Amy Cozad (Indianapolis, Ind./Bloomington, Ind.) finished sixth in the women’s 10-meter final Thursday at the World Championships, good for the best finish by a U.S. woman on that event at a World Championships since Laura Wilkinson was fourth in 2007.
“It was so awesome to be a part of that final. The thing I’m most proud of is I didn’t hold back. I went after everything as hard as I could and just trusted my training,” said Cozad, who was fifth in the preliminaries and sixth in the semifinals on Wednesday to qualify for the finals.
Cozad scored 361.95 points, receiving marks of 72 or higher on four of her five dives. She was in the hunt for a medal after three rounds, when she was in fourth place and just 1.05 points out of third. In the next round, she dropped to sixth after scoring 64.35 points on her back 3 ½ tuck – her only dive of the finals that scored lower than 72 points.
“At the end of round three, I was only one point away from third. I like to look at the scores, especially if I’m behind. It kind of motivates me to push harder. On my back 3 1/2, I got a great takeoff, but I just didn’t finish it as well as I could have. That’s OK because I’m still happy with how it went,” Cozad said.
Kim Kuk Hyang of North Korea scored 397.05 points for the gold, while China’s Ren Qian took silver with 388.00 points. Bronze went to Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong with 385.05 points. The 12 finalists earned quota spots for their countries for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Earlier in the week, Cozad finished ninth in synchronized 10-meter with Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.)
Also on Thursday, Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) finished 13th with 441.10 points in the men’s 3-meter semifinals, missing a spot in the finals by one place.
In 15th place with one round to go, Hixon closed out his list with 86.70 points on his final dive, an inward 3 ½ tuck, but it wasn’t enough to earn a spot in the final. He finished 9.80 points behind the 12th place finisher, Woo Haram of Korea. Hixon also scored 86.70 points on his front 2 ½ with two twists in round two, but his other four dives in semifinals scored between 61.50 and 73.50 points.
“Twelve people dove better than I did today. I needed to be better. I didn’t really miss anything that badly, except for maybe my front, but I really only hit two dives. That’s not going to get you into a final,” said Hixon, who earlier in the week won the bronze medal on 1-meter.
Darian Schmidt (Bloomington, Ind.) scored 380.95 points to finish 31st in the preliminaries. He started strong with 76.50 and 74.80 points on his first two dives to rank eighth after two rounds, but he missed two of his final four dives to drop out of contention for a spot in the semifinals.
Diving events at the FINA World Championships continue through August 2, before high diving begins August 3. Friday’s competition includes women’s 3-meter preliminaries and semifinals. Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Durham, N.C.) and Laura Ryan (Elk River, Minn./Athens, Ga.) will compete for Team USA.
Diving News is courtesy of USA Diving.
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