Parratto and Schnell Win 10-Meter Synchro Bronze at World Aquatics Championships
Olympic silver medalists Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Johansen Diving Academy) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz./University of Arizona) came from behind to win the bronze medal in women’s synchronized 10-meter, and Jack Ryan (Denver, Colo./Stanford University) placed ninth in the men’s 1-meter final Sunday at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
With the 10-meter synchro bronze, the United States also earned a quota spot for the event at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. The World Championships are the first opportunity for countries to qualify for the Games.
“I’m just really happy that we could get that qualification spot right off the bat. That definitely takes a lot of pressure off me and Jessica, and other synchro pairs for the United States. It is just up from here,” Schnell said.
Parratto and Schnell scored 294.42 points for the bronze medal, with China’s Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan dominating at 369.84 points for gold. Great Britain’s Andrea Spendolini Sirieix and Lois Toulson picked up silver with 311.76 points.
“I’m very, very happy. Getting a medal is the goal we set out to do, and honestly to get an Olympic spot means the world to us, so we are just really excited right now,” Parratto said.
The Americans had to climb their way back after a slow start. They found themselves in 10th place after scoring just 38.40 points on their back dive pike in round two, but they came through with three strong optional dives.
“This is definitely some of the best diving I have done all year, so I am definitely very thrilled about that. And just to fight back from our second dive was really special. Just to know that we’re able to do that, and as soon as that happened, I knew I was going to fight and that she was going to fight,” Parratto said.
They responded with 69.30 points on their front 3 ½ somersaults pike and added 66.24 points on an inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck. That bumped them up to fifth place, 11.22 points behind Japan and 1.56 points behind Mexico heading into the final round. Parratto and Schnell came through with 74.88 points on a back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists to move into third place, edging Mexico by 3.24 points for the bronze medal and quota spot.
“This is pretty emotional for me. I don’t normally get very emotional over this kind of stuff. Obviously we started off a little rocky, and (we were) just trying to fight back. That is what made this whole event so much more special, and this medal is so much more special,” Schnell said.
Parratto and Schnell qualified for the finals after finishing second in a close preliminary that saw just 5.2 points separate second from sixth. Only the top three countries in the final would earn quota spots.
In the men’s 1-meter final, Ryan scored 376.35 to place ninth. He was 12th after two rounds but bounced back to finish strong. He scored 70.50 points on a reverse 2 ½ somersaults tuck and 72 points on a reverse 1 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists in the last two rounds.
China’s Peng Jianfeng scored 440.45 points for gold. Mexico’s Osmar Olvera Ibarra was second at 428.85, and China’s Zheng Jiuyan took bronze with 418.30 points.
Diving events at the World Aquatics Championships continue through July 22. Monday’s competition features Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minnesota Diving) and Kassidy Cook (The Woodlands, Texas/Philadelphia Aquatics) in women’s synchronized 3-meter and Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./Purdue Diving) and Jordan Rzepka (Solon, Ohio/Purdue Diving) in men’s synchronized 10-meter. The preliminaries (8 p.m./11:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 16) will air on the World Aquatics Recast channel, and the finals (2:30 a.m./5 a.m. ET) will be available on Peacock.