Worlds Diving: Osmar Olvera Breaks Through with Silver; U.S. Takes Women’s Platform Bronze
Mexico’s Osmar Olvera broke through the Chinese podium lock by taking silver in the men’s 1-meter springboard on Sunday at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
The gold still went to China, thanks to Peng Jianfeng, who scored 440.45. But Olvera’s fast start got him to 428.85 points. Combined with some mid-round bobbles by Zheng Jiuyuan that limited him to 418.30, it meant the Mexican got silver, with his countryman Juan Celaya Hernandez fourth.
China’s synchro dominance remained undented in the 10-meter women’s platform, with Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan grabbing gold with ease. The American duo of Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell added to their Olympic silver with Worlds bronze and an Olympic quota spot for the Paris Games.
Peng easily won the men’s 1-meter. His first-round dive put him in fifth place, but he took the lead by the third round and held onto it with nearly 12 points to spare.
Olvera and Zheng were tied for first after one round, but Zheng only managed the eighth-best dive of the third round and seventh-best of the fifth to lose the pace. Olvera punctuated his performance by delivering the best dive of the day, scoring 81.00 on his 5154B, to hold off Zheng by 10 points.
“I feel extremely happy that I earned a medal,” the 19-year-old Olvera said. “My family, my coaches, and my friends were all a great source of motivation that led to my success. I felt good and confident that I had secured a place on the podium after completing my final dive in the last round. I was not sure which medal I would get, but I had no doubt that I would stand on the podium.”
Celaya finished fourth, digging out of an early hole in which he was 11th after two rounds. The only American, Jack Ryan, was ninth.
Chen and Quan led wire to wire in the women’s 10-meter platform. They had the top dive in each round. In a competition where no other pairing scored more than 75 points on any one dive, they delivered dives of 79.20, 85.44 and 91.20 to finish their program. The score of 369.84 bested the runner-up from Great Britain by 58 points.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson comfortably got silver. They were second at every juncture, scoring 311.76. That was well ahead of a dogfight for third.
“We are over the moon, especially considering that we are coming into this event with very limited training,” Spendolini-Sirieix said. “We have been giving it our all at each stage, first at other competitions, then in the prelims, and lastly reaching peak in the final. We are very proud of ourselves.
Parratto and Schnell, who were second to Chen and Zhang Jiaqi at the Tokyo Olympics, had ground to make up early, in 10th place after two dives. But they steadily climbed, scoring in the high 60s in the next two rounds, then 74.88 in the final round to leap from fifth to bronze.
Parratto and Schnell scored 294.42 points. Japan’s Matsuri Arai and Minami Itahashi had been third entering the final round but had only the ninth-best dive of the fifth round, sliding to fifth. Gabriela Agundez and Alejandra Orozco of Mexican stuck in fourth.
“I’m just really happy that we could get that qualification spot right off the bat,” Schnell said. “That definitely takes a lot of pressure off me and Jessica, and other synchro pairs for the United States. It is just up from here.”
“I’m very, very happy,” Parratto said. “Getting a medal is the goal we set out to do, and honestly to get an Olympic spot means the world to us, so we are just really excited right now.”