It’s 3 for 3 for the Chinese, and this one was really never in doubt. Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao were clearly the best synchro team at the London Aquatic Centre and although they trailed after the first round, and were only six points ahead after the first round of optionals in round three, they handily defeated the other seven teams.
The duo had exceptional synchronization, never receiving a score lower than 8.5 and no score lower than a 9 was used when calculating the total score (the high and the low of five synchro scores are thrown out). The execution scores for the individual dives they performed were always (following the FINA judging scale) in the “Very Good” category which ranges from 8.5 to 9.5.
It was not much of a contest for gold, but the battle for silver and bronze was another matter.
After starting out a bit sluggish in their first two voluntaries, Mexican divers Alejandra Orozco and Paola Espinosa held off Canadians Meghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion to grab the silver.
It was a successful return trip for Benfeito and Filion, having finished seventh four years ago in Beijing. The pair was the only repeat team from 2008, although several of the divers competed with different partners.
The two Mexicans showed great synchro in all their dives, with only their only real mistake when Orozco left the platform at and angle on a back 3 ½ in tuck and lost her form on the entry.
Finishing fourth were the Australian team of Loudy Wiggins and Rachel Bugg.
What was unique about watching this contest was not necessarily the diving, but what happened during the final round and after the event. It was exuberance and excitement from the Mexicans and Canadians, but business as usual from the Chinese.
No high fives or hugs from the Chinese, just instructions from the coaches. And if you didn’t know who won, you might think that the Chinese just lost the gold.
The Mexican and Canadian divers on the other hand showed the excitement and emotion that one would expect from Olympic medal winners.
- Australian diver Loudy Wiggens first competed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as Loudy Torky, finishing 19th in platform. She won a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games in synchronized platform, a bronze in platform at the 2004 Athens Games. She missed the 2008 Olympics with a calf injury, but returned in 2012 after having a daughter in 2010.
- A silver medal was a nice birthday present for Paola Espinosa, who turned 26 on the day of the platform synchro final.
- The youngest competitor in the field was 15 year-old Alejandra Orozco of Mexico. She turned 15 on April 19th.
- Tonia Couch, Nora Subschinski, Paola Espinosa, and Chen Ruolin all competed in synchronized platform in Beijing in 2008, but with different teammates. Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion also competed in 2008 as a team.
- Chen Ruolin of China now has three Olympic gold medals in three events at the Games. She won two golds in 2008, and so far one in 2012.
- The medal count after three events is as follows: China - 3 gold; Mexico - 2 silver; United States - 1 silver, 1 bronze; Canada - 2 bronze.
- Women's Synchronized Platform Photo Gallery
- Chen Ruolin / Wang Hao (China) – 368.40
- Paola Espinsosa / Alejandra Orozco (Mexico) - 343.32
- Meaghan Benfeito / Roseline Filion (Canada) - 337.62
- Loudy Wiggins / Rachel Bugg (Australia) – 323.55
- Sarah Barrow / Tonia Couch (Great Britain) – 321.72
- Nora Subschinski / Christin Steuer (Germany) – 312.78
- Mun Yee Leong / Randeleela Rinong Pamg (Malaysia) – 308.52
- Iulia Prokopchuk / Viktoriya Potyekhna (Ukraine) - 299.64
Women’s Olympic Synchronized Platform Diving Results