Two divers with no Olympic experience continued China's march toward a gold medal sweep at the 2012 Olympic Games, winning the men’s synchronized platform event by almost 18 points over Mexican’s Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez, and David Boudia and Nick McCrory of the U.S.
Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanguan did not miss a dive and withstood an early challenge from British divers Peter Waterfield and Tom Daley to grab China’s second gold in as many tries.
In second after three dives, the two finished strong with three dives that scored over 90 points, punctuated by a final round back 2 ½ somersaults with 2 ½ twists that scored 99.36. Their final total of 486.78 would have won in 2008 and earned the two the first Olympic medals of their young career.
Daley and Waterfield challenged the Chinese early, much to the delight of the British crowd, but have to be a bit disappointed with a fourth place finish because they were in a position to medal. It was one dive though that kept them off the podium.
Leading after three dives, that dive came in round four in the form of a reverse 3 ½ tuck. Daley finished the dive just short of vertical but it was Waterfield that left the two in a bind as he went into the water past vertical and with too much arch.
The two received synchro scores of 7 and 7.5, but Waterfield’s execution scores of 6 and 6.5 caused them to score 71.28 points on the dive. Not bad, but in a tight contest such as this it put them in a hole from which they were unable to climb out of.
For Boudia and McCrory, their bronze was the second synchro medal for the U.S. in as many events and is a clear signal that the American divers are on a mission to erase the lack of success over the past 12 years.
While the two seemed to leave a few points out in the pool, especially on an inward 3 ½ on which Boudia missed his entry into the water, Boudia and McCrory avoided the errors that plagued Daley and Waterfield, and Germany’s Patrik Hausding and Sascha Klein.
The 2008 Olympic and 2011 World Championships silver medalists from Germany did not meet pre-event expectations, and had what can be termed a lackluster performance. The two scored over 90 points only on their final dive and finished a list of dives that will certainly keep them wondering what happened.
Silver medalists Garcia and Sanchez were rock solid throughout their optional dives after opening with two average voluntaries that put them last in the field of eight teams. But as diving goes, the optionals are what will determine the winner. After a solid third round front 4 ½ and with Boudia and McCrory hot on their heels, the two finished their final three dives with 90 plus dives and held off the American team by 5.43 points.
Boudia and McCrory will get a chance to earn more medals as they both will compete in the men’s individual platform, scheduled for Friday, August 10th.
Synchronized diving will continue on Tuesday, July30th with the women’s synchronized platform, the one event in which the U.S. team failed to qualify.
- After being shut out in the past two Olympic Games, the U.S. has now won two medals in the first two events, both in synchro.
- The U.S. medal was the first for an American male(s) in synchro, and the first since Mark Lenzi won a bronze on springboard in 1996.
- The silver won by Garcia and Sanchez was the first synchronized diving medal won by the men for Mexico. It was also first medal for the men since a silver on springboard by Fernando Platas in 2000.
- Garcia and Sanchez performed the hardest dive ever executed in Olympic competition, doing an inward 4 1/2 somersaults in tuck with a degree of difficulty of 4.1. The Mexican team also had the highest total difficulty at 18.9, a whopping 1.0 point higher than Great Britain at 17.9.
- China has now won the last three Olympic gold medals in men's synchronized platform.
- David Boudia is coached individually by Adam Soldati and Nick McCrory by Drew Johansen. Johansen is also the coach of silver medalist Abby Johnston.
- Men's Synchronized Platform Photo Gallery
- Zhang Yanguan / Cao Yuan (China) – 486.78
- German Sanchez / Ivan Garcia (Mexico) - 468.90
- David Boudia / Nick McCrory (United States) - 463.47
- Peter Waterfield / Tom Daley (Great Britain) – 454.65
- Jeinkler Aguirre / Jose Guerra (Cuba) – 450.90
- Ilya Zakharov /Victor Minibaev (Russia) – 449.88
- Sascha Klein / Patrick Hausding (Germany) – 446.07
- Oleksandr Bondar/Oleksandr Gorshkovozov (Ukraine) - 433.32
Men’s Olympic Synchronized Platform Diving Results