MADRID — Canada's Carolyn Waldo took the first gold medal of the World Swimming Championships Friday when she won the solo synchronized competition.
The 1984 Olympic silver medalist led throughout the three-day, four-section competition. Waldo's spectacular final routine earned her the only two maximum 10.00 scores of the competition. The other five judges gave her 9.9s.
Already well ahead after the first three sections, Waldo totaled 200.033 to beat American Sarah Josephson's 194.967. Josephson's score gave her the silver medal ahead of France's Muriel Hermine, who became the first European to win a medal since the world championships began in 1973. Hermine had 186.250 points.
In the first diving event of the championships, China's Min Gao and Yihua Li appeared set to gain their country's first-ever world championship gold.
After 10 dives in the women's springboard event, Min held first place going into today's final. Yihua recovered from a disastrous dive during the second session to hang onto second place ahead of Kelly McCormick, the seven-time American springboard champion and 1984 Olympic silver medalist.
McCormick, 26, from Long Beach, Calif., produced a consistent series of second-session dives to wrest third place from Marina Bobkova of the Soviet Union.
The American men's water polo team crushed Brazil, 15-6; Cuba won its first match by edging Australia, 12-10; West Germany downed France, 10-4; the Soviet Union conceded the first goal before routing Greece, 12-7; Italy upset Hungary, 9-8, and Canada beat the Netherlands, 8-4.
In the inaugural women's water polo competition, the United States scored a 14-3 victory over Norway; Australia routed Belgium, 17-2; Canada downed Hungary, 9-4, and the Netherlands overpowered West Germany, 17-3.