David Boudia competes in the men's 3-meter springboard final at the 2019 FINA World Championships on July 18, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.
Olympic platform diving champion David Boudia’s return to the sport as a 3-meter diver continued Thursday when he finished fifth at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
The three-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic champion didn’t have the degree of difficulty of the other divers in Thursday’s final, but even still only four scored higher than he did at his first 3-meter world championships competition.
Boudia had previously competed at six world championships on 10-meter platform.
This marked Boudia’s first major international championship since winning his third and fourth Olympic medals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, all in platform. After that Boudia stepped away from the sport, contemplated retiring, returned and then suffered a concussion. In the aftermath, he decided to make the switch from platform to 3-meter springboard. In May, he won the national title in 3-meter to earn his spot on the world championship team.
Boudia has won four silver medals and one bronze medal at the world championships.
On Wednesday, both Boudia and fellow Olympic medalist Michael Hixon made the finals of the men’s 3-meter competition and earned two 2020 Olympic quota spots for the United States.
Boudia was in sixth place for most of Thursday’s competition. His dive in round four was an inward 3 ½, the lowest degree of difficulty in the contest, followed by a reverse 3 ½. He saved his best for last — a reverse ½, 3 ½ twists — that bumped him up to fifth place with a total score of 458.10 points.
Hixon, who was in 12th place after four dives, finished in seventh place with a total of 449.95.
Great Britain’s Jack Laugher, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, was running away with the competition until a major error on his last dive dropped him to third place. China finished 1-2 with Xie Siyi winning with 545.45 points and reigning Olympic gold medalist Cao Yuan finishing second with 517.85 points.