The women’s Olympic platform preliminary was not a pretty sight for many of the divers. There were some good dives, but there were also some bad dives. That is somewhat normal, especially in prelims. What is not normal is that many of the bad dives came from some of the biggest names.
Among others, Canada’s Roseline Filion, Mexico’s Paola Espinosa and China’s Hu Yadan all missed back 3 ½’s in tuck in what was a splash-fest, even for a prelim.
The opening round of women’s platform was won by China’s Chen Ruolin, who just as she has done since winning gold in Beijing, hit every one of her dives and finished 43.35 points a head of Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg.
In third was Christin Steuer of Germany, another 7.25 points back with 341.75.
The next 15 qualifiers were spread over 30 points in what became a scramble to make the top-18 and the semifinal round.
2009 world champion Espinosa was not assured a spot in the finals until her last dive, and their were some tense moments for Olympic synchronized platform silver medalists Filion and Meaghan Benfeito who qualified in 17th and 10th respectively.
All of the pre-event favorites did made the cut and much to their delight all divers will start from zero when the semifinals begin.
U.S. diver Brittany Viola had a bit of an up-and-down performance. She started out well, but was a bit off during rounds three and four, finding her form again on her last dive and moving on in 14th place.
The best performance of the prelim may have come from Viola’s teammate Katie Bell, and it may well have been the best of her life. There is no doubt she has dived better, gotten better scores, and finished higher in the standings. But to do what she did when the chips were down, was impressive.
Katie’s first two dives, what are normally the easiest and most consistent of her diving list were not good. A front 3 ½ pike and reverse 2 ½ pike for 5.5’s, and her reverse is usually a money dive, one that she can always count on.
She scored less that 50 points on both and was in serious jeopardy of not making the top-18. The outlook was even more bleak because her next three dives are her toughest, and not always consistent.
But with her back against the wall, she came out swinging. First came an inward 3 ½ for 8’s and 8.5’s; and a glimmer of hope. Then the always risky back 3 ½ went in for 8’s and all of the sudden Katie is not only in the mix, she may finish in the top-10. And finally a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists for 7’s and 7.5’s and Katie Bell didn’t just slip into semifinals; she was in a solid ninth place.Bell, Viola and rest of the 18 qualifiers will get a chance to redeem themselves soon, as the women’s platform semifinals will take place on Thursday, August 9th, at the crack of dawn – or 5:00 am EDT for those who will follow the competition live.
- Chen Ruolin (China) – 392.35
- Pandelela Rinong Pamg (Malaysia) – 349.00
- Christin Steuer (Germany) – 341.75
- Brittany Broben (Australia) – 339.80
- Melissa Wu (Australia) – 337.90
- Hu Yadan (China) – 337.85
- Yulia Koltunova (Russia) – 334.80
- Mai Nakagawa (Japan) – 327.65
- Katie Bell (United States) – 326.95
- Meaghan Benfeito (Canada) – 325.50
- Iulia Prokopchuk (Ukraine) – 324.85
- Noemi Batki (Italy) – 324.20
- Paola Espinosa (Mexico) – 324.00
- Brittany Viola (United States) – 322.55
- Kim Jin Ok (North Korea) – 320.10
- Maria Kurjo (Germany) – 319.65
- Roseline Filion (Canada) – 314.85
- Kim Un Hyang (North Korea) – 308.10
- Monique Gladding (Great Britain) – 301.45
- Stacie Powell (Great Britain) – 287.30
- Carolina Mendoza (Mexico) – 286.95
- Traisy Vivien Tukiet (Malaysia) – 285.00
- Brenda Spaziani (Italy) – 268.00
- Audre Labeau (France) – 261.05
- Annia Rivera (Cuba) – 233.95
- Kim Suji (South Korea) – 215.75
Women’s Olympic Springboard Diving Preliminary Results
Top 18 divers advance to Semifinal Round