Britain’s Daley beats Chinese off big tower
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The Chinese divers were marvelous. Tom Daley was even better.
Banishing the memory of his Rio disappointment, the British diver captured his first individual medal at the world championships since 2009 with a thrilling victory over reigning Olympic champion Chen Aisen on Saturday.
Chen, diving just ahead of Daley, put the pressure on in the final round with a brilliant reverse 2½ somersaults with 2½ twists, barely making a ripple as he sliced through the water to receive four perfect 10s from the judges and nothing lower than a 9.5.
But Daley, facing away from the pool, launched himself off the tower for an equally dazzling back 3½ somersault pike. He released his legs, spotted the water and maneuvered his body into a perpendicular position for scores that matched Chen, including four 10s.
“Seeing Chen do his dive — I saw him in the water and thought, ‘Oh yeah, so that’s how you want to play. I’m here to play too,’” Daley said.
The winner led after all six rounds and finished with 590.95 points. Chen was next at 585.25, while his teammate Yang Jian settled for the bronze at 565.15.
Daley was one of the platform favorites at the Rio Olympics and led after the preliminaries. But he stunningly failed to advance to the final when he finished last out of 18 divers in the semifinals, with a score that was nearly 170 points worse that the prelims.
For good measure, Daley also captured a silver in the mixed 3-meter synchronized on the final day of diving.
“Considering everything that happened in Rio last year, not making the final, to come back now and win a silver and a gold all in one day is just, you know, I can’t quite believe it,” he said.
So, so sorry
In a scenario no one thought was possible three years ago, Pablo Sandoval rejoined the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. The veteran third baseman, who left San Francisco as a free agent on bad terms after the 2014 season, officially inked a minor-league deal with his original club.
Many thought Sandoval had burned his bridge with the Giants after he lashed out, charging the team had disrespected him during contract negotiations after the 2014 season. Sandoval inked a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
He was released by the Red Sox on Wednesday after nothing but injuries and meager numbers since the deal, leaving the Red Sox on the hook for the remaining $49.5 million owed. With few options available, Sandoval was forced to eat his words and offer an apology, which was released in conjunction with the announcement of his signing Saturday.
“I have always loved and appreciated the Giants organization, my Giants teammates and the fans of San Francisco. I have so many great memories and I want to thank the organization for giving me another chance to come back here. When I left the Giants in 2014, my comments were emotional, insensitive and misguided and I truly regret and apologize for my actions. I am committed to working hard to contributing to the success of the Giants.”
Thomas Daley of Great Britain shows off his gold medal won in the men’s diving 10-meter platform final and with his silver medal won in the mixed 3-meter synchro springboard final on Saturday during the 17th FINA Swimming World Championships in Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary.