China's Cao Yuan wins gold in men's 10m platform diving

China's Yuan Cao won gold in the men's 10-metre platform diving at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Canada's Nathan Zsombor-Murray misses final by less than 3 points

China's Cao Yuan competes in the men's 10-metre platform final on Saturday in Tokyo. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Cao Yuan outdueled his teammate to win the men's 10-metre platform title on Saturday, giving China gold medals in seven of the eight diving events at the Tokyo Olympics.

He became the first diver to win gold medals in three different Olympic events.

The only event the Chinese didn't win was men's platform synchro, where they finished second. China swept the four women's events. In further confirmation of the country's dominance, China finished 1-2 in all four of the individual events.

Britain's Tom Daley earned bronze at 548.25. He now has four Olympic medals in his career — one gold and three bronze.

Cao and Yang duelled through their final three dives.

Diving just ahead of Cao, Yang scored 112.75 points for the toughest dive of the final, a forward 4 1/2 somersaults pike that carries a 4.1 degree of difficulty. He earned marks ranging from 9.0 to 9.5 for his last dive.

Yang popped his head to the surface and pumped his fists.

Cao was too good, though.

He answered with a back 2 1/2 somersaults with 2 1/2 twists pike — not as difficult as Yang's last dive, but it was worth two 10s. Cao received 9.5s for his other marks, giving him just enough to edge his teammate by 1.95 points.

Canada's Zsombor-Murray eyes 2024 Games after missing final in Tokyo

Still young and inexperienced on the international stage, diver Nathan Zsombor-Murray wants to turn the lessons learned from his Tokyo journey into success at the 2024 Paris Games.

The 18-year-old from Pointe-Claire, Que., failed to qualify for the 10-metre platform final, but his potential to one day challenge the sport's elite divers was nevertheless on display.

"I'm certainly disappointed, but I think I'm even more motivated for Paris and the next three years," said Zsombor-Murray after missing a place in the final by 2.55 points.

"Finishing 13th in the world at 18, I certainly have a few years ahead of me to get stronger physically and mentally."

The Canadian's most important lesson learned in Tokyo: how to better manage his level of effort across a multi-day Olympic event.

"I gave it my all in the preliminaries," he said. "Today [Saturday], I found it hard to get back to that comfort zone. I need to be more mindful of spreading out my effort to give a little energy in the preliminaries, a little more in the semifinal and give everything in the final."

Nathan Zsombor-Murray of Canada competes in men's 10-metre platform diving event at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. (Dmitri Lovetsky/The Associated Press)

Fifth after Friday's preliminary round, Zsombor-Murray started the semifinal well. He earned the best score in the first round of dives.

But his next dive let him down, a forward 4 1/2 somersaults in tuck position with a high degree of difficulty. He received just 49.95 from the judges, pushing him down into 17th place.

"That forced me to fight to get back to 12th and advance to the final," said Zsombor-Murray. "When you miss a dive, your confidence level decreases and it becomes more difficult to find the motivation to continue. Despite that, I was happy with my last three dives. I ended up on a high note, but it wasn't enough to make the final."

Digging himself out of that 17th position against some of the world's best divers proved too difficult. And the Canadian's choice of dives did not make things easier, either.

"My list [of dives] does not have a high degree of difficulty. My dives must therefore all be solid," he said.

Canada's team of 10 divers ended the Tokyo Olympics with just one medal: Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu's bronze in the three-metre synchronized springboard.

It's the country's lowest medal total in diving since the 1996 Atlanta Games when Annie Pelletier won bronze in the three-metre springboard. At the time, however, synchro events were not on the Olympic program.

With files from The Canadian Press

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