Lying equal fifth after a fluffed first attempt at the spectacular hilltop Montjuic pool, Qiu produced a pair of stunning efforts on the third and fourth of his six dives to amass a whopping 581.
00 points, comfortably beating Olympic champion David Boudia of United States into second on 517.40.
Boudia, who pipped Qiu for gold in London last year, finished with silver for the second world championships in a row and Germany’s Sascha Klein took bronze with 508.55 in a repeat of the top three places at the previous championships in Shanghai in 2011.
China won all 10 golds in Shanghai but were denied another sweep in Barcelona after the German pair of Klein and Patrick Hausding won Sunday’s 10-metre synchronised platform.
China’s Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan, the Olympic champions, finished third behind the Russians.
“The best thing is that I won two medals at the world championships this year, I’m so happy I just can’t believe it,” Klein told reporters.
Britain’s Tom Daley, the 2009 world champion ahead of Qiu and bronze medallist in London, battled through the pain of a damaged tricep muscle to take sixth.
“I found out yesterday after a scan that I’ve torn my tricep again,” Daley, who missed last month’s European Championships because of an elbow injury, told reporters.
“I’ve been diving with a numb arm which is a bit of a weird sensation. I can’t straighten my arm properly which makes entry to the water really difficult,” he added.
“This year has just been one thing after another. But I really wanted to compete. I would’ve competed even if my arm was falling off.”
(The story has been filed again to correct the spelling of Chinese diver’s surname to Qiu.)
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)