Top divers to watch in Rio
As China looks to sweep the diving gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Team USA's divers and others hope to fend them off. Here are five divers to keep an eye on during competition in Rio.
Team USA’s David Boudia enters the 2016 Rio Olympics as the defending Olympic champion on the 10m platform. Since London, he got married and became a father in addition to earning two Worlds silver medals on the platform (both behind rival Qiu Bo of China). He will also look to improve on his bronze medal finish in the synchronized event with new partner – but old friend – Steele Johnson.
Great Britain’s Tom Daley won a bronze medal on the 10m platform at the 2012 London Olympics, his home turf. He won another bronze at the 2015 World Championships with his recently-introduced “firework” dive to his repertoire that is sure to wow the Rio crowd. The British megastar is also engaged to Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black.
At the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, Wu Minxia was half of the gold medal-winning synchronized 3m springboard team for China. In 2004 and 2008, she also finished on the podium in the individual events; but, in London, finally claimed individual gold. Wu, competing only in synchro in Rio, and partner Shi Tingmao are the reigning synchro springboard world champions coming into 2016. Wu (and Chinese diving teammate Chen Ruolin) has the opportunity to break her tie for most gold medals won by a diver, also held by six other athletes at four.
Chen Ruolin of China won gold medals in the individual and synchronized 10m platform events at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, bringing her total medal count to four. That could increase to five, as Chen is expected to contend for gold again in the synchronized platform with partner Liu Huixia. Together, Liu and Chen won the synchro platform World title in 2013 and 2015. Ruolin (and Chinese diving teammate Wu Minxia) has the opportunity to break her tie for most gold medals won by a diver, also held by six other athletes at four.
Team USA’s divers on women’s 3m springboard
Kassidy Cook and Abby Johnston bring unique credentials to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Cook missed the 2012 Olympics by half a point and watched the Opening Ceremony from a hospital bed – she required intensive surgery following a training accident after 2012 Trials. Johnston went onto the London Games and won a silver medal in the synchronized springboard competition. Cook then qualified an individual berth for the country at the Rio Olympics, before it was certain that the U.S. would have two spots in the discipline in Rio. But it was confirmed that the U.S. would have two places in Rio, and both qualified to represent the U.S. in Rio after Trials in Indianapolis.