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China bounces back with 2 golds to lead worlds medal table

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — After double-disappointment the day before, China bounced back with two golds and a silver medal in diving events at the world swimming championships on Sunday.

Chinese twins Jiang Wenwen and Jiang Tingting also claimed a silver medal in synchronized swimming, bringing China's championships tally after two days of finals to three golds and three silver medals.

On Saturday, China failed to make the podium in women's 1-meter springboard, and then missed out on gold in men's 3-meter springboard synchronized diving, both for the first time at a worlds since 2003.

Peng Jianfeng began the response when he won the men's 1-meter springboard final ahead of teammate He Chao, and Ren Qian and Si Yajie followed up with gold in the women's 10-meter synchronized event.

Si said there had been no added pressure to make up for Saturday's disappointment.

"It is all the same to us if we win or we lose," said Si, who gave herself a 9.5 out of 10 and said there was room for improvement.

"I want to improve my diving. That's my goal," Ren said after claiming her second gold in as many days.

The Chinese pair defeated North Korea's Kim Mi-rae and Kim Kuk-hyang by 16.08 points, while Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Cheong Jun Hoong claimed the bronze.

Ren and Si's victory was China's ninth straight women's 10-meter platform synchronized title at the worlds.

Peng had made it a sixth straight title for China in men's 1-meter springboard diving, edging He, while Italy's Giovanni Tocci claimed the bronze in a close-fought competition.

"As a Chinese sportsman we shouldn't say it is inevitable that we get all the medals," He said. "There are also always competitors and actually we are really happy to get this result."

Earlier, Alexandra Patskevich and Svetlana Kolesnichenko earned Russia its third gold of the championships by winning the women's duet technical synchronized swimming title.

The Russian pair just edged the Jiang twins by 0.974 points.

Yelyzaveta Yakhno and Anna Voloshyna claimed the bronze for Ukraine.

Kolesnichenko, who won the solo technical title Saturday for her first gold in an individual event, claimed her 14th gold overall at the worlds, equaling Anastasia Davydova's tally. Only compatriots Svetlana Romashina (22) and Natalia Ishchenko (20) have more.

Aurelie Muller of France defended her 10K open water swimming title on Lake Balaton, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Budapest.

Muller made up for her disappointment at the 2016 Olympics, where she was disqualified and stripped of her silver medal for colliding with Italy's Rachele Bruni at the end.

Muller finished in 2 hours, 13.70 seconds, beating Samantha Arevalo of Ecuador by 3.30 seconds, to make it two golds for France from two open water races after Marc-Antoine Olivier's men's 5K title the day before.

Italy's Arianna Bridi and Brazil's Marcela Ana Cunha shared bronze. Both were 3.50 behind.

In water polo, the United States began its title defense with a 24-2 rout of South Africa. Jamie Neushul scored a game-high six goals.

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