(R-L) Katrina Young and Murphy Bromberg stand on the podium at the FINA Diving World Championships on July 14, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.
Talk about pressure.
The U.S. duo of Murphy Bromberg and Olympian Katrina Young stepped to the edge of the platform for the fifth and final 10-meter synchronized dive of the FINA World Championships in fourth place, just off the podium and out of qualifying position for an Olympic quota spot for Team USA.
Competing in Gwangju, South Korea, the U.S. was just six points behind Canada and Malaysia, who were virtually tied behind the Chinese duo running away with the lead. Bromberg and Young’s dive was clean and together, and on the very next dive Canada was off. From the moment the splash rose up from the pool it was clear the United States had a good chance of moving up, and they did.
Bromberg and Young took the bronze medal and earned the first 2020 Olympic diving quota spot for the U.S. with a total score of 304.86, edging just ahead of Canada, who finished fourth with a total of 304.05.
That eight-tenths of a point made all the difference, however, with the top three teams qualifying spots for their countries for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. China took gold with a score of 345.24 and Malaysia the silver with 312.72 points.
It was a dramatic finish for a dramatic result. Bromberg and Young’s bronze is the first U.S. world championship medal in this event in 10 years. The last team to medal was Mary Beth Dunnichay and Haley Ishimatsu, who won silver in 2009. They finished fifth at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.
Bromberg missed out on the Olympic team in 2016 but Young competed as an individual, finishing 13th in the 10-meter competition. While the U.S. has the chance to earn more quota spots throughout the meet, the specific individuals who claim them won’t be known until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials next summer.