Finishing first and second, Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin easily advanced to the semifinals of the women’s platform diving competition at the 2008 Olympic Games. The one-two finish from these two young divers is giving rise to hope that China will reclaim a spot on top of the medal stand, after missing gold in the past two Olympic platform competitions.
Neither of the Chinese received a score less than 7.5, showing the type of consistency that will give the two teenagers a chance at that gold medal, in addition to China’s first 1-2 sweep of the diving events.
Canadian Emilie Heymans finished third, and despite having problems with two dives – an armstand back 3 ½ in tuck, and a reverse 3 ½ in tuck, dived well enough to defeat 26 members of the field. A seasoned veteran at 26, Heymans is a two-time Olympic medalist and the 2003 World Champion on platform.
U.S. divers advanced, with Laura Wilkinson finishing in fifth and Haley Ishimatsu in 10th. The two women became the first females in Olympic competition to complete a back 3 ½ somersaults in pike position. Unfortunately for Wilkinson, it was her lowest scoring dive of her prelim competition, and the dive will likely be a major determinant of whether the 30-year-old will capture her second Olympic medal.
As a diver, you don’t want to put too much focus on only one dive, but for her, success will likely center around that one dive - a dive she has missed more times than she has hit. Big risk, big reward!
First time Olympian Ishimatsu showed an early case of nerves as she opened the competition with a less than stellar armstand double with 2 twists. The 15-year-old found herself in 23rd place after the first round, but rebounded nicely to crack the top-ten.
The semifinal round of women’s platform will kick off on tonight at 10:00 pm EST. Scores from the prelims will be erased and each of the 18 divers will begin with a clean slate. Baring some sort of meltdown, Wilkinson and Ishimatsu should make the finals, setting the stage for five pressure packed dives.
- Chen Ruolin (China) – 428.80
- Wang Xin (China) – 420.0
- Emilie Heymans (Canada) – 403.85
- Alexandra Croak (Australia) – 383.75
- Laura Wilkinson (United States) – 370.70
- Tatiana Ortiz (Mexico) – 345.70
- Paola Espinosa (Mexico) - 343.60
- Melissa Wu (Australia) – 340.35
- Mai Nakagawa (Japan) – 331.40
- Haley Ishimatsu (United States) - 329.00
- Tania Cagnotto (Italy) – 328.30
- Tonia Couch (Great Britain) – 320.40
- Kim Un Hyang (North Korea) – 316.20
- Stacie Powell (Great Britain) – 313.90
- Valentina Marocchi (Italy) – 313.05
- Elina Eggers (Sweden) – 309.45
- Marie-Eve Marleau (Canada) – 296.50
- Kim Jin Ok (North Korea) – 291.90
- Christin Steuer (Germany) – 290.80
- Iuliia Prokopchuk (Ukraine) – 290.40
- Audrey Labeau (France) – 289.95
- Anja Richter (Austria) – 287.70
- Juliana Velsoso (Brazil) – 283.75
- Ramona Maria Ciobanu (Romania) – 279.10
- Claire Febvay (France) – 255.30
- Eftychia Pappa Papavasilopoulou (Greece) – 252.00
- Pandelela Rinong Pamg (Malaysia) – 249.20
- Natalia Goncharova (Russa) – 240.45
- Annett Gamm (Germany) – 234.30
Women’s Olympic Platform Diving Preliminary Results
Top 18 Advance to Semifinals