Iran and Azerbaijan share spoils on final day

21 May 2017
Iran's Mojtaba Valipour (R) and Shahanam Nazarpour compete during the men's diving 10m synchronized platform final at the Baku 2017.
Iran's Mojtaba Valipour (R) and Shahanam Nazarpour compete during the men's diving 10m synchronized platform final at the Baku 2017.

Iran and Azerbaijan both struck gold on the final day of the diving events at the Islamic Solidarity Games on Sunday as they triumphed in the men's synchronised 10m platform and women's 3m springboard respectively.

Iran's Shahnam Nazarpour and Mojtaba Valipour held off the challenge of Azerbaijan and Iraq to secure their second gold of the Games, after winning the synchro 3m springboard title on Friday.

Valipour also claimed the individual 3m springboard title on Thursday, which meant that Iran finished top of the diving medal table with three golds.
All was not lost for Azerbaijan as Olga Bykovskaia grabbed her second gold of the week in the women's 3m springboard.

After a relatively low-key opening to the men's synchro 10m platform final, Nazarpour and Valipour began to move through the gears in the third round, as they produced the highest-scoring dive of the day at the Baku Aquatics Centre.

The Iranians were awarded 68.40 points for a superb forward three-and-a-half somersaults in pike position, which they followed up with another impressive effort of 62.64.

The duos from Azerbaijan and Iraq were unable to respond as they both failed to break the 55.00-point barrier.

Nazarpour and Valipour concluded with dives of 51.84 and 57.96 for a winning total of 326.04.

That was comfortably clear of Azeri pair Artem Danilov and Dmitriy Sorokin - the synchro 3m springboard bronze medallists - who took silver with 265.11.

Hussein Al-Elayawi and Hussein Al-Maliki of Iraq improved on their poor performance in the springboard final as they secured bronze with 215.64.
With 27 gold medals to Uzbekistan's 15, Iran are now all but guaranteed to finish third in the overall medal table.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Azerbaijan's Bykovskaia swept to her second diving gold in the women's 3m springboard.

The home hope - who claimed a comfortable victory in Friday's 10m platform final - led from start to finish as she picked up the host nation's 68th gold in Baku.

Yaprak Seli Keskin secured silver for Turkey, while Indonesia's Della Harimurti pipped another Turk, Sinem Saglam, to bronze.

The women's final was a low-scoring affair, with only a solitary dive worth more than 50.00 points.

That was Bykovskaia's opener, a forward two-and-a-half somersaults in pike position which earned her a modest 50.40.

As was already the case in the 10m platform, the Azeri had wrapped up the title before her final effort and eventually triumphed with an overall score of 223.10 points.
With a high score of 46.80, Keskin never looked like threatening Bykovskaia and took silver for Turkey with 177.40.

Harimurti - the 10m platform silver medallist - just about did enough to snatch bronze away from Saglam, with a score of 168.75 to the Turk's 165.10.

Bykovskaia's second diving title pushed Azerbaijan back to the top of the overall medal table, just a single gold ahead of Turkey.

© AFP Services

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