ATHENS, Greece, August 27. YESTERDAY eighteen of thirty-three men qualified for the semi-final round of the 10 M platform contest. No Americans made it past the first cut.
U.S.A. Diving reported on a heartbreaking day as Caesar Garcia and Kyle Prandi failed to qualify for the semifinals in the men’s platform, the last chance for an American medal at these Olympics. Garcia (Baton Rouge, La.) and Prandi (Strongsville, Ohio) didn’t have the day they were capable of having, finishing 23rd and 29th respectively at their first Olympics. The top 18 divers in preliminaries advance to the semifinals.
Both started well with Prandi posting a first round score of 86.40, good for second in the round. Garcia scored 71.10 points on this first dive to finish 13th. Things started unraveling from there with Prandi scoring only 45.15 points on his second dive dropping him to 21st. However, Garcia stayed strong with a score of 74.46 to move up to 10th.
Both dropped in round three. Prandi’s total of 51.84 dropped him to 28th while Garcia’s 46.08 put him in 23rd. Round four saw both divers jump up a little in rankings after scores of 63.24 (24th) and 58.41 (22nd), respectively.
The fifth round, when they had a bit of pressure to do well as the semi-final cut to 18 was still within reach, was probably their worst. Prandi dropping to 30th with a score of 32.64 and Garcia to 24th with a score of 66.30. They finished strong in round six with dives of 67.26 and 72.42. Garcia finished 23rd with a total score of 388.77 and Prandi was 29th with 346.53.
“I am actually pretty happy with my diving despite the outcome of today,” Prandi said. “I had my head on straight and things felt correct up there. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I had planned. Diving has given me some great opportunities like being at the Olympics and helping me get my college degree. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
Following the competition Prandi said that he was most likely through diving.
As for Garcia more than anything he was just ready to get the competition started today after being in Greece since the start of the Olympics.
“I think I peaked a week early,” Garcia said. “I was feeling great coming into the contest and it was more of an endurance test that I expected. I will probably be more disappointed with it years from now than I am right now because I gave it my best shot and that is what counts.”
Despite the outcome they can both return to the United States proud to be called an Olympian knowing they gave it their all in Athens.