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Daily Drip

China’s Youngest Olympian Shatters Record, Wins Gold at Tokyo Games

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Teenager Quan Hongchan won gold for China in the 10-meter platform diving event at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, August 5. The 14-year-old is Team China’s youngest member, and she advanced to the finals in first place after a stellar performance during the semi-finals.

In addition to securing another Olympic gold for China, the youth achieved a total score of 466.20 — shattering the previous record of 447.70.

She ranked second during the qualifying round of the 10-meter platform diving event, grabbing the first-place spot from fellow Team China diver Chen Yuxi, who placed second in the semi-finals by a small margin.

Chen went on to clinch the silver medal in the finals, while Australian Melissa Wu secured bronze.

Quan takes home China’s 33rd gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics with an average score of 93.22 based on the five dives taken, while Chen won China’s 24th silver.

During the finals, Quan wowed judges and viewers worldwide by achieving perfect scores in three of her five dives, and her success marks the fourth straight gold medal in the 10-meter platform diving event for a Chinese athlete at the Summer Olympics. 

Born in 2007 in Guangdong province, Quan joined the provincial diving team at the age of 11. According to state-backed broadcaster CGTN, Quan’s exceptional Olympic performance was her “first appearance in any of the three major international diving events,” namely the Summer Olympics, FINA Diving World Cup, and World Aquatics Championships.

The response to Quan’s gold medal win was celebratory on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with many netizens wishing her well.

“She’s only 14 but has calmness beyond her age. Quan is super talented,” one netizen commented right after the event. “The only word to describe her performance today is ‘perfect.’”

During the final event after her fourth dive, the state-owned publication People’s Daily chimed in calling Quan “impeccable.”

The hashtag #Quan Hongchan Snatches Gold# had reached a whopping 1.56 billion views on Weibo at the time of writing. 

Cover image via Visual China Group

Brian Smelzer
    Brian grew up in New York City and studied political science at Marymount University. He became fascinated by Chinese culture in high school, and in college began exploring Mandarin, loose leaf tea, and modern China behind the headlines.