Russia’s Zakharov Hits Board On 1st Dive But Sneaks Through To 3m Semis

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Defending Olympic champ Ilia Zakharov of Russia smacked his foot on the board during his first dive, but recovered in time to just sneak into the semifinal.

With only 18 moving on to tomorrow’s semifinal round, Zakharov wound up 18th after a disastrous first dive that had him sitting dead last among 29 competitors.

Zakharov scored just 42.50 points on his opening dive, getting mostly 4s and 4.5s with a lone 1.5 in the mix – that was a result of hitting his feet on the board during an inward 3 1/2, and it put him 13 points back of the next-lowest-scoring diver and almost 40 back of the leader.

But the Russian kicked it into gear over the final two divers, scoring 87 and 85 points to rocket back to a qualifying spot with 389.90 points.

China’s Cao Yuan is the top qualifier, putting up 498.70 points total. He was the most consistent of the bunch and also hit two divers in the 90-point range. Meanwhile Mexico’s Rommel Pacheco is in line for silver, scoring 488.25 with the field’s best single dive, his 96.90-point forward 4 1/2 in round 6.

Both Americans moved on, with Kristian Ipsen taking 3rd and Mike Hixon 10th.

Also of note: the other Chinese entrant, He Chao, missed the semifinals, scoring just 380.85 points for 21st. In 2012, Zakharov took gold followed by the two Chinese entrants, neither of whom are competing in this event in Rio.

And in another intriguing storyline, Jamaica’s first-ever Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom, moved on to semis with a 416.55 finish in 11th place. If he can hold that spot, he’ll have a chance to compete in the medal final tomorrow.

Full results are available here. Semifinas take place at 10am local time, with finals at 6pm.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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