and he does seem to thrive on pressure, of which there will be plenty in front of an expectant home crowd.
And, if we cast our minds back to 2009, it was then 15-year-old Daley that beat Bo Qiu to the 10m Platform world title to become the youngest ever world champion in the sport.
The USA meanwhile have not won a gold medal on platform since the great Greg Louganis captured a second straight one at Seoul 1988, while the American women's last gold was at Sydney 2000.
So, all in all, bar the odd blip, China can look forward to another landslide victory at the Aquatics Centre in August.
Fans of Team GB may be forced to look elsewhere for medal-winning athletes; visit the Olympics Tennis Betting page for news, odds, and picks for Scottish player, Andy Murray.

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