By Phillip Whitten
BARCELONA, July 15. IN a stunning upset, Russia's Alexander Dobrosok won what diving experts are calling the greatest 3-meter diving competition ever held.
The prelims gave no notice that Russia's #2 diver – the "other guy" on the gold medal synchro diving team of Sautin and "the other guy" – would make history this evening. Russia's #1 guy, Dmitri Sautin won the preliminary round, a scant four points ahead of China's Wang Tianling. The USA's Troy Dumais was third, Dobrosok fifth.
The places remained the same in the semifinals, as the field was cut from 18 to 12.
Sautin, the favorite, took a decided advantage into the final as the scores from the five dives in the second round are added to the final points. Thus, Sautin went into the final 20 points up on his nearestt pursuer.
The final, however, belonged to unheralded Alexander Dobroskok. Fifth after the seims, he immediately jumped into second on his first dive. But Sautin wasn't exactly raising a white flag. He got six 10s from the seven judges to extend his lead on the field.
On the second dive, however, Dobrosok cut that margin to just four points.
The two Russians maintained their spots on the third dive, but in the fourth round China's Bo Peng split them.
On the fifth dive, Dobroskok received 9s and 10s for a total of 94.86 points on his inward 3-1/2 that carried a 3.4 degree of difficulty (DD). Sautin had perfect 10s from all seven judges – the first time in history that has ever happened – but his reverse pike carried only a DD of 2.5, giving him 90 points.
On his final dive, Dobrosok received five 10s for his 2.5 reverse with 1.5 twist, giving him 103.90 points, and clinching the gold.
Sautin missed his entry on his final dive, dropping him to the bronze medal position behind China's Bo Peng.
Troy Dumais finished fifth for the USA while teammate Phillip Jones was 11th.
In all, 33 10s were awarded by the judges, 13 of them going to Sautin.
Men's 3-meter diving
1 DOBROSOK, Alexander, RUS 788.37
2 PENG Bo, CHN 780.84
3 SAUTIN, Dimitri, RUS 776.64
4 WANG, Tianling, CHN 745.35
5 DUMAIS, Troy, USA 706.08
6 DESPATIE, Alexandre, CAN 704.85
7 TERAUCHI, Ken, JPN 685.32
8 NEWBERRY, Robert, AUS 668.64
9 SHIPMAN, Mark, GBR 649.20
10 ALLY, Antonio, GBR 633.15
11 JONES, Phillip, USA 614.94
12 MARCONI, Nicola, ITA 614.85