Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 26, 1988
Date Finished: September 27, 1988
Format: 10 metre platform.
The 1976 Olympic platform final had featured Italy’s Klaus Dibiasi against the next great thing, 16-year-old Greg Louganis. Dibiasi won his third consecutive gold medal, with Louganis getting silver, only to see him dominate diving over the next 12 years. In Seoul, the men’s platform event evoked memories of Montréal, with Louganis now the world’s greatest diver, but he was challenged by the new next great thing, China’s 14-year-old Xiong Ni. Louganis had won this event in 1984, and had already won the springboard in Seoul, after the trauma of hitting his head on the board on a qualifying dive.
The event was very close in the final, with no more than 10 points separating either diver after every round. After nine rounds, Xiong led by 3.00 points, and he dove first on the final round. He ripped his inward 3½ tuck for a 9.0 and four 8.5s, scoring 82.56 points. Louganis had chosen a reverse 3½ tuck on his final effort, the so-called “Dive of Death,” so named because Soviet diver Sergey Chalibashvilli had died after attempting the dive and hitting his head on the platform at the 1983 Universiade. But Louganis performed it well, not perfectly, but well, and scored all 8.5s from the judges. With the DD of 3.4, this gave him 85.56 points for the dive and the gold medal by 1.14 points.
Louganis announced his retirement from diving a few weeks after the Seoul Olympics. He is considered the greatest diver of all-time, having won the diving double-double in 1984 and 1988, a World diving double-double in 1982 and 1986, and a Pan American Games triple-double in 1979, 1983, and 1987. Only the 1980 USA-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics prevented him from a probable triple-double at the Olympics.
Xiong was far from finished. He won a bronze medal on platform at the 1992 Olympics, and then won three gold medals, on springboard in 1996 and 2000, and in synchro springboard in 2000. His great opponent in the 1990s, Dmitry Sautin, would later call him the “King of Divers.”
|1||Greg Louganis||28||United States||USA||Gold|
|4||Giorgi Chogovadze||19||Soviet Union||URS|
|5||Jan Hempel||17||East Germany||GDR|
|7||Steffen Haage||23||East Germany||GDR|
|8||Vladimir Timoshinin||18||Soviet Union||URS|
|12||Patrick Jeffrey||23||United States||USA|
|13 QR||Albin Killat||27||West Germany||FRG|
|14 QR||Keita Kaneto||21||Japan||JPN|
|15 QR||Bob Morgan||21||Great Britain||GBR|
|16 QR||Domenico Rinaldi||29||Italy||ITA|
|17 QR||Oscar Bertone||20||Italy||ITA|
|18 QR||Craig Rogerson||23||Australia||AUS|
|19 QR||Graeme Banks||19||Australia||AUS|
|20 QR||Jeffrey Hirst||24||Canada||CAN|
|21 QR||Jeffrey Arbon||20||Great Britain||GBR|
|22 QR||Willi Meyer||23||West Germany||FRG|
|23 QR||Frédéric Pierre||19||France||FRA|
|24 QR||Tom Lemaire||28||Belgium||BEL|
|25 QR||Emilio Ratia||20||Spain||ESP|
|26 QR||Lee Seon-Gi||23||South Korea||KOR|