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Diving at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games

2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 7, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Events: 8

Participants: 136 (68 men and 68 women) from 29 countries
Youngest Participant: PRK Kim Mi-Rae (15 years, 125 days)
Oldest Participant: JPN Ken Terauchi (36 years, 9 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 7 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): CHN China (10 medals)


The diving events took place at the [Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre], which was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and had been renovated for the 2016 Olympics, where it hosted synchronised swimming, diving and water polo. Part of the renovation work included a dry training room for divers who could practice their dives without getting wet!

The individual events consisted of three phases; a preliminary phase, semi-final and final. Each male diver had six dives in each phase while the women had five. After the first phase, the top 18 divers progressed to the semi-final and the top 12 then went through to the final with previous scores being wiped clean before the next phase. Seven judges scored each dive. In the Synchronised events there were no preliminary phases, it was a straight final. Each pair of divers again had six dives each for men and five for women and this time 11 judges were called upon to decide the scores.

China went to London in 2012 as clear favourites and scooped six of the eight gold medals and, after winning nine of the 10 gold medals at the 2013 World Championships, and 10 of the 13 golds at the 2015 Worlds, they hoped to equal or better their 2012 overall medal tally. The strong Chinese team was headed by [Chen Ruolin], hoping to win her third consecutive gold in both 10-metre events, and [Shi Tingmao], the reigning Female Diver of the Year, who won the individual and synchronised springboard titles at the 2015 World Championships. [Cao Yuan] (springboard) and [Chen Aisen] (platform) were the best of the men’s prospects and both won world titles in 2015.

Organisers were left embarrassed when the pools at the Maria Lenk Centre turned green after the first two events, and they got murkier as the diving competition progressed. I it was a full five days before they found the cause – an unauthorised dumping of 80 litres of hydrogen peroxide. Despite its grim appearance, organisers insisted it was completely safe for the competitors and the diving events were not disrupted.

It made no different to the Chinese divers whether the water was green or blue because they dominated as expected and won seven of the eight events, with the British pair of [Chris Mears] and [Jack Laugher] breaking the monopoly with victory in the synchronised springboard event. Chen Aisen was a double gold medalist in both 10-metre events and Shi Tingmao won two women’s golds in the 3-metre events.