TOKYO 2020 SUMMER OLYMPICS – DIVING
The men’s springboard diving competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games has followed the same script as the women’s, with the 3-meter synchronized duo finishing 1-2 in the individual event.
China’s Xie Siyi was near-perfect in claiming gold in the men’s 3m springboard, putting a total of 558.75 points on the board to lead countryman Wang Zongyuan, who he paired up with for gold in the 3m synchro springboard earlier in the competition.
Xie, 25, wins his first individual Olympic gold medal after having claimed the world title in this event in each of the past two FINA World Championships (2017, 2019).
“I just thought to myself, I’ve done it,” Xie said after the competition, according to the official Olympic press release. “I didn’t let everyone down. I also feel proud of myself. This is my first Olympic Games and I’ve had to go through a lot. To win gold here, I’ve also achieved my ‘grand slam’.”
Xie becomes just the second male diver to win gold in both the 3m synchronized springboard and the individual 3m springboard since the synchro event was introduced in 2000, joining China’s Xiong Ni, who did so in Sydney.
“I’ll give myself full marks. It’s really not been easy all these years. I want to thank myself for not giving up on myself,” said Xie.
“For me, so much has happened before coming here to compete. I had to make that psychological adjustment in a short time, whether it’s in your training or competing. On one hand, you’re doing it for your country. On the other hand, it’s for your own dreams. The fact that I’ve had many injuries along the way is also a factor.”
FULL RESULTS (FINAL)
Xie’s 19-year-old teammate, Wang Zongyuan, had led the prelims of the event with 531.30 points, and put up a score of 540.50 in the semi-finals to sit within three points of Xie coming into the final.
However, Xie made no mistakes when the medals were on the line, jumping out to a 10-point lead after just two dives and the race for gold was all but over.
Wang was locked in a tight battle with Great Britain’s Jack Laugher for the silver medal, sitting just two points up with one dive to go.
With the pressure on, Wang delivered the highest-scoring dive of the final (tying with Xie’s final dive), scoring 102.60 points to secure the silver medal. Laugher’s final dive tied for the highest degree of difficulty in the final at 3.9, the Forward 2½ Somersaults 3 Twists Pike, but he only scored 87.75, bringing his total to 518.00 for bronze.
Laugher was the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in this event, and also won gold in Rio in the 3m synchro. He and British teammate Daniel Goodfellow placed seventh in the 3m synchro event in Tokyo.
Russian Olympic Committee’s Evgenii Kuznetsov, fourth in Rio, placed fifth with a score of 461.90, as South Korea’s Woo Haram secured fourth with 481.85 points. Woo was only 24th at the 2016 Games.
Only the men’s and women’s 10m platform events remain on the diving schedule in Tokyo, with the women’s event up first, as the preliminary round kicks off on Wednesday.