LONDON – Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) and Kristian Ipsen (Clayton, Calif.) made it 3-for-3, winning a bronze medal in men’s synchronized 3-meter Wednesday, giving the U.S. its third Olympic diving medal in three events. Prior to the 2012 Games, the U.S. had not won a diving medal since 2000.
The medal was the first Olympic medal for the veteran Dumais, a four-time Olympian, and the 19-year-old Ipsen. They scored 446.70 points to finish third behind China’s Qin Kai and Luo Yutong (477.00) and Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov (459.63).
“Athletes never give up, that’s just our nature. I just truly enjoy competing and this means a lot,” said the 32-year-old Dumais, who had finished as high as fourth in past Games. “I’m taking every moment in. It wasn’t just me. This was everyone. We’re Team USA and we win our medals together.”
Team USA’s success started with women’s 3-meter synchro on Sunday when Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant won silver, and David Boudia and Nick McCrory followed up with bronze in men’s 10-meter synchro a day later. Prior to these Games, the U.S. had never won a synchronized diving medal at the Olympic Games. Part of High Performance Director Steve Foley’s plan was to place an emphasis on synchronized diving when he came on board in 2009, and the work has paid off.
“I’m so happy we got this medal. Troy’s been diving for so long, and I’m so happy I could do this with him,” Ipsen said. “The girls winning that first medal and then the 10-meter guys winning another one really motivated me and let me see it was possible. This is real. It can happen. I wanted it too.”
With Dumais having the experience from competing in three previous Olympics, he offered some advice to his rookie teammate.
“Kristian wanted to watch the scoreboard, and I normally don’t do that. I asked him if he was having fun. He said, ‘Yes, I’m loving it.” I said, “Good, I am too, but do one thing for me – Do not look at the scoreboard. This is our event, and we’re in control. Let’s just do our dives.”
Dumais and Ipsen won their bronze medal with a consistent effort, not counting a score lower than 8.0 on any of their six dives. They earned 9s and 9.5s for 90.09 points on their reverse 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists in round four and also received 9s on their front 3 ½ pike.
“Every team in this contest was capable of winning a medal. The hardest part about synchronized diving is actually qualifying since only eight countries make it. It came down to who could hit their dives on this particular day,” Ipsen said.
And on this particular day, it was Team USA. Again.