Capobianco Fourth, Downs Ninth in 3-Meter Final at Worlds; US Qualifies Two to Women's Final
Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Johansen Diving Academy) finished fourth in the men’s 3-meter final, while Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo./Ripfest) placed ninth as the World Aquatics Championships continued Thursday in Fukuoka, Japan.
Also on Thursday, the United States picked up a pair of Olympic quota spots as Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minnesota Diving) and Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas/University of Texas) both advanced to the women’s 3-meter final. Bacon was fifth and Hernandez finished 12th in the semifinals to qualify for Friday’s final. The 12 finalists earned quota spots for their countries to compete in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
Capobianco scored 448.00 points for fourth place in the 3-meter final, while Downs finished with 389.00 points for ninth. China’s Wang Zongyuan scored 538.10 points for gold. Mexico’s Osmar Olvera finished with 507.50 points for silver, and China’s Long Daoyi took bronze at 499.75.
Capobianco turned in 87.40 points on his final dive, a front 4 ½ somersaults tuck, and he received 81.90 points on his front 2 ½ somersaults with three twists. Capobianco scored 70 points on higher on three other dives, including 70 points on a reverse 3 ½ somersaults tuck, a dive he scored 57.75 and 40.25 points on in the preliminaries and semifinals.
Downs opened his list with 74.40 points on his front 3 ½ somersaults pike for his highest-scoring dive of the final. In 12th place halfway through the contest, Downs finished with three dives of 66.30, 66.50 and 66.30 points to move up three spots to ninth in the final standings.
In women’s 3-meter, Bacon scored 320.10 points for fifth in the semifinals. She opened the semifinals with 69 points on her inward 2 ½ somersaults pike, a dive she missed in the morning preliminaries. Bacon added three more dives of 63 points or higher, including 64.50 on her front 2 ½ somersaults with one twist, in the semis to qualify for the finals. Bacon earned her spot in the semifinals with a seventh-place showing in the preliminaries. After missing her opening-round inward for just 43.50 points, Bacon put down four dives that all scored 60 points or higher.
Hernandez scored 291.75 points in the semifinal. She came through with a strong final dive to narrowly advance to the final and earn the U.S. a quota spot. After scoring just 49 points on her front 3 ½ somersaults tuck, she was 16th after two rounds. After two solid dives, including a 63-point back 2 ½ somersaults tuck, she had moved up to 13th – four points behind 12th – with just one round to go. Hernandez responded with 63 points on her front 2 ½ somersaults with one twist to overtake Mexico’s Carolina Mendoza for the last spot into Friday’s final. Hernandez finished 16th in the preliminaries.
Diving events at the World Championships continue through July 22. Friday’s action kicks off with men’s 10-meter preliminaries and semifinals before the women’s 3-meter final. Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./Purdue Diving) and Max Flory (Fairfax, Va./University of Miami) will represent the U.S. in the men’s 10-meter event. Preliminaries and semifinals can be viewed on the World Aquatics Recast channel, and finals will air on Peacock.