Chen Ruolin became the second diver in China’s history and the fourth in Olympic history to repeat as platform champion when she won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
Chen’s feat mirrored what the great Fu Minxia did when she won platform at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and then followed that with a win in Atlanta in 1996.
Also like Fu, she won her first platform title at a very young age (Fu Minxia won in 1992 at the age of 13), and returned four years later to defend her title while still a teenager.
At 19 and as dominant as she is, Chen could return for the 2016 Games in Rio and rewrite the record books, becoming the first woman to win platform, or any Olympic diving event three times in a row.
Her victory on platform was never really in doubt. As the clear favorite, she was never challenged and when her main threat – Paola Espinosa of Mexico, received average scores on a back 3 ½ tuck in round two, it truly became a race for the silver.
Her dominance of the event was so complete that she could have gotten scores of 3.5 and 4 on her last dive and still won.
While Chen was walking away with her gold medal, the silver and bronze medals were not determined until the final dives of the final round.
At the end of round 4, eight women were within 8.25 points of each other, and all but one were doing the same dive. The final results would hinge on who had the best set of nerves.
As it turned out, it was one of the youngest competitors in finals who had those nerves of steel, or at least the naïveté to not feel the pressure. Sitting in fourth place, 16 year-old Aussie Brittany Broben calmly hit her final dive, a back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists for 8.5’s and the silver was all but hers with two divers to go.
Malaysia has won Olympic medals - all in the sport of badminton, but now they have their first medal outside of a racquet sport, and Pamg is sure to become a national hero.
While the diving itself could have been better, the contest outside of Chen Ruolin was highly competitive. That is all you can ask for at the Olympic Games where the pressure of winning a medal can humble even the most seasoned competitor.
You could characterize the women’s platform as both historic and exciting; definitely a win-win scenario for London.The final event of diving begins tomorrow, August 9th, as the men’s platform preliminaries kick off at 2:00 pm EST.
- Chen Ruolin (China) – 422.30
- Brittany Broben (Australia) – 366.50
- Pandelela Rinong Pamg (Malaysia) – 359.20
- Melissa Wu (Australia) – 358.10
- Yulia Koltunova (Russia) – 357.90
- Paola Espinosa (Mexico) – 356.20
- Christin Steuer (Germany) – 351.35
- Noemi Batki (Italy) – 350.05
- Hu Yadan (China) – 349.50
- Roseline Filion (Canada) – 349.10
- Meaghan Benfeito (Canada) – 345.15
- Iulia Prokopchuk (Ukraine) – 344.55
Women’s Olympic Springboard Diving Final Results