The women’s 3-meter Olympic final is going to be a battle, and quite a bit of fun to watch. That is, if the semifinals are any indication of what will happen on Sunday, August 5th.
As with most contests, as you move from prelims to semifinals, and then on to finals; the competition gets better and better and more intense. The semifinals at the London Aquatic Centre were no exception. In fact, they were impressive.
This was a very good event, with many, many good dives. It looked like the nerves that seemed to plaque some of the divers have gone away, and the only real error was an uncharacteristic miss by Canadian Emilie Heymans in round 2.
Heymans’ poorly executed dive was a front 3 ½ in tuck that was low and short of vertical. Add to that a lower degree of difficulty than pike (which is what most of the women are doing) and she dug herself into a hole scoring only 46.2 points. But that seemed to awaken a beast as she scored over 70 points on her last three dives to pull herself into eighth and qualify for finals.
If the four-time Olympic medalist dives like that in finals, and puts her 3 ½ on her head for some good scores, she will get a medal.
The U.S. divers, Christina Loukas and Cassidy Krug both looked good and would appear to be building momentum toward finals. This was especially true of Krug, whose prelim performance showed some obvious nerves.
Krug moved back into her normal competitive mode, and overnight she seemed to have found a new weapon – entries. Not normally known for great entries, Cassidy’s strength has always been her sheer athletic ability and height on her dives. But her entries in the semis showed a dramatic improvement, and if there were ever a time to find some, now would be it.
The leader after semifinals was China’s Wu Minxia who right now appears unbeatable. She is like a freight train building up steam. Every dive scored more points than the previous until her final 5152d (forward 2 ½ somersaults with 1 twist) that was equal to her fourth round dive scoring 81 points.
Whatever mental resources she is drawing from, they must be immense after a wave of publicity detailing the lengths that her family and the Chinese powers have gone to, to conceal particular events in her family (her mother’s bout with cancer and the death of her grandparents) that might affect her training.
Despite those obvious distractions, she finished 32.3 points ahead of second place Tania Cagnotto of Italy.
And speaking of Cagnotto, she looks really motivated to earn her first Olympic medal in her fourth attempt. At the age of 27, this may be her last chance after finishing fifth in 2008, eighth in 2004, and 19th in 2000.
Age though, doesn’t seem to be a problem for Anna Lindberg of Sweden, who at 30 is diving in her fifth Olympics. Even at this age Lindberg is still relevant on the international stage. She has the diving list as difficult as anyone in the field and though she may be a bit removed from the top six or eight, she just made her fourth springboard final.
This will be a great final to watch, and even if the pressure doesn’t derail Wu Minxia, the battle for silver and bronze will be exciting.
The finals of the women's springboard competition will take place on Sunday, August 5th at 9:30 am EST.
- The Untied States, China, Australia, Canada, all qualified two divers for the final 12.
- Wu Minxia's score of 394.4 is comparable to that of Guo Jingjing's semifinal round in 2008 in Beijing. She will be seeking her sixth Olympic medal, which would tie her with Guo Jingjing for the most medals by a female diver.
- In 2008, U.S. divers advanced to the finals in fourth (Nancilea Foster) and seventh (Christina Loukas).
- Tania Cagnotto of Italy is the daughter of five-time Olympian, and four-time Olympic medalist Giorgio Cagnotto.
- At the age of 30, Swedish diver Anna Lindberg is competing in her fifth Olympic Games. She is the daughter of 1976 platform gold medalist and three-time medal winner Ulrike Knape.
- All but one of the semifinal divers scored over 300 points as compared to 12 in 2008.
- Australian Jaele Patrick is the 2012 NCAA 3-meter champion, diving for Texas A&M.
- Wu Minxia (China) – 394.40
- Tania Cagnotto (Italy) – 362.10
- He Zi (China) – 354.50
- Jennifer Abel (Canada) – 353.25
- Cassidy Krug (United States) – 345.60
- Christina Loukas (United States) – 339.75
- Laura Sanchez (Mexico) – 336.50
- Emilie Heymans (Canada) – 331.35
- Sharleen Stratton (Australia) – 327.60
- Anna Lindberg (Sweden) – 319.80
- Jaele Patrick (Australia) – 315.60
- Olena Fedorova (Ukraine) – 314.70
- Hannah Starling (Great Britain) – 313.95
- Nora Subschinski (Germany) – 313.20
- Francesca Dallape (Italy) – 312.60
- Katja Diekow (Germany) – 312.50
- Nadezda Bazhina (Russia) – 310.70
- Rebecca Gallantree (Great Britain) – 267.10
Women’s Olympic Springboard Diving Semifinal Results
Top 12 divers advance to Semifinal Round