ROME — Veteran Julia Pakhalina led from start to finish to earn gold in the women's 1m springboard event at the World Championships here on Sunday.
It was the Russian's third world title and came 11 years after winning a 3m springboard and 3m synchronised springboard double in Perth in 1998.
It also completed a clean sweep of world medals in this event having won bronze two years ago in Melbourne and silver in 2003 in Barcelona.
She finished with 325.05 points, ahead of Chinese pair Wu Minxia (311.90) and Wang Han (303.95) in second and third.
The final was almost a non event with Pakhalina taking the lead on the first dive from Wu and gradually extending it thereafter.
"I am very happy, I was really, really good today. I am also glad to win another gold medal even if I have won many others in my career," said Pakhalina.
"Wu is the best diver. She fights until the end and she never gives up. China are winning a lot but today it was my turn."
Wang was fourth after the first dive but moved up to third after the second and her place on the podium never looked threatened.
The 31-year-old Pakhalina was Olympic champion in Sydney in the 3m synchronised springboard event and has also won eight European titles.
She also won silver at both 3m springboard and 3m synchronised springboard in Beijing last year.
Wu's second place finish continued an agonising trend for the 23-year-old who has never won an individual world or Olympic title.
This was her fifth individual world silver medal to add to one bronze and two podium finishes at the last two Olympics.
However, she has won three synchronised world titles and is also a double Olympic champion at synchronised springboard.
And she wasn't upset by another silver.
"I'm very satisfied with this result. I dived well today and I think the silver medal was justified," she said.
"Today Pakhalina performed extremely well, both in the preliminaries and in the final.
"She has always been very strong and this result isn't a surprise. Compared to us (Chinese) I think she is better on her entry into the water."
Wang was delighted to have won a medal at her first World Championship.
"It's the first time for me at the worlds, I did very well," she said. Pakhalina is older than us (Chinese). She's more experienced and I think she is also technically better than me."
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