Barcelona: Dmitry Sautin’s reign as king of the world springboard came crashing down as Russian teammate Alexander Dobroskok snatched the men’s 3m springboard gold medal from the two-time defending champion, at the world swimming championships on Tuesday.
Sautin, who had been bidding for his third springboard crown in a row had to settle for bronze with the honours going to Dobroskok with whom he won the 3m synchronised springboard title on Sunday.
Dobroskok claimed the gold on his final jump with a combined 788.37 points ahead of China’s Peng Bo on 780.84, with 29-year-old Sautin, who had been leading the four previous rounds, notching up 776.64.
“I still can’t believe I’ve won. Dmitry Sautin is the greatest for all of us,” said Dobroskok.
It was a bitter disappointment for Sautin, who had led the preliminaries and semi-finals, only to fall at the last hurdle, in the discipline known as the queen of diving events.
“I failed to make a good entry on my last dive and if you make a mistake entering there’s nothing you can do,” said the man from Moscow.
“But life is life, sport is sport, business is business, we’re very good friends and have been since the very beginning and it will stay that way.”
But his failure to win a sixth world title acted in his friend’s favour with 21-year-old Dobroskok winning his first major individual title after recent wins in the Fina Grand Prix season.
“For me this is the most prestigious win. This gold medal in a world championship for me is the best,” he said.
In other action in the pool, Russia moved back into command in synchronised swimming at the expense of Japan in both the duet and team free preliminaries.
Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Yermakova pushed Japanese world champions Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda into second position in the duet with a string of high marks including a maximum ten from the Russian judge.
The Russians are ahead of the Japanese and third-placed US team of Russian-born Anna Kozlova and Alison Bartosik with home hopes Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados of Spain in fourth going into Friday’s final.