There was a quick turnaround for the women’s platform divers going from prelims to semifinals, but not as quick as for the finals. There is no time to rest as the top-12 divers from the semifinals will crank it up again about seven hours after the finish of the semis.
China’s Chen Ruolin led the way again, upping her prelim score 15 points to 407.25. Claiming the second spot in semifinals was Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito who rebounded from rather lackluster prelims where she finished tenth, and was at one point in danger of making it out of the opening round.
In third and fourth were the Australians Brittany Broben and Melissa Wu. Broben is one of only two non-Chinese to have beaten Chen Ruolin since 2008, and is diving very well right now as is Wu.
The other non-Chinese diver to defeat Chen is Paola Espinosa who seems to be having a hard time with her two biggest dives – a back 3 ½ and reverse 3 ½ in tuck. The 2009 world champion from Mexico keeps cutting it very close, slipping into semifinals in 13th, and now into finals in 11th.
It’s lucky for Espinosa that the scores are wiped clean after each round. She can start with a clean slate for finals. If she can fix her backs and reverses before the next round, she will be a factor in the medals.
Neither U.S. diver advanced to finals. The magic that Katie Bell had in prelims deserted her in the semifinal round. She started out on fire with a great 107b, but an average reverse 2 ½ pike and a poor inward 3 ½ put her in a hole that she couldn’t rebound from.
Brittany Viola again had a dip in the middle of her diving list, with a below average inward 3 ½ and back 2 ½ pike. Her score of 300.50 was more than 20 points below her prelim score. The disconcerting fact is that a diver didn’t need to dive any better to advance. In fact the 12th place score for semifinals was almost 10 points lower than in prelims.
The finals should be and intriguing contest. Chen Ruolin is clearly the class of the field, but she really hasn’t done anything outstanding yet. The only diver who can probably challenge her is Espinosa and she can’t seem to find the water so far.
The Australians are doing a really nice job, as is Malaysian Pandelela Rinong Pamg (whose toe point is scary good).
China’s number 2 diver Hu Yadan has been underwhelming, but the one thing about wiping out the scores after each round is that it gives everyone new life and sometimes that is all it takes to energize the field.
The women’s platform finals begin at 2:00 pm EST, and will be streamed live at NBCOlympics.com
- The U.S. failed to qualify a diver for the finals in women’s platform for the first time in history. The only other time that an American did not compete in finals was at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The U.S. boycotted the Games that year.
- After winning three synchro medals in three events, the U.S. has now failed to medal in three individual events.
- Canada, China and Australia each qualified two divers for the women’s platform final.
- Australia has yet to win a diving medal at the Games after having won two in 2008. Both medals were won in platform diving.
- Chen Ruolin (China) – 407.25
- Meaghan Benfeito (Canada) – 359.90
- Brittany Broben (Australia) – 359.55
- Melissa Wu (Australia) – 355.60
- Pandelela Rinong Pamg (Malaysia) – 352.50
- Yulia Koltunova (Russia) – 351.90
- Christin Steuer (Germany) – 339.90
- Hu Yadan (China) – 328.25
- Roseline Filion (Canada) – 329.60
- Noemi Batki (Italy) – 325.45
- Paola Espinosa (Mexico) – 317.10
- Iulia Prokopchuk (Ukraine) – 315.80
- Kim Un Hyang (North Korea) – 314.40
- Kim Jin Ok (North Korea) – 312.95
- Brittany Viola (United States) – 300.50
- Katie Bell (United States) – 296.80
- Maria Kurjo (Germany) – 264.45
- Mai Nakagawa (Japan) – 260.05
Women’s Olympic Springboard Diving Preliminary Results
Top 18 divers advance to Semifinal Round