The first diving medals of the 2012 Olympics were handed out on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre. The Chinese pair of He Zi and Wu Minxa won the gold with a big score of 346.20. This was not out of the ordinary, as they are the defending World Champions, and China swept the gold medals at their home event in 2011.
However, the appearance of American divers Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant in the second position with a score of 321.90 was definitely a divergence from recent history. The pair scored a silver medal, which is the Americans’ first in diving (men’s or women’s) since Laura Wilkinson won gold in 2000 on the 10 meter platform.
The Americans couldn’t keep up with the Chinese on the final three dives, where degree of difficulty is unlimited; however on the first two rounds, where divers are forced into 2.0 (relatively easy) dives, Bryant and Johnston were able to build a small, 4.2-point lead over Canada’s bronze-medalists Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans. That lead, so slight, would be significant. That left the Americans with a small lead headed into the 5th and final round, where all they had to do was outscore the Canadians to lock up silver.
Lock it up they did, as Canada finished 3rd with a 316.80. The Italians Tania Cagnatto and Francesca Dallape were 4th, just back in 314.10. They had four outstanding dives, but on the fourth round faltered just enough to fall off of the podium. That is where the American pair was so good – they didn’t have a weak dive across the competition.
Full results for the final are below.
| United States
|7|| Great Britain
Cheong Jun Hoong
Pamg Pandelela Rinong