China's Wu & Shi top 3-meter synchro qualifying

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Chinese pair Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao topped the preliminaries for the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard Saturday on the opening day of the diving world championships.

The medal favorites scored 334.20 through five rounds, well out of reach for the rest of field.

Italy's Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape qualified second with a total of 302.40, while Canada's Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware posted the third best score of 300.78.

Also qualifying for the final round to be held later Saturday are — in order — Australia, Malaysia, Britain, Ukraine, United States, Mexico, Russia, Japan, and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, South Africa, Macau, South Korea, Croatia and Indonesia were eliminated after finishing 13th-20th.

The 27-year-old Wu has dominated this event for over the past decade, winning gold medals at the last three Olympic Games and at five of the last six world championships. He first came in 2001 and the second here in Barcelona two years later. She didn't participate in the event in 2005.

Wu appears set to add another gold to her collection after she and Shi recorded the three highest-scoring dives through qualifying. They nailed a reverse two-and-a-half somersault pike with a 3.0 degree of difficulty for the best single dive worth 79.20 points.

This is her first major competition with her new partner, Shi, who won gold in the 1-meter springboard at the 2011 worlds.

Also on the opening day of diving, the men compete in the preliminary round of the 1-meter springboard ahead of the final on Monday.

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