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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sautin Dominates At Russian Nationals

World champion platform diver Dmitry Sautin re-asserted his domination of the sport by winning the Russian National Diving Championships at the Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow on Sunday.


Sautin, of Voronezh, swept both the 10-meter platform and three-meter springboard competitions over the weekend, easily commanding a field of more than 30 contenders from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Among the vanquished was Vladimir Timoshinin, the bronze medalist in platform at the 1994 World Championships.


In the women's competition, Muscovite Svetlana Timoshinina, half of a powerhouse duo with husband Timoshinin, took the platform event, outstripping Alla Tarasova of Penza, who secured second place, and Tatyana Biryukova of Buzuluk, who came in third.


In three-meter springboard, Yulia Pakhalina of Moscow, clobbered her closest competitor, Irina Lashko, opening a gap of nearly 40 points between first and second place. Lyubov Baradulina of Saratov, earned enough to capture third.


"I'm dreaming of becoming an Olympic champion," Pakhalina, 17, said in an interview after the event. "My dream is to become world champion and win the next Olympic games. What more could you want?"


Pakhalina was predicted to win the event by a comfortable margin, and even she admitted at the end of the meet that her most serious challenge for the world title would come from outside Russia -- the Chinese.


In the men's platform, Sautin, the gold medalist at the 1994 World Championships, began the final round of dives in first place and never lost his grip on the lead. By throwing dives like a backward-facing handstand reverse dive with 2 somersaults in the pike position -- a dive no one can copy in competition -- he is hard to beat. And when he can do it for eights -- 10 is the highest score -- it's even harder.


Sautin's last leap was a spectacular back dive with one-and-a-half somersaults and three-and-a-half twists in the free position, which brought eights and nines from the judges.


Timoshinin, who placed second in the platform competition Sunday, scored only sixes and six-and-a-halfs on a reverse handstand dive with two somersaults in the tuck position.


His last dive, a reverse three-and-a-half somersaults in the tuck position, merited only sixes from the judges. Junior diver Vlas Smirnov came in third.