USA Diving Features DIVING: USA closes o...

DIVING: USA closes out FINA World Cup with two bronze medals, finishes second in overall team standings

Feb. 24, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING-The United States closed out the Good Luck Beijing/FINA Diving World Cup with a pair of bronze medals at the"Water Cube"on Sunday. Kelci Bryant (Chatham, Ill.) and Ariel Rittenhouse (Santa Cruz, Calif.) won a bronze in synchronized 3-meter, and David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) took the bronze on 10-meter. Team USA finished second in the overall team standings at the six-day event, which also served as an Olympic qualifier. Team USA's success led to earning a maximum 12 Olympic spots, ensuring full participation for the U.S. in diving at the 2008 Games. Boudia earned his first career international medal in an individual event with 526.65 points, highlighted by 100.80 points on his back 3 1/2 - earning four 9.5s and three 9.0s from the judges. He received scores as high 9.0 on three other dives as well. Germany's Sascha Klein won the title with 566.86 and China's Zhou Luxin scored 543.40 points for silver. It was the only gold that China did not win at the World Cup. USA's Thomas Finchum (Indianapolis) scored 373.10 points for 18th in the semifinals and did not advance to the finals. Bryant and Rittenhouse finished with 322.50 points in the 3-meter synchro contest, not only earning the bronze medal but also landing the U.S. a spot in that event at the Olympics. They were in fourth place after three rounds but scored 73.80 points on their front 2 1/2 with one twist in the fourth round to jump into third. They had their best dive of the night-74.70 points on their back 2 1/2-in the fifth round to maintain their bronze medal position. China's Wu Minxia and Guo Jingjing won the gold with 362.10 points, and Russia's Yulia Pakhalina and Anastasia Pozdnyakova took silver at 329.61. Upon securing the 3-meter synchro berth, the U.S. earned its maximum 12 spots for the Olympic Games (two spots in each individual event and one per synchronized event). In 2004, the U.S. earned 11 of 12 spots, failing to qualify in women's 3-meter synchro. Qualifying spots are earned for the federations, not the divers themselves. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Diving will be held June 18-22 in Indianapolis, followed by a selection camp July 2-6 in Knoxville, Tenn. - 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.