David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass.) won bronze medals Thursday at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Adelaide, Australia, to bring the U.S. medal count to three with two days of competition remaining.
Dinsmore won the bronze in the boys group B platform event, with Hixon picking up the bronze in boys group A 1-meter. Their medals came a day after Gracia Leydon Mahoney won gold on 3-meter in girls group A.
“It’s exciting to bring home a medal. Gracia got it started last night, and just like at the Olympic Games, the momentum was started for me and David to medal,” Hixon said. “The environment the team created is awesome. It’s easier to be up there just having fun.”
Hixon finished with 531.55 points, behind China’s Peng Jianfeng (551.40) and 2012 Olympian Jack Laugher of Great Britain (541.55). Hixon closed out his performance with 79.05 points – the highest scoring dive by any diver in the final – on an inward 2 ½ tuck that earned scores as high as 9.0 from the judges.
“I didn’t watch anyone else. I just did my best five dives. Going into my last dive, I started to think that this was my last dive at a junior competition, but then I refocused to just think about the dive,” said the 18-year-old Hixon.
Dinsmore scored 457.55 points to pick up bronze behind Chinese divers Tai Xiaohu (505.00) and Li Pingan (500.05). The 15-year-old scored more than 80 points on his first two optional dives, including 84.80 points on an armstand double back somersault with 1 ½ twists that earned a 10 from one judge. With two dives to go, he was in second place but missed his inward 3 ½ tuck for 33.60 points to drop to fifth. He responded with a 9.5 and four 9s for 86.40 points on his back 2 ½ with 1 ½ to earn the bronze medal.
“It feels pretty good to come back after that inward and finish strong. It was a good way to end the meet for me. Going into the last round, I just told myself to do it like I do in practice every day and have fun with it,” Dinsmore said.
Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind.) also advanced to the platform finals and finished sixth with 420.70 points. Bryce Klein (Southlake, Texas) competed in the 1-meter preliminaries but had to withdraw late in the contest due to injury.
Also on Thursday, Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio) and Estee Pryor (New Albany, Ohio) competed in the girls synchronized 3-meter contest and finished eighth with 251.43 points. China’s Zheng Qulin and Liu Jiao were first at 287.70.
The FINA World Junior Diving Championships continue through Saturday. Friday’s events feature boys B 3-meter and girls A platform.