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LONDON, England, August 11. DAVID Boudia of the United States, who had barely sneaked into the semifinal rounds in the men's platform event, won the final today in a close battle with China's Qiu Bo and Great Britain's Tom Daley, who won silver and bronze, respectively.
Boudia scored 568.65 points, with Qiu second in 566.85. Daley was third in 556.95. Daley's bronze medal is even sweeter, given he endured the angst of an appeal after his first round dive, when he scored 76.25 points. Daley and his coach appealed the dive on the grounds that camera flashes distracted him, and officials allowed Daley to redo his back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists. On the second attempt, Daley scored 91.80 points.
With Qiu's teammate Lin Yue faltering on his fourth-round dive, a forward four-and-a-half somersault that only got 68.45 points, the battle for gold only featured three divers.
After the fifth round, Daley led the field with 466.20 points. Boudia and Qiu were tied for second with 466.05 points. The rest of the field was fully out of medal contention, at least 30 points behind third place.
Among the three medal winners, Daley dove first in the sixth and final round. His reverse three-and-a-half somersault carried a 3.3 degree of difficulty, lower than what Boudia and Qiu would be diving, which meant he needed a host of 10s to score high enough for gold. With only one judge awarding Daley a 10 (and that score being removed per diving rules), Daley was not likely to score gold, but the 18-year-old, who won gold in this event at the 2009 worlds as a 15-year-old, was assured a medal.
Boudia was next, and his back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists (degree of difficulty: 3.6) scored 102.60 points. In order for Qiu to win gold, he would need to score 102.61 or higher on the same dive. He scored 100.80 points.
Boudia's gold was the fourth medal for the United States in diving at the London Olympics, a far cry from the zero medals won in 2004 and 2008. The last American diver to win Olympic gold, notably, was Laura Wilkinson on the platform in Sydney in 2000, using a final round dive to secure the win.
“I'm in disbelief,” Boudia said. “This is so surreal right now. I took it one dive, one step at a time.”
Boudia's win goes along with the bronze he won with Nick McCrory in the synchro platform event on July 30.
For Daley, the medal was redemption after he and diving partner Peter Waterfield finished fourth in the synchro event, and bittersweet after losing his father to a brain tumor in May 2011.
“I really wish my dad was here to see me do that performance because we had such a long, tough journey together,” Daley said. An Olympic bronze medal is equal to a gold medal in any other competition. It's the one medal that was missing from my collection.”
Rounding out the top eight in the platform final were Russia's Victor Minibaev (527.80), Cuba's Jose Antonio Guerra (527.70), China's Lin Yue (527.30), Mexico's Ivan Garcia (521.65), Germany's Martin Wolfram (506.65), United States' Nick McCrory (505.40), Germany's Sascha Klein (496.30), Canada's Riley McCormick (493.35), and Ukraine's Oleksandr Bondar (443.70).
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