USA wins one gold and two bronze medals at World Junior Championships
by Jared Cruz-Aedo
Team USA won three medals Wednesday at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Montreal. Anna Lemkin (Mission Viejo Nadadores) took the gold in the 14-15 girls’ 3-meter event. The U.S. also won a pair of bronze medals, with Joshua Hedberg/Tyler Wills (The Indiana International School of Diving) taking third in the boys’ synchronized platform event and Ivor Brown (Dominion Dive Club) placing third in the 14-15 boys’ 1-meter event.
Lemkin’s 3-meter gold was her second individual medal at the World Junior Championships after winning a platform bronze earlier in the week. Lemkin finished with 344.75 points on 3-meter and was the only diver to score over 50 points on all her dives in the final. Lemkin’s strongest dive came in the second round with her reverse 2½ somersaults tuck, which scored 57.40. Australia’s Lucy Dovison and Paige Gillam took silver and bronze.
Molly Gray (Stanford Diving) also advanced to the 3-meter final for Team USA and placed 12th with 277.15 points. Gray’s strongest dive came in the last round when she scored 52.50 points on her forward 2½ somersaults with one twist.
Hedberg and Wills won the U.S. its first synchronized medal with 297.48 points for third in the synchro platform contest. Hedberg/Wills had a hard-fought competition for the third-place position, and their inward 3½ somersaults tuck that scored 71.04 in round four helped solidify their spot. Hedberg/Wills finished the finals with a total score of 297.48. Germany’s Jaden Eikermann and Christian Bilke won gold, and Great Britain’s Robbie Lee and Euan McCabe won silver.
Brown narrowly qualified for the 1-meter final after placing 12th in the preliminaries, but he regrouped to finish with 402.90 points and a bronze medal in the finals. Brown’s strongest dive came in the last round with his inward 2½ somersaults tuck scoring 66.65 points. Ukraine’s Kyrylo Azarov won gold, and Colombia’s Miguel Esteban Tovar took silver.
Nathaniel Grannis (Dominion Dive Club) also advanced to the 1-meter final and finished eighth with 359.05 points. He missed his first dive in the final and was an uphill battle throughout the contest. Grannis’ strongest dive came in the final round when he scored 53.30 on his forward 2½ somersaults pike.
Lily Witte (Wolverine Diving) / Ellie Joyce (Dominion Dive Club) placed seventh with 231.42 points in the girls’ 3-meter synchronized event. Witte/Joyce’s strongest dive was their fourth-round forward 2½ somersaults with one twist that scored 53.10 points. Canada’s team of Kate Miller and Sonya Palkhivala took gold. Great Britain’s Desharne Bent-Ashmeil and Amy Rollinson won silver, and Australia’s Dovison and Olivia Roche won bronze.
Thursday’s competition will feature the U.S. in two 16-18 events, with Lily Witte and Ellie Joyce competing in girls’ 1-meter and Max Fowler and Nick Harris diving in the boys’ 3-meter event. All competitions will be streamed on FINA’s YouTube Channel. To view the full event schedule, click here.