Gur magic puts Turkey back on top

20 May 2017
Turkey's Kivanc Gur competes during the diving 10m platform at the Baku 2017.
Azerbaijan's Artem Danilov (silver), Turkey's Kivanc Gur (gold) and Iranian's Shahanam Nazarpour pose after the diving 10m platform men at the Baku 2017.

Turkey returned to the top of the overall medal table at the  Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku on Saturday as Kivanc Gur struck late to claim diving gold in the men's 10m platform.

It continued a good day for Turkey, who had already picked up two athletics golds in the women's 10,000m and the men's shot put.

Gur won with an overall score of 320.95 points ahead of Azerbaijan's Artem Danilov and Shahnam Nazarpour of Iran.

Nazarpour had looked on course to continue Iran's excellent diving campaign in Baku as he led for four of six rounds in the final.

But Friday's synchronised 3m springboard champion ended with two low-scoring dives to slump to third place.

Compatriot Mojtaba Valipour was seeking a third diving gold in Baku after triumphs in the individual and synchronised 3m springboard, but he struggled to find his rhythm and finished fourth with 285.75.

Nazarpour surged into the lead with a solid opening dive.

His forward three-and-a-half somersaults in pike position was awarded 63.00 by the seven judges, and turned out to be the third-highest score of the final.

While Valipour was quickly off the pace with an opening effort of 48.00, Nazarpour continued to forge ahead with dives of 60.90, 52.80 and 57.75.

Gur was relatively consistent through the early rounds, but still trailed Nazarpour by 20.30 points heading into the final two jumps.

The Iranian came unstuck on his fifth dive, however, as he misjudged his armstand forward two somersaults in pike position and scored just 30.00.

That opened the door for Gur and he barrelled right on through, scoring 67.20 with a well-executed back one-and-a-half-somersault with two-and-a-half-twists in free position.

Danilov - who shared bronze in the synchro 3m springboard on Friday - then produced the best dive of the final to thrust himself into contention.

The Azeri had been ticking along in third place after struggling to make clean entries, but a score of 69.30 for a superb armstand back three somersaults suddenly put silver - and potentially gold - within his grasp.

It went down to the final round, and Nazarpour could only manage a disappointing effort of 39.20 as his hopes of gold evaporated.

Gur fared little better with 39.60, meaning that Danilov had a chance to snatch gold if he could conjure up a dive worth 61.86.

It proved beyond the home hope as he scored 49.60, which was nevertheless enough to take silver and leave bronze medallist Nazarpour wondering how he had let the title slip through his grasp.

Gur thus won Turkey's 64th gold of the Solidarity Games with 320.95 points, while Danilov took silver with 308.70 and Nazarpour faded to bronze on 303.65.

The last two diving finals - the women's 3m springboard and the men's synchronised 10m platform - will be staged at the Baku Aquatics Centre on Sunday evening.

© AFP Services

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