The final, and marquis event of the Olympic diving competition should provide quite a show for the audience, both in attendance and at home. With three different world champions (not all Chinese) competing, and Matthew Mitcham back to defend his Olympic title, it should be interesting and fun to watch. Yeah, China's Qiu Bo is the favorite but it's a wide open field!
Qiu Bo (China)
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Qiu Bo won the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 FINA World Cup in impressive fashion, scoring 585.45 and 574.90 respectively. It is those performances that make him the favorite, but if China has seven gold medals when this event kicks off, the pressure will be enormous and this is a very, very talented group of platform divers.
Tom Daley (Great Britain)
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There is quite a bit of pressure on Tom Daley. He will be one of the favorites in platform, it is in his home country and the media follows his every move. Talent alone (plus some impressive results) makes him a major player in this field, but there is more to winning an Olympic gold medal than talent and one would hope that this pressure does not overwhelm this still young 18 year-old. He defeated Qiu Bo for the world title in 2009 and was fifth in 2011. The Olympic pressure cooker will be in full swing when he climbs the ladder for his first dive on August 10th.
Ivan Garcia (Mexico)
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A very acrobatic diver with a lot of difficulty, Ivan Garcia will impress the judges in the air, it is just a matter of what happens on the end. If it is good, it can be really good and that potential is why he is a threat. At 18 years-old, he is young and this is his first Olympic experience. How he handles that will be a key to sucess.
Gleb Galperin (Russia)
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Gleb Galperin can make dives disappear, in the water I mean. His entries are some of the best in the business. Unfortunately we haven't seen that for a while as he has done his own disappearing act since earning a bronze medal and Beijing. After his bronze and a platform world championship in 2007 he has become the #2 platform diver for Russia behind Victor Minibaev. Rest assured though, even at the age of 27 he could still make some noise in London, at least on the scoreboard.
Sascha Klein (Germany)
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Sascha Klein is definitely a diver to watch in the platform final. He has a world championship medal - a bronze in 2011, and has consistently made finals in major competitions, despite not doing just that in Beijing. Not a favorite, but a player.
Victor Minibaev (Russia)
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Minibaev is Russia's best hope at a platform medal. He has some impressive results over the past three years: fourth at the 2010 FINA World Cup, fourth at the 2011 World Championships, and second at the 2012 World Cup - the FINA Olympic test event held at the London Aquatic Centre. Could he be peaking at the right time?
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Drama, drama, drama. It's always drama with Matthew Mitcham, but that is the way he likes it. He won in Beijing on a dramatic final drive, won the 2010 World Cup, but hasn't done much since. He has been battling injuries and made the Australian Olympic Team despite not completing all the requirements stipulated by the Australian Diving Federation
- like I said, drama. Will he regain the form that allowed him to shock the world in 2008 and prevent a sweep of the diving golds by the Chinese. Who knows? There is no doubt that he has the ability, but will his head be screwed on right. I wouldn't count him out.
Lin Yue (China)
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Lin Yue was replaced by Huo Liang on the 2008 Chinese Olympic team because of inconsistency, and he hasn't really done anything since then to inspire a lot of confidence. But he will compete in London and the powers that be in Chinese diving would not allow him to compete if they didn't think he could medal. Definitely a weak link in the Chinese stable of divers.
Best of Rest
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This is a deep field that will compete in platform in London. Waterfield was second at the 2012 World Cup, Hausding seventh and Sanchez tenth. Any one of these divers could make finals and when that happens they are all a threat to medal. Don't forget about the Americans, both of whom were in the top six at 2011 worlds with Boudia winning the silver.