One of the greatest divers of history, Qiu Bo will arrive in Budapest aiming at winning the gold medal in his fourth FINA World Championships in a row. The 24-year-old Chinese star has not been lucky at the Olympics so far, but as a four-time world champion he will definitely be among the top favourites in Duna Arena.
We all know that every beginning is difficult, but the first few years in Qiu Bo’s career were extremely complicated. His diving career began when a coach spotted him bouncing on a trampoline at age 7. In 2002, however, his family struggled to pay the fees required to continue diving. With the help of his grandmother and uncle, he was able to gather the money necessary to continue the sport. However, he contemplated quitting to ease the burden on his family. His coach convinced him to continue diving and used his own money to support his development. (2012.sina.com.cn, 13 Aug 2012; bjd.com.cn, 12 Aug 2012)
Diving fans around the world can be truly thankful for these acts of generosity, since the little Qiu has become a big champion in the meantime.
Qiu Bo has been a member of the Chinese national team since 2008, and he achieved his first major success at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, where he won the silver medal in the 10m platform at age 16.
At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games he won gold both in the 3m and the 10m platform. In the 2011 FINA Diving World Series, Qiu achieved his career high with a historic score of 609.20 in the 10m platform event, where he received 25 perfect 10s from the judges. He also became the first diver in history to surpass 600 points in an international competition since the regulation was introduced. At the 2011 FINA World Championships he finished first in the 10m platform and the 10m synchro as well, so it was not a big surprise that FINA elected him as the Male Diver of the Year.
Qiu has been a specialist of the World Championships so far, since he managed to win the 10m platform event three times in a row. After the triumph in 2011 he won again in 2013 and then in 2015. Qiu and American diver Greg Louganis are the only men to win the world champion title in this event for three consecutive times.
In addition, he has been very successful at the FINA Diving World Cups, too, winning the gold medal at the 2012 edition in London and the 2016 contest in Rio de Janeiro.
Qiu, however, has some bad memories of these two cities, also, because he was really unlucky in the Olympic Games. In 2012, despite ranking first in the preliminary round and the semi-finals, he was ultimately placed second behind American diver David Boudia in the final.
Four years later in Rio de Janeiro he started the competition well again, ranking second in the preliminary round and the semi-finals, but he had misses in two of his dives and ultimately placed sixth.
Qiu, whose idols are 5-time world and 2-time Olympic champion Russian diver Dmitri Sautin, as well as 3-time world and 2-time Olympic champion Chinese legend Tian Liang, has a really interesting sporting philosophy: "Persisting in your dream is hard, but if it's not hard then it will not be sweet in return." (sports.sina.com.cn, 20 Jul 2014)
The final of the 10m platform event at the 17th FINA World Championships will be held on 22 July in Duna Arena.
Born: Neijiang (China), 31 January, 1993
Four-time world champion (2011 Shanghai, 10m platform and 10m synchro; 2013 Barcelona, 10m platform; 2015 Kazan, 10m platform); silver medallist (2009 Rome, 10m platform)
Olympic silver medallist (2012 London, 10m synchro)
FINA World Cup: two-time gold medallist (2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro, 10m platform)
Youth Olympic Games: two-time gold medallist (2010 Singapore, 3m and 10m platform)