The 2015 Arena European Diving Championships ended on Sunday (14) in the German city of Rostock, and the winners of the individual events – from Ukraine, Italy, Germany and France – brought home the first qualifying places in the Rio 2016 Olympic diving competitions for their countries. (Follow the race to qualify for Rio 2016 here)
Ukraine and Italy won places in the women’s tournament thanks to spectacular performances by Iiulia Prokopchuk (Ukraine) in the 10m platform, and Tania Cagnotto (Italy) in the 3m springboard. Germany and France booked their places in the men’s Olympic competition via Martin Wolfram (10m platform) and Matthieu Rosset (3m springboard), respectively.
Italian Tania Cagnotto – one of Europe’s most successful divers – stole the show in Rostock, taking home three gold medals as well as claiming the Olympic ticket for her country. Her 3m springboard victory on Sunday brought her already bulging European gold medal count to 15.
The Championship also featured synchronised diving and 1m springboard events. However, the Arena European Diving Championships do not count as an official Olympic qualifier for the synchronised diving category, and the 1m springboard will not feature in the 2016 Olympic programme.
There are four more continental championships scheduled – including the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto –which will follow the same qualifying criteria as the European Championship i.e. the winning athletes of both genders in the 10m platform and the 3m springboard individual events will win Olympic places for their countries.The International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships (in Kazan, Russia, from 24 July to 9 August) and the FINA World Cup (in Rio de Janeiro from 23-28 February 2016 – a test event for the Olympic Games) are the next qualifiers on the horizon.
As the host country, Brazil has guaranteed places for a total of eight athletes to compete in the four synchronized events – the men’s and women’s 3m springboard and 10m platform.
How it works
The sport’s debut at the Olympics was in St. Louis in 1904, but jumps into water had been practiced throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with gymnasts performing acrobatics while plunging into rivers and pools in Sweden and Germany. The competition format underwent several changes up until Sydney 2000, when synchronized events were included.
Athletes receive points according to the precision and complexity of their manoeuvres. Men perform six jumps, and women, five. Seven judges award scores of between 0 and 10 for each dive, and the two highest and lowest scores are discarded. The remaining scores are added and multiplied depending on the difficulty of the dive. In synchronized events, there are 11 judges and six scores to be discarded.
In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the diving competitions will take place at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center (Barra zone) from 7-10 and 12-20 August 2016.
Swimming news courtesy of Rio 2016 News.