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Chinese finish 1-2 in diving

Three Olympics and three medals for Chinese diving star Xiong Ni, the latest one gold.

Xiong and countryman Yu Zhuocheng pulled away from Americans Mark Lenzi and Scott Donie midway through the springboard finals Monday night. Not even Lenzi's final spectacular dive could catch them.

Xiong won a silver medal in 1988 and a bronze in 1992, both on the 10-meter platform. Yu, in his first Olympics, finished second, and Lenzi, the defending champion, took third.

Donie, 27, was in third after a strong fourth dive. But he had a poor fifth dive, a reverse 2{ somersault from a pike, and dropped to fifth place with one dive left.

The 28-year-old Lenzi, who is retiring after the Summer Games, made the last dive of his career the best of the night, a reverse 3{ somersault from the tuck position with a high degree of difficulty of 3.5.

Lenzi received a 92.40 from the seven judges, the highest score of finals night, to put pressure on the Chinese.

Yu was the next-to-last diver and needed a 78.73 to beat Lenzi for second place. He got 83.16.

Xiong, nearly flawless in his previous 16 dives, went last. He needed a 77.20 to clinch first over Yu and came through again, scoring 87.72 on an inward 3{ somersault from a tuck position with a 3.4 degree of difficulty.

Xiong finished with 701.46, Yu 690.93 and Lenzi 686.49.

After Monday morning's semifinals, Xiong had just a 1.71-point lead over Lenzi and Russia's Dmitry Sautin. He maintained that edge over Lenzi when both got the same score on the same dive in the first round of the final.

Xiong slipped to second behind Yu after the third dive of the finals, but regained the lead after the fourth dive and never lost it.

Lenzi had five strong dives, but his third dive cost him whatever slim chance he had of catching the amazingly consistent Xiong. Lenzi's highest score from the seven judges on the reverse 2{ somersault from a pike position was a relatively low 7.5 of a possible 10 and he slipped to fourth.

Lenzi recovered on his next dive, getting six 8.5s and one 9.0, then moved into third _ passing Donie _ after the fifth round. He made sure no one would catch him after his brilliant final plunge.

Donie, the platform silver medalist in 1992, finished strongly, scoring 83.16 on his last dive.

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