Chen Yuxi, 13, of China, won the women’s 10-metre platform final at the world swimming championships. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Diving gold and perfect marks for Chen Yuxi at age 13

GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of — Thirteen-year-old Chinese diver Chen Yuxi won the women’s 10-metre platform final at the world swimming championships on Wednesday, and received two perfect marks for her third drive.

Chen finished on 439 points to clinch the gold medal at her first worlds.

“Everybody told me to relax before the final, but I still could hear my heart beat,” Chen said.

“I was shaky in the first two dives and then I felt better and better. I thought about challenging myself and reaching above 440.”

It was the ninth diving gold medal in nine events at Gwangju, with three events remaining, all Olympic disciplines. The men’s 3-meter springboard is set for Thursday, the women’s 3-meter on Friday and the men’s 10-meter platform on Saturday.

Another 13-year-old Chinese diver, Lu Wei, provided competition for Chen before winning silver Wednesday with 377.80 points.

“Although I had a gold medal from the synchro, I was still nervous about competing in the individual event,” Lu said. “I made a mistake in the second dive but overall was OK.”

American Delaney Schnell was third with 364.20 points.

Meaghan Benfeito of Laval, Que., was sixth and Calgary’s Caeli McKay was seventh. Benfeito was sitting in the bronze medal position until her fifth and final dive.

Both divers qualified a spot for Canada at the Tokyo 202 Olympics by advancing to the final.

“A little bit of me is disappointed, that last dive was not good, but overall, being here after the last couple of months, I’m proud of myself,” said Benfeito said.

In the men’s three-metre springboard, Francois Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., finished 16th while Philippe Gagne of Ville Mont-Royal, Que., was 29th.

By The Associated Press

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