Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 12, 2016
Date Finished: August 14, 2016
Format: 3 metre springboard.
China had won every gold medal in the individual Olympic springboard competition since Seoul in 1988, and also every silver since Sydney in 2000, and there was nothing to suggest that would not be the case in Rio. They had amongst their ranks, [Shi Tingmao], the 2015 World Champion and FINA World Female Diver of the Year, and she was clearly one of the favourites to win gold in the 3-metre event at the [Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre]. Her impressive list of results in 2015 also saw her win the individual 3-metre gold at all four World Series events. She came into the Rio Games with two gold medals to her name from the 2016 FINA World Cup and was also the individual 3-metre winner in the Beijing and Dubai World Series events. The 2015 World Championship runner-up [He Zi] also of China, and bronze medalist, Italyâs [Tania Cagnotto], were expected to finish behind Tingmao for the other two medals.
On the first day of the qualifiers, the pool was closed for practice whilst officials tried to get the water back to its original blue colour from the murky green it had become. The qualifying went ahead with assurances that the change of colour would pose no health risks to the competitors and Canadaâs [Jennifer Abel] topped the first group of qualifiers ahead of some high-class divers including Zi, Tingmao and Cagnotto. Spare a thought for [Nadezhda Bazhina] of Russia as she slipped attempting her fourth dive and landed in the water on her back, and was awarded no points
The semi-final round reduced the field to the 12 finalists and this time Tingmao topped the list of qualifiers nearly a full 21 points ahead of Zi and more than 60 points clear of Jennifer Abel as another China one-two looked on the cards. The Chinese divers were the last two to dive in the opening round of the final; in the lead at that point were Cagnotto and Abel jointly on 76.50. That all changed after Zi went and scored 81.00 but, with the last dive of the round, Tingmao matched her team-mateâs score and they jointly held first place. That was the same after round two when, again, they both scored 81.00 with Cagnotto moving into third place on her own, but a long way behind the two Chinese divers. The Italian consolidated her third place in round three while Tingmao pulled away from Zi with 84.00 to 74.40. By now it was obvious that China would take gold and silver, but the battle for bronze heated up with the fourth round dives. Cagnotto had a disaster scoring just 69.00 while Abel moved back into third with a 79.90, and Tingmao pulled away even further in the race to gold.
After her disastrous fourth dive, an 81.00 put Cagnotto back into third after her final dive and Abel knew that 74.60 or better would give her the bronze medal, but she finished off with a poor dive and she scored just 69. Meanwhile, Tingmao wound up proceedings with her third 81.00 of the competition and ended up the victor by 18.15 points, adding the individual gold to the synchronised one she won seven days earlier. For Zi, there was one final moment of sheer joy in store. Shortly after being presented with her silver medal, her boyfriend [Qin Kai], a synchronised springboard bronze medallist a few days earlier, proposed to Zi in front a global audience of billions â fortunately she said "Yes".
|8||Grace Reid||20||Great Britain||GBR|
|10||Ng Yan Yee||23||Malaysia||MAS|
|12||Abby Johnston||26||United States||USA|
|13||Kassidy Cook||21||United States||USA|
|20||Rebecca Gallantree||31||Great Britain||GBR|
|21||Cheong Jun Hoong||26||Malaysia||MAS|
|24||Elizabeth Cui||18||New Zealand||NZL|
|29||Julia Vincent||21||South Africa||RSA|