Chinese divers retire after dominating Tokyo Olympics
After its most dominant Olympics ever in diving, the Chinese national team is undergoing major changes.
China won seven of eight gold medals in diving in Tokyo and a silver in the other. He finished one-two in all four individual events.
Today, half of this dream team of 10 divers is gone, according to Chinese media. Especially Shi Tingmao and Xie Siyiwho won the women’s and men’s individual and synchronized springboard gold medals, would have left the competitive side of the sport.
As have Wang Hanwho won springboard silver behind Shi, then joined her for synchronized gold, and the male stars of platform Chen Aisethe 2016 Olympic champion, and Yang Jianwho took the money in Tokyo behind the still active Cao Yuan.
Shi, 30, is the biggest name and perhaps the most anticipated after telling Tokyo that this was likely to be his last Olympics. She would now be a coach.
After the legends Chen Ruolin and Wu Minxia retired after Rio, Shi became the veteran leader of the women’s team. She has gone four for four in her Olympic career, winning individual and synchro springboard gold in 2016 and 2021. She also won eight world titles between 2011 and 2019 between individual and synchro springboard.
Xie learned in 2014 that he would never dive again after breaking his right ankle. Later, he aggravated the injury and it eventually ruled him out of Rio Olympics competition. After that, he won both world springboard titles in the last Olympic cycle, in addition to his gold medal in Tokyo.
The national diving team now consists of 18 athletes, 15 of whom were born after 2000, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The oldest is Cao, 27, who has won gold medals in three different events at the last three Olympics.
Quan Hong Chanwho won Tokyo women’s platform gold at age 14, is also still on the program, according to Xinhua.
The world championships take place this summer in Budapest.
NBC’s Olympic Research contributed to this report.
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