Hixon and Capobianco take Silver in Mens Synchro
by USA Diving
Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon, in a spectacular performance, earned the Silver medal in today’s 3-Meter Synchronized final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The pair, who consistently scored mostly 8’s and 8.5’s on their list pulled into second place after their third dive and never looked back. By the third round, the pair was over ten points ahead of the team sitting in third. They ended the day 40 points ahead of the Bronze medal winning German team of Hausding and Rudiger and 20 points behind Gold Medalists Xie and Wang who diminished their substantial lead due to a shaky fifth dive, but managed to hold onto the Gold with a solid final round.
This marks the second Olympic Silver Medal for Hixon in the event, the first from 2016 with Sam Dorman, and Capobianco’s first Olympic Medal. The pair began diving together in mid 2018 following the retirement of Sam Dorman, who earned Silver alongside Hixon in 2016. The pair quickly made their mark, winning both the 2018 winter national championships and 2019 national championships, and going on to medal at a 2019 World Series stop, the Pan American Games Lima 2019 as well as the 2020 FINA Grand Prix in Rostock prior to the COVID-19 pandemic bring the world to a halt. They picked up where they left off in May 2021 earning the U.S. their berth to the Olympics by placing fourth at the FINA World Cup. The pair continued their success at the 2020 Olympic Team Trials, Diving in which they won the event by over 100 points.
Capobianco, who came to diving after competing as a junior elite gymnast, is a student-athlete and 2021 NCAA 3-Meter Champion at Indiana University, Hixon’s alma mater. Hixon whose mother is a collegiate diving coach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has been diving since he was young, he is currently attending University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and pursuing his MBA.
Capobianco will go on to compete in the individual 3-meter event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games beginning August 2, 2021 along with 18-year-old Tyler Downs. Hixon will return home and immediately begin an internship program as part of his MBA program.
“It feels incredible I’m so proud of him [Capobianco], the way we performed as a team, the way we came together. I couldn’t be happier right now”
On if they assessed their chances heading into the competition
“I’d say we were pretty performance oriented. We just wanted to come out here and dive our best and I thought we did a great job of that.”
On how they got together and began diving together
“We were both in Bloomington [Indiana] at the same time and I just turned to Cap and asked him to get to that level. He did an incredible job and he worked his butt off and he became one of the best synchro divers in the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the work he’s done to get here.”
On what makes Andrew one of the best synchro divers in the world
“The four dives we do, we knew we were going to do those dives two years ahead of time and he’s incredible at those four optionals that we did.”
The success of U.S. Synchro teams in recent years
“It’s the people. It’s the divers, the coaches, the HPD [High Performance Department], the whole organization. I mean, starting in 2012 with Troy [Dumais] and Kristian [Ipsen] both those guys are my heroes so chasing them and looking up to that and then obviously Sam [Dorman] an incredible diver, and being able to dive with Andrew now.”
On having Michael as his teammate
“I think a lot of it was having someone to look up to and chase in practice a little but. It was just great to have the best diver in the country in your pool to look up to and learn from. He’s taught me so much about competing and becoming a World-Class diver and I’m just so thankful.”
On going into the individual 3-meter competition
“This definitely gives me a little more confidence heading into the individual competition. I’m happy that the judges got to see a little bit more of me and I’m going to take it one step at a time. It definitely takes some of the nerves off but at the same time I do have expectations for individuals as well.”
On having the rest of the U.S. Diving team in the stands
“When we were walking out for the walk-outs I heard them in the stands, they just did a quick little USA cheer and it kind of got me going and I felt kind of ready. It was amazing to have them there after every dive. They’re a great support system.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Diving events resume on Friday July 30, 2021 with the Women’s individual 3-meter preliminary round. Krysta Palmer and Hailey Hernandez will represent Team USA.
Follow @USADiving on Twitter for up-to-date information on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team in Tokyo.
For broadcast information on the upcoming events, visit: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Diving/News/2021/July/22/Tune-into-Diving-in-Tokyo
To learn more about the 2020 U.S. Olympic Diving Team, visit: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Diving/2020-Olympic-Diving-Team
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