Wright advances to 10-meter platform final at FINA World Championships

by USA Diving

Daryn Wright (Plainfield, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) placed 10th in the women’s 10-meter platform semifinals Sunday to earn a spot in Monday’s final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Wright scored 302.00 points in the semifinals to lead Team USA on the opening day of diving competition at the World Championships. Maggie Merriman (Orlando, Fla./Purdue Diving) also advanced to the 10-meter semifinals and scored 269.30 points to finish 15th, missing out on a spot in the 12-diver final.

Wright was consistent in the semifinals, with three dives scoring more than 60 points. Her second-round armstand double back somersault with 1 ½ twists scored 67.20 points for her highest score of the semifinals. She finished her list with 62.70 points on a back 3 ½ somersaults tuck and 60.80 points on a back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists to secure her spot in the final.

Merriman was in 17th place after the first round, but she jumped to 13th with 59.40 points on her third-round front 3 ½ somersaults tuck. She followed up with 50.40 points on a reverse 2 ½ somersaults tuck, but it wasn’t enough to move her into the top 12.

Wright qualified for the semifinals after placing seventh with 303.45 points in Sunday’s preliminaries, and Merriman finished ninth at 291.90 in the prelims to earn her spot in the semis.

It’s the first World Championships for both divers, who had previously represented the United States in the platform event at the FINA World Junior Championships.

Also on Sunday, Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo.) and Quinn Henninger (Denver, Colo./Johansen Diving Academy) finished 15th in the men’s synchronized 3-meter preliminaries. The duo scored 299.43 points in their first competition together. Henninger was a late substitution for Greg Duncan (Oakton, Va./Purdue Diving), who had to scratch the event due to injury. Downs and Henninger couldn’t quite find their rhythm and were never in contention to advance. In last place through four dives, the pair moved up to 15th after scoring 62.10 points on their back 2 ½ somersaults pike for their highest scoring dive of the morning. They closed out their list with 60.90 points on a reverse 1 ½ somersaults with 3 ½ twists.

China’s Cao Yuan and Wang Zongyuan scored 459.18 in the finals later in the day to claim gold, with Great Britain’s Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding winning silver and Germany’s Timo Bartel and Lars Rudigar taking bronze.

Diving competition at the FINA World Championships continues through July 3. Monday’s competition features men’s 3-meter preliminaries and semifinals, with Downs and Carson Tyler (Moultrie, Ga./Johansen Diving Academy) set to compete for the United States, followed by Wright in the women’s 10-meter final.