DOHA, Qatar (AP) — With China sitting out the first two diving events, other nations got a chance to shine on Day 1 of the World Aquatics Championships.
Australia's Alysha Koloi won the women's 1-meter springboard, while the British squad led by Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley claimed gold in the mixed team.
China was the reigning world champion in both events, but the world's diving superpower did not have entries in Doha as it focuses on disciplines that will be on the Olympic program at Paris this summer.
At last year's world championships in Fukuoka, China won 12 of 13 events and captured 19 medals in all.
The 22-year-old Koloi, competing at worlds for the first time, grabbed the lead on the fourth of five dives and held on in the final round to finish with 260.50 points.
The silver went to Britain's Grace Reid (257.25), while Egypt's Maha Amer captured her country's first diving medal ever at worlds.
After clinching the bronze at 257.15, Amer held her hands over her mouth in seeming disbelief before embracing her coach. The 24-year-old Cairo native has competed collegiately in the U.S. at Arkansas and Florida.
Daley, who won a gold medal in the 10-meter synchro at the Tokyo Olympics, claimed his first international title since taking a year-long break from the sport.
The four-time Olympian was joined on the winning mixed team by Scarlett Mew Jensen, Daniel Goodfellow and Andrea Spendolini Sirieix. They posted a score of 421.65 in an event that blends both the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter tower.
The silver medal went to the Mexican foursome of Gabriela Agundez Garcia, Randal Willars Valdez, Jahir Ocampo Marroquin and Aranza Vazquez Montano at 412.80.
Australia claimed the bronze at 385.35 with a team that included Cassiel Rousseau, the reigning platform world champion.
The only non-Chinese winner at last summer’s world championships in Fukuoka, Rousseau chose not to defend his individual title in Doha. He is focusing on the team and synchronized events.
The other members of the Australian bronze medal team were Li Shixin, Maddison Keeney and Nikita Hains.
Doha is the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Aquatics Championships, which also feature swimming, open water, artistic swimming, water polo and high diving.
Qatar was initially scheduled to host the worlds in 2023, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it into an Olympic year — just five months ahead of the Paris Games. The unusual timing led to reduced entry lists and the absence of some of the biggest stars.
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