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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | DIVING

Russia's Sautin Leads Entering Semifinals

August 02, 1996|Times Wire Services

Russia's Dmitry Sautin was the top qualifier in men's platform preliminaries with 452.82 points. But China's Xiao Hailiang qualified second with 445.86 points and Tian Liang third with 425.73 at the end of the 3-hour 46-minute preliminary round.

Another Russian, Vladimir Timoshinin, is fourth.

Americans Patrick Jeffrey qualified fifth and David Pichler sixth after outstanding final dives.

The field was cut to 18 for today's semifinal, when it will be reduced to 12 for the finals. Preliminary scores are carried over to the semifinal, but only semifinal scores count toward the finals.

If Jeffrey or Pichler doesn't win, it will be the first time since 1912 that the United States has not won a diving gold. China, meanwhile, is trying to become the first country to sweep all diving events since the United States in 1952.

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