Chinese divers have dominated major international events for a couple of decades, and there are more and more young talented athletes in the Asian country, like Ren Qian. The 15-year-old super talent at the time won the gold medal in the 10m platform at the 2016 Olympics, following a silver medal at the 2015 FINA World Championships and a gold medal at the 2016 FINA Diving World Cup. Qian will be one of the favourites at the 17th FINA World in Budapest.
Ren Qian was born in Chengdu in 2001, and took up diving at age 6 in her home town. Previously She had been a gymnast, but then changed to diving in 2007.
She was only 11, when she already took part in the Chinese national championship, and finished fourth in the 10m platform event. Thanks to that notable result she was selected to the Chinese national team.
In 2014 she won the gold medal at the national championship, and achieved some great results in the FINA Diving Grand Prix Series as well: she won the gold medal both in the individual and the snychro event in Mexico. No wonder the leader of the Chinese national diving team, Zhou Jihong decided to assign a key role to the exceptionally talented athlete.
At the 2015 FINA World Championships Qian was already among the favourites, and in the end she finished second behind another young talent, 16-year-old North Korean Kim Kuk Hyang.
2016 proved to be a fantastic year for Qian, and Rio de Janeiro became one of her favourite cities: she won the gold medal at the FINA Diving World Cup in February, and finished first a couple of months later at the Rio Olympics as well. The silver medal went to compatriot Si Yajie, the bronze medal to Canadian Meaghan Benfeito.
She became the youngest champion at the Games and the only one from the championship field to tally more than 90 points on a single dive. In addition, she became the fourth youngest diver ever to win gold in the women's individual 10m.
Qian’s idol is two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Gao Min, who became a diving legend in the late 80s and early 90s.
Ren Qian is still very young, she will be only 16 during the 17th FINA World Championships, so she has the chance even to exceed her hero’s career. The preliminaries of the women’s 10m platform will be held on Tuesday 18 July, the final on Wednesday 19 July in the Duna Arena in Budapest.
Born: Chengdu (China), 20 February, 2001
Olympic champion (2016 Rio de Janeiro, 10m platform)
World silver medalist (2015 Kazan, 10m platform)
FINA Diving World Cup winner (2016 Rio de Janeiro, 10m platform)