U.S. diver Boudia ends long drought for American men
David Boudia ended a gold-medal drought for the United States with a dramatic last dive that scored the most points of the 10-meter platform...
The Associated Press
LONDON — David Boudia ended a gold-medal drought for the United States with a dramatic last dive that scored the most points of the 10-meter platform competition at the Olympics on Saturday night.
Boudia's victory by 1.08 points over Qiu Bo of China gave the U.S. its first gold in diving since 2000, and was the first by an American man since the late Mark Lenzi won the 3-meter springboard at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
"Oh, my God, I don't have words for it," said Greg Louganis, the diving great who swept the springboard and platform events at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and who has mentored Boudia.
On the medals stand, Boudia wiped his brow as if to say, "Whew!"
It was that close.
The American scored 568.65 points in the six-dive final. Qiu took the silver at 566.85.
Tom Daley of Britain settled for the bronze at 556.95 after leading going into the final dive in front of a raucous home crowd that included David Beckham and his three sons.
"Tom Daley dove the lights out, Qiu Bo dove the lights out," Boudia said. "I only did what I do in practice."
Daley scored 90.75 on his last dive, including one 10, but Boudia and Qiu each did the same tougher dive in the last round.
Boudia, tied for second with Qiu going into the last round, scored 102.60 points on a back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists pike worth a 3.6 degree of difficulty. It was the highest score of any dive in the final.
Qiu followed him and scored 100.80, not quite enough to deliver a seventh diving gold for China in these Games.
"I have competed so many times but I have never had that much nervousness," Qiu said through a translator.
China won six golds, first losing the men's 3-meter springboard to spoil its bid for a sweep of the eight gold medals.
Qiu rested his head against the wall behind the diving boards in anguish.
"It is OK," the 19-year-old diver said. "I am still young, and I will be back."
Boudia, meanwhile, shared in a group hug with his coaches and teammates, a broad smile on his face.
"I dreamed about this," Boudia said. "It didn't even feel like I was diving it was so surreal."
Daley was in contention until the very end to try to win the host country's first Olympic diving gold. But he appeared plenty happy with his bronze medal, jumping into the diving pool with his teammates and coaches for a splashfest after the final scores were posted.