Diver Li wins Commonwealth Games silver

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Steve Larkin / AAP News

Australia’s diving silver medallist Shixin Li says a judging mix-up disrupted his rhythm in the one-metre springboard final at the Commonwealth Games.

The Chinese-born Li finished behind England’s Jack Laugher in Thursday night’s final by just 10 points.

Li was on the springboard for the third of six dives when a judging mishap caused him to halt.

There appeared to be a discrepancy between the scores announced inside the Sandwell Aquatics Centre and official results.

As judges sorted out the issue which centred on scoring for Scotland’s James Heatly on the previous dive, the Australian exited the springboard, took a quick dip in the pool and then returned to action.

But his next dive was his lowest scoring, 61.50.

“The judges had a little problem so it changed my competition rhythm,” he said.

“But the last rounds I got it back and was very happy with that, it was a very good experience for me.”

Li’s final two dives scored 81.60 and 80.85 and he finished with a total of 437.05.

Laugher’s 447.05 earnt him a sixth career Commonwealth Games gold medal and praise from Li.

“This is my first time Commonwealth (Games), my first time to the UK,” Li said.

“And first event, to win a medal is exciting …¬†and Jack did very well tonight in the final.”

Li, competing for China, was one-metre springboard world champion in 2011 and 2013.

He retired in 2014 and was lured to Australia to become a diving coach but decided to make a comeback to the sport.

He won bronze at last month’s world titles despite contracting COVID and losing six kilograms while isolating in a hotel for 10 days in the build-up to the worlds.

The 34-year-old Li, who became an Australian citizen in 2019, has three more events in Birmingham.

“It’s a little difficult for an old man but I will do my best,” he said.

In the women’s 10m platform final, Australia’s Emily Meaney finished fifth with teammates Emily Boyd seventh and Nikita Hains eighth.

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