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Aussie's final dive derails Chinese history

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Australia's Matthew Mitcham pulled off a stunning final dive Saturday to shock Chinese favorite Zhou Luxin to win the gold medal in the men's 10-meter platform.

It ended China's quest to sweep the eight diving events at the Beijing Olympics.

Trailing Zhou by 37.3 points entering the final dive, Mitcham scored outstanding points on a near-flawless back 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists -- a dive with a 3.8 degree of difficulty.

Zhou, who dove before Mitcham, went with an easier attempt, a reverse 3 1/2 somersault, and scored poorly.

"It's going to take a while to sink in," said Mitcham, who ranked ninth out of 12 competitors after a dud on his first of six dives. "My cheeks hurt from smiling, my face hurts from the chlorine, my legs are sore from jumping up and down.

"I'm in pain and I'm tired, but I'm so happy."

Mitcham's dive -- which received four perfect-10 scores from the seven judges -- garnered the 20-year-old Australian a final round-best 112.10 points. He finished with 537.95 points overall.

Zhou, also 20, earned just 74.80 points on his last dive to settle for the silver medal. It was the eight-worst final attempt by the 12 divers in the finals and put Zhou just 4.8 points behind Mitcham.

"The last dive was not as good as I could have done because I started to get nervous," said Zhou, who was looking to finish off the first diving sweep by a country since the United States did it for the fifth time in the 1952 Olympics.

"I got a lot of important experience," Zhou said. "I'm still young and I have a chance to do better in the future."

Russia's Gleb Galperin won the bronze medal with 525.80 points. China's Huo Liang finished fourth, U.S. divers David Boudia and Thomas Finchum ended 10th and 12th, respectively.

08/23 12:28:14 ET


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