Sarah Bacon wins 1-meter silver at FINA World Championships

by USA Diving

Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) became the first U.S. woman to win two World Championship medals on 1-meter when she won silver Wednesday in Budapest, Hungary. Bacon also won silver on 1-meter at the FINA World Championships in South Korea in 2019.

This time, Bacon scored 276.65 points to overtake Canadian Mia Vallee by five-hundredths of a point in the last round to win her second 1-meter silver medal. China’s Li Yajie won gold with 300.85 points.

Heading into the final round, Vallee had a 9.05-point advantage over Bacon for the second spot. Vallee scored 48.10 points on her final dive, a front 1 ½ with two twists. Bacon then came through with 57.20 points on a front 2 ½ somersaults pike to push Vallee into third by a mere five-hundreds of a point.

“It was a tough one. All the competitors in the final are amazing. Mia and I have been diving alongside each other basically all year throughout the NCAA season. I knew it was going to be a tough battle, but I pulled through in the end and hit my last dive,” Bacon said. “We are continuing to work hard towards the goals that we have set. We are moving forward. We are going to keep doing what we are doing and hopefully keep adding to what I have accomplished so far.”

Bacon was consistent in the final, with all five of her dives scoring between 51.75 and 58.20 points. She was third in the morning preliminaries. Vallee, who dives for the University of Miami, won the NCAA 1-meter title earlier this year, with Bacon finishing second for the University of Minnesota.

Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark./Columbia, S.C.) also advanced to the women’s 1-meter final and finished 10th. Schultz, a three-time World Championships team member, scored 244.20 points in her first World Championships final. Her best marks came in the second round, when she scored 54.60 points on her second-round front 2 ½ somersaults tuck. She closed out her list with 50.40 points on an inward 1 ½ somersaults pike.

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. finished eighth in both the mixed team event and mixed synchronized 3-meter.

 Max Flory (Fairfax, Va./University of Miami) and Daryn Wright (Plainfield, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) scored 319.60 points in the mixed team event, which involves one male and one female who perform three dives apiece. All six groups of dives must be represented, and each diver must perform at least one dive from 3-meter and one from 10-meter. Both divers also are required to do one dive with a degree of difficulty of 2.0. Flory came through with 79.20 points on an armstand double back somersault with 2 ½ twists. He scored 72.20 points on his front 2 ½ somersaults with three twists, the most difficult dive (3.8 DD) performed by any diver on 10-meter in the team event. Wright scored 50.40 points on a reverse 2 ½ tuck off 3-meter, but she missed her inward 3 ½ tuck off 10-meter. Wright had finished ninth in the individual 10-meter final earlier in the week.

China’s Quan Hongchan and Bai Yuming won gold at 391.40, followed by France’s Jade Gillet and Alexis Jandard with 358.50 for silver, and Great Britain’s Andrea Spendolini Sirieix and James Heatly with 357.60 for bronze.

Kristen Hayden (Hillsborough, N.J./Johansen Diving Academy) and Quinn Henninger (Denver, Colo./Johansen Diving Academy) were eighth with 271.86 points in mixed synchronized 3-meter. The U.S. pair finished strong, with their highest marks coming in the last two rounds. They scored 68.40 on their back 2 ½ somersaults pike and ended with 64.80 points on their front 2 ½ somersaults with a twist.

China’s Lin Shan and Zhu Zifeng finished first with 324.15 points, and the Italian team of Chiara Pellacani and Matteo Santoro scored 293.55 points for silver. Heatly won his second medal of the day for Great Britain after finishing third with Grace Reid at 287.61.

Diving events at the FINA World Championships continue through July 3, with men’s 1-meter and women’s synchronized 10-meter set for Thursday. Greg Duncan (Oakton, Va.) has scratched the 1-meter event, and Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo.) will take his place. Jordan Rzepka (Solon, Ohio/Purdue Diving) will also dive 1-meter. Olympians Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) and Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Trojan Dive Club) will compete synchronized 10-meter.

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