Iran, Azerbaijan claim golds in Baku

19 May 2017
Iranian's Mojtaba Valipour jumps as he takes part during the men's 3m individual preliminary at the Baku 2017.
Iranian's Mojtaba Valipour jumps as he takes part during the men's 3m individual preliminary at the Baku 2017.

Iran and hosts Azerbaijan took golds on the second day of diving at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games on Friday.

Iranian duo Shahnam Nazarpour and Mojtaba Valipour edged a superb battle with Indonesia's Tri Priambodo and Aldiansyah Rafi to triumph in the men's synchronised 3m springboard, while Olga Bykovskaia swept to gold for the host nation in the women's 10m platform.

It was a second title in as many days for Valipour, who had snatched gold from under Rafi's nose in Thursday's individual 3m springboard final.
Indonesia have already endured their fair share of frustration at the Baku Aquatics Centre at these Solidarity Games, having collected just three golds from a total haul of 33 swimming medals, and their unhappy streak continued.

They looked to be heading for victory in the men's synchro 3m springboard, with Priambodo and Rafi leading after four of six dives.

But Nazarpour and Valipour chose the perfect moment to produce the highest-scoring effort of the final - a forward two-and-a-half somersault with one twist in pike position.

The dive earned 68.40 points, and put them 9.18 ahead of the Indonesians heading into the final round.

The Iranians could only manage 54.00 with their last dive, leaving the Indonesian pair needing 63.19 to secure gold.

But they fell agonisingly short with their concluding effort, scoring 59.40 to finish with a total of 330.30 and yet another silver medal, as Iran took gold with 334.08.

Azerbaijani duo Artem Danilov and Dmitriy Sorokin - Thursday's 3m springboard bronze medallist - completed the podium with an overall score of 297.90.

The hapless Iraqi pairing of Hussein Al-Elayawi and Hussein Al-Maliki were never in contention after kicking off with a failed dive, worth 0.00. They finished way back in fourth with just 154.14.

Gold for Iran helped consolidate third place in the overall Solidarity Games medal table, and they now boast 19 golds, five more than fourth-placed Uzbekistan.

- Home delight for Bykovskaia -

Earlier on Friday evening, home favourite Bykovskaia cruised to gold in the women's 10m platform.

Della Harimurti took another silver for Indonesia and Turkey's Sinem Saglam settled for bronze in a three-way final.

Such was Bykovskaia's domination, she had all but secured the title after three of her five dives.

The Azeri moved into the lead with her very first effort, a back two-and-a-half somersault with half-twist that scored 49.40 points.

Saglam and Harimurti, who opted for more straightforward dives throughout, could only manage 31.20 and 30.40 respectively.

Bykovskaia continued to forge ahead with controlled efforts on her second and third dives.

She then earned the highest score of the final (62.35) on her fourth and most difficult attempt, a back two-and-a-half somersault in pike position.
With an average dive difficulty of just over 1.8, Saglam was never in contention, while Harimurti made a hash of her most difficult attempt, scoring a woeful 18.00 and almost throwing away the silver medal.

Bykovskaia already had the gold sewn up by the time she climbed the platform for her final dive, a forward three-and-a-half somersault in tuck position.
The seven judges awarded her 52.65 for a winning total of 275.85.

Admittedly, the diving in Baku remains light years from the Olympic Games, where the men's synchro 3m springboard and women's 10m platform golds were won with scores of 454.32 and 439.25 points respectively at Rio 2016.

There is another final to come on Saturday, the men's 10m platform, before the women's 3m springboard and men's synchronised 10m platform on Sunday.

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