One dive made all the difference as Xie Siyi won gold at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in the men’s 3m springboard. In terms of Olympic qualification, the top 12 athletes qualified their nations to the games. Diving at the World Aquatics Championship is currently being held in Gwangju, South Korea from July 12th to July 20th 2019.
The preliminary round saw the lead change multiple times between the synchronized gold and silver medalist Xie Siyi of China and Great Britain’s Jack Laugher respectively. Laugher took the initial lead, but a relatively poor third dive allowed Xie to take over. Laugher was able to retake the lead after the fourth dive thanks to performing the most difficult dive in the competition. Xie would however retake the lead for his own on the fifth dive and on to it to win the round with a total of 499.15, 13.65 higher than Laugher’s 485.50.
Xie’s performance improved in the semi-final where he never lost the lead, though he did tie with Laugher on the first dive. Laugher remained in second for most of the competition, but a very poor final dive where he scored 3.5 and 4.0 caused him to drop to third below Xie’s synchronized teammate Cao Yuan. Xie finished the round with 522.60, while Cao and Laugher had 469.30 and 468.45 respectively. With 12 athletes advancing to the finals, the Olympic quotas were decided. Two quotas were won by China, Russia and the United States while a single quota was won by Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, South Korea and Ukraine.
The final saw great dives by Laugher whom held the lead for the first five dives. However, a very poor final dive where he only scored 30.60 points ultimately cost him the gold medal as he had to settle for bronze with a total of 504.55. The gold medal was won by Xie whom finished with 545.45 while his compatriot Cao won his third medal of the games, winning silver with a total of 517.85.
The next opportunity for nations to qualify in this event will be at the 2020 Diving World Cup. Olympic qualification for diving continues tomorrow with the quotas being handed out on in women’s 3m springboard.