RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – It’s becoming quite customary for a diver from the United States by the name of David to end up on the podium after a men’s 10-meter competition at a major world competition.
And on Wednesday, the final day of the FINA Diving World Cup, it was 18-year-old David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio/Coral Gables, Fla.) who came away with a 10-meter bronze medal.
Dinsmore scored 497.05 points to finish third behind two Chinese divers. World champion Qiu Bo won gold with 557.75 points, and Chen Aisen scored 534.25 points for the gold. U.S. teammate Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.), 19, was fourth with 481.40 points in the final as the two Americans battled it out for the spot on the podium.
“Words can’t describe how happy I am right now. This was unbelievable. Steele and I have been diving against each since we were 10 years old, and I can’t believe how awesome it is that we were able to compete with each other on the world stage and battle it out for a medal. You can’t ask for more than that in a teammate,” said Dinsmore, who was 10th in Tuesday’s preliminaries to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals, in which he finished fifth to advance to the finals.
Dinsmore was in third after three rounds in the finals, but Johnson moved into the third spot with 90.65 points on his fourth-round front 4 ½ tuck to take a four-point lead over his teammate with two rounds to go.
Both divers performed a reverse 3 ½ tuck in round five, with Johnson scoring 91.80 points before Dinsmore countered with a 95.20-point dive of his own. Just .55 points separated the two Americans heading into the final round. Johnson closed out his list with 75.60 points on his back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists, while Dinsmore followed with 91.80 points on the same dive to put him on the podium.
“I kind of kept my eye on the scoreboard because Steele was diving right in front of me. I knew we were battling it out the whole contest. I saw him hit that reverse, and I knew I had to do that as well in order to make sure I could contend with him. It just came down to the last dive, and you can’t ask for more. That’s the best way to end a competition,” Dinsmore said.
Americans have now medaled on 10-meter at five of the last seven major world meets. David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) won silver at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. Boudia chose not to vie for an individual 10-meter spot on the World Cup team in order to focus on training and to provide the U.S. with two chances to secure one additional quota spot on the event for the 2016 Olympic Games. Boudia’s silver medal at last year’s World Championships earned the U.S. its first quota spot on the event. The top-18 finish at the 2016 World Cup earned the U.S. its second individual quota spot for the Games. Boudia and Johnson finished fourth in synchronized 10-meter earlier in the week at the World Cup to qualify the United States for the Olympics on that event.
The World Cup marked the first individual world final for both Dinsmore and Johnson. Dinsmore advanced to the semifinals at the 2014 World Cup (17th) and 2015 World Championships (15th). Johnson finished 14th at the 2014 World Cup.
The U.S. concluded the 2016 FINA World Cup with two bronze medals. In addition to Dinsmore’s 10-meter bronze, Kristian Ipsen (Clayton, Calif./Stanford, Calif.) won bronze in the men’s 3-meter event earlier in the week.
The U.S. also secured eight additional quota spots for the 2016 Olympic Games and has 10 of a possible 12 spots to compete in Rio this summer. The U.S. qualified in three of four synchronized events and earned seven of a possible eight spots for the individual events. All quota spots earned are for the country, not the divers themselves. The U.S. will select its Olympic Team at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving in Indianapolis from June 18-26.