Wu’s tribute to Guo after equalling medal record
Posted on August 7, 2012, Tuesday
Wu Minxia praised Guo Jingjing as her ‘big sister’ after equalling the Chinese diving great’s record of six Olympic medals in consummately taking out the 3m springboard gold medal on Sunday.
Wu, 26, was in a superior class to her 11 rivals reeling off five impeccable dives to tally 414.00 points and comfortably defeat her younger teammate He Zi by 34.80 points for the gold.
It was Wu’s sixth Olympics medal and equalled the best of her former synchro diving partner Guo, who won four gold and two silvers over three Games from 2000 to 2008.
Wu paid tribute to Guo’s influence in making her the world’s contemporary pre-eminent women’s diver.
“In my career since 2004 Guo has been my leader, she guided me and told me what to do,” Wu said.
“She’s a much more experienced diver. In 2008 we communicated very well and she also actually held my hands and coordinated with me so both of us got the gold (in the 3m synchro).
“Her role is like a big sister to me, she helps me all the way and I am really grateful to her.”
Wu’s individual victory following her synchro success with He earlier in the competition, lifted China’s tally to five golds in five events and kept them on track to an unprecedented sweep of all eight diving gold medals in London.
But Wu downplayed any obsession within the Chinese team to achieve the goal after narrowly missing out in Beijing four years ago when they won seven of the eight events.
“Actually, we don’t think about the number of gold medals. We believe in the final results,” Wu said.
“Our belief is to make this our stage and to show our best side to everyone because we are a team.
“We hope we can be united together and everyone can perform very well.”
Wu put down her perfection in diving to a team effort, from her family, coach and backroom staff.
“Everyone has a dream and I choose to dive and I want to make some difference,” she said.
“It’s not only me who achieves the result. There are so many people who support me, including my family, my coach and others who are probably not known to the world, but I thank them all for their support.”
Asked at her post-event press conference if she considered herself a great in diving, Wu said: “I don’t really think I’m great.
“I think I’ve probably stretched at the end now and I have persistently worked so hard for so many years. I am very happy with the result now. I think it’s been worthwhile that I did so much.”
She also played down reports that her diving success has come at a high personal cost to her family life.
Her successes come just days after a Chinese newspaper revealed her parents had kept the death of her grandparents and her mother’s struggle with cancer from the champion diver in order not to distract her preparations for the London Games.
“I think it’s not only Chinese athletes who are separated from their families, parents seldom come to our training base, however we are like a big family, we train together from different bases,” she said.
“Maybe there is some distance from your real family, however the distance will stop us feeling they are not beside us and their support.
“Now there is the technology where we can ring every day and I feel lots of care from my family all the time.
“I choose to be a diver, so I will pursue this goal and fulfil my dream.” — AFP