Wu chasing 3-meter diving gold at Olympics
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By BETH HARRIS,
Updated August 4, 2012
LONDON (AP) Wu Mingxia is five dives away from winning her record-tying sixth Olympic diving medal. And it's likely to be gold.
China is rolling along, too, already halfway toward a sweep of the diving golds.
Wu cruised into the 3-meter springboard final after qualifying in the top spot during the semifinals on Saturday at the London Olympics. She totaled 394.400 points in the five rounds, giving her a lead of 32.30 points over second-place Tania Cagnotto of Italy, who had 362.100.
Wu already owns three gold medals in 3-meter synchro, as well as one silver and one bronze. One more would tie her with retired Chinese star Guo Jingjing, as well as give China its fifth diving gold of the London Games.
Wu earned all 9.0s for her last dive, a back 2 1/2 somersault pike that barely made a splash as she sliced into the water. She scored between 76.50 and 81 points for each of her semifinal dives.
Wu's synchro partner, He Zi, dropped to third at 354.500 after a couple of mistakes. Wu and He teamed to win the 3-meter synchro title on the first day of diving.
Cagnotto, a four-time Olympian, is still seeking her first medal. She was fifth in the event at Beijing. Her father and coach Giorgio Cagnotto won the first of his four Olympic medals 40 years ago.
Jennifer Abel of Canada was fourth at 353.250. Cassidy Krug of the U.S. was fifth at 345.600 in her first Olympics. Her teammate, Christina Loukas, advanced to Sunday's final in sixth at 339.750.
"I felt a lot more confident and I have more room to improve," Krug said. "When I'm nervous I tend to think about things too much, even things I know I don't really need to think about. It really helps me to stay relaxed and remind myself that my body knows what to do."
Others advancing were Laura Sanchez Soto of Mexico, Emilie Heymans of Canada, Sharleen Stratton of Australia, Anna Lindberg of Sweden, Jaele Patrick of Australia and Olena Fedorova of Ukraine.