China’s Chen, Liu top 10-meter prelims at world championships

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Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia from China perform during the women’s 10-meter platform preliminary at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP

BARCELONA, Spain — Gold medal favorites Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia of China topped the preliminaries of the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform diving at the world championships on Monday.

Chen is a three-time defending world champion in the event and a four-time Olympics gold medalist.

She is competing with Liu for the first time, but the new duo showed no signs of unfamiliarity as they eased into the final later on Monday with a score of 340.92 through their five nearly flawless dives.

Olympic silver medalists Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco of Mexico were second with 314.25, while Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong and Mun Yee Leong were third with 310.98.

The other teams to advance were: Canada, Russia, Britain, Australia, North Korea, United States, Germany, South Korea, and Hungary.

The final will be held after the men’s 1-meter springboard final.

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