DIVING: Strong last round lifts Wilkinson, Ishimatsu into finals at FINA World Cup

Feb. 19, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
BEIJING-With one round to go in the women's 10-meter semifinals Wednesday morning at the Good Luck Beijing/FINA Diving World Cup, Americans Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) and Haley Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) were on the outside looking in. Only the top 12 would advance to the finals; after four rounds, Wilkinson was in 16th place, Ishimatsu 18th. No problem. Both divers saved their best for last, each scoring 86.70 points on the same dive -- a back 2 1/2 pike somersault with 1 1/2 twists. They tied for the highest score in the fifth round and did enough to move into the finals. Wilkinson ended up 10th with 324.10 points, and Ishimatsu scored 312.60 points for 12th place. China's Chen Ruolin led the semifinal field with 422.00 points. The finals are set for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Men's 3-meter preliminaries will be contested Wednesday afternoon. -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 more information, visit www.usadiving.org.