Top diving stories to watch in Rio
From David Boudia's quest to defend 2012 Olympic gold on the 10m platform to the impending women's 3m sprinboard battle to China's hunt for a historic medal sweep, here are the top five diving stories to keep an eye on in Rio.
David Boudia returns to defend his 2012 platform gold
Team USA’s David Boudia, China’s Qiu Bo and Great Britain’s Tom Daley finished in that order on the medal stand at the 2012 Olympics. At the 2015 World Championships, Qiu came away with the gold followed by Boudia and Daley for the silver and bronze, respectively. Boudia also has the chance to back up his synchronized platform bronze medal from the 2012 Olympics, this time with new partner Steele Johnson, with whom he used to carpool to practice as children.
China looks to sweep events
Even though multiple-time gold medalists Wu Minxia (3m springboard) and Chen Ruolin (10m platform) will focus solely on their synchronized events, China will still present a strong team in Rio and looks to win eight for eight available gold medals. At the most recent world championships, the only gold that China didn’t win was the women’s 10m platform, where Ren Qian was in the silver medal position instead.
China’s Wu Minxia and Chen Ruolin aiming for history
Wu Minxia and Chen Roulin, both four-time gold medalists from China, could break the record for most gold medals won by a diver. The record is shared by six athletes, but Wu and Chen could each earn their fifth golds in Rio. Wu won synchronized 3m springboard gold in 2004, 2008 and 2012 in addition to winning individual springboard gold in London. She’ll compete only in synchronized springboard in Rio, where she and partner He Zi are the 2013 and 2015 world champions. On the other hand, Chen won gold medals in both the individual and synchronized 10m platform at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She’ll aim for her fifth gold in the synchronized event with partner Liu Huixia; together, they’re the 2013 and 2015 world champions.
U.S.’ 3m springboard shakeup
While Team USA’s Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais captured the 2012 Olympic bronze medal for the synchronized 3m springboard, they won’t be back to try to land on the podium in the event. Instead, they were usurped at U.S. Trials by Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon for the synchronized berth. For the individual discipline, Ipsen and Dorman will compete for the U.S.
On the women’s side, the U.S. did not qualify a spot to compete in the synchronized discipline – an event they claimed a silver medal on at the 2012 Olympics. Then, it was unclear how many spots the U.S. have for the women on springboard at Trials. The matter was resolved and the U.S. earned two spots, claimed by Kassidy Cook and Abby Johnston.
Jessica Parratto and Amy Cozad looking for podium finish in synchronized 10m platform
The U.S. was absent from competition in the women’s synchronized 10m platform at the 2012 London Olympics after a fifth-place showing in 2008. For Rio, new duo Jessica Parratto and Amy Cozad look to improve on their ninth place finish at the 2015 World Championships in the event. Parratto will also compete individually on platform at the 2016 Games.