Not to coin a term from the world of golf, but the semifinals could be tabbed moving day. In the sense of if you don’t move up in the standings, your next seat will be in the stands.
So who were the big movers in the Men’s 3-meter Olympic semifinals? First and foremost was Alex Despatie, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in this event.
After finishing ninth in the prelims and not looking very sharp, Despatie came back strong in the semifinals, looking every bit as sharp as he wasn’t one day prior and he moved up to eighth. That one place may not seem like much but Alex has a tendency to show up for the bigger events such as, say the Olympics. He scored almost 20 more points than in prelims and it could be a signal that he is ready for finals.
The Achilles heel for him may be his difficulty. If he sticks with a reverse 2 ½ pike for finals, he will loose 1.8 in D.D. to He Chong and 2.3 to Ilya Zakharov. If Zakharov were to get scores of 8 on that extra D.D., it means he in a sense, begins the contest with a 55.2 point advantage. Needless to say, that is a lot of points.
Another mover in the semifinals was Qin Kai who improved from 11th in the semifinals to third. The majority of that improvement, if not all, came from the fact that he put a front 4 ½ tuck on his head. He had a good forward approach and hurdle, and as a result scored 51.3 more points. See what an extra 50 points can do!
In a big boost for the home team, British diver Chris Mears had his own success on a front 4 ½ and it propelled him to a ninth place finish and a spot in finals.
If someone moves up, someone then also must move down. The biggest casualty in that scenario was U.S. diver Chris Colwill who after finishing seventh in prelims had the bottom drop out from underneath him and finished 18th.
Sitting in ninth after four rounds, Colwill got out of balance on an inward 3 ½ in tuck, fell away from the board and completed the dive well short of vertical. He scored only 28.90 points and was effectively eliminated from moving on to finals.
To add insult to injury, he landed with one foot half off the springboard on his final dive and did a reverse dive tuck instead of a reverse 3 ½. It was not the picture perfect way to end his Olympic experience.
Troy Dumais on the other hand continued to dive well, finishing in fifth and moving on to finals where he will face the tough task of breaking into the top-three divers for a medal.
He will need to be flawless as he, just like Alex Despatie, will be facing a deficit in difficulty. At 19.7, his total D.D. is ½ point higher than Despatie, but still considerably less than the four divers who finished ahead of him.
He Chong (China) and Illya Zakharov (Russia) flip-flopped from the prelims, with He Chong coming out on top in this round. It will be an interesting final, because if Zakharov is close or in the lead with one dive to go, he has a monster front 4 ½ as his final dive. He scored 91.2 points on it in prelims, and over 100 in semifinals.
It should make for a dramatic final!
- Only China qualified two divers for the final field of 12.
- The diver with the highest degree of difficulty in the field was Ilya Zakharov (Russia) whose total was 21.5. The lowest was Cesar Castro of Brazil with a total of 19.0.
- This will be the fourth men's springboard final for Troy Dumais. He has finished sixth in each of the previous three finals.
- He Chong (China) – 510.15
- Ilya Zakharov (Russia) – 505.60
- Qin Kai (China) – 500.35
- Yahel Castillo (Mexico) – 499.65
- Troy Dumais (United States) – 490.55
- Patrick Hausding (Germany) – 485.55
- Illya Kvasha (Ukriane) – 478.60
- Alex Despatie (Canada) – 472.80
- Chris Mears (Great Britain) – 461.00
- Javier Illana Garcia (Spain) – 458.05
- Ethan Warren (Australia) – 456.85
- Yeoh Ken Nee (Malaysia) – 441.65
- Francois Imbeau-Dulac (Canada) – 440.20
- Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) – 437.70
- Matthieu Rosset (France) – 422.50
- Oleksiv Prygorov (Ukraine) – 414.15
- Cesar Castro (Brazil) – 388.40
- Chris Colwill (United States) – 339.80
Men’s Olympic Springboard Diving Semifinal Results
Top 12 divers advance to the Finals