DIVING: U.S. wins two bronze medals in sychronized diving at FINA World Series in Tijuana

April 25, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
TIJUANA, Mexico-USA divers opened up the first leg of the 2008 FINA World Series with a pair of bronze medals in synchronized diving events on Friday. David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) and Thomas Finchum (Indianapolis) picked up a bronze in men's synchronized 10-meter, with Kelci Bryant (Chatham, Ill.) and Ariel Rittenhouse (Santa Cruz, Calif.) claiming the women's synchronized 3-meter bronze. The FINA World Series features the top divers from the 2008 World Cup, where Bryant and Rittenhouse also won bronze together. Bryant and Rittenhouse repeated their World Cup showing by posting 301.20 points at the World Series, finishing behind China's Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia (342.00) and Russia's Yulia Pakhalina and Anastasia Podzniakova (305.10), who were also first and second at the World Cup. Bryant and Rittenhouse were in fourth place with one dive to go but earned mostly 7.5 marks on their final dive, a back two and a half pike, to move ahead of Great Britain's Tandi Gerrard and Hayley Sage, who took fourth at 300.54. Boudia and Finchum won the 10-meter synchro bronze with 428.58 points, rebounding from an uncharacteristic sixth-place showing at the World Cup. Prior to the World Cup, they had medaled in 11 of their past 12 international contests, with a fourth-place finish in the one event in which they did not medal. The Russian pair of Oleg Vikulov and Konstantin Khanbekov, who took fourth at the World Cup, scored 446.34 to upset China's World Cup champions Lin Yue and Huo Liang, who took the World Series silver with 439.50 points. Individually for the U.S., Haley Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) scored 315.25 points for fifth in women's platform. She was in contention to make the four-diver final with one dive to go in the semifinals, but earned just 4s and 5s on her last dive to keep her from advancing. Mexico's Paola Espinosa, the World Cup bronze medalist, scored 412.55 points for gold, with China's Wang Xin and Chen Roulin taking silver and bronze. The U.S. did not have any divers in the men's 3-meter contest, which Mexico's Yahel Castillo won with 494.55 points. The competition wraps up Saturday with Boudia on men's 10-meter and Bryant on women's 3-meter. Boudia and Finchum will also dive in the men's 3-meter synchro event, and Ishimatsu and Mary Beth Dunnichay (Elwood, Ind.) will compete in women's 10-meter synchro. - USA Diving - Featuring America's best divers, USA Diving is the national governing body for the sport of diving. Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Diving offers diversified programs geared toward the broadest number of diving enthusiasts, from the novice to the world champion. USA Diving conducts approximately 40 regional and national events annually and is responsible for training and selecting teams that represent the United States at international events such as the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup. For additional information please call Jennifer Lowery at (317) 237-5252 or visit www.usadiving.org.