Dunnichay and Ishimatsu win 10-meter synchro silver

July 20, 2009, 10:23 a.m. (ET)

ROME, Italy - Mary Beth Dunnichay (Elwood, Ind.) and Haley Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) came through in the last round to give the U.S. its second World Championships medal, winning silver in women's synchronized 10-meter Sunday.

Dunnichay and Ishimatsu finished with 324.66 points, second only to 2008 Olympic gold medalists Wang Xin and Chen Ruolin's 369.15. Malaysia was third at 321.66.

"This is a big break for Haley and me. It's amazing. We had a great list, and we've worked really, really hard," Dunnichay said. "I'm still in shock. I couldn't be happier."

Ishimatsu and Dunnichay were in fourth place with one round to go, but just four points separated the second and fourth spots. The Americans came through with 84.66 points on their back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists to move ahead of both Malaysia and Canada, which also performed the same dive in the last round.

"It's great to have close competition because it pushes you," Ishimatsu said. "With it being so close, we really wanted to make sure our last dive went really well. I'm so excited to get a medal at the World Championships. It feels good."

This is the first medal at a world event for the 16-year-olds, who were fifth at the 2008 Olympics and the 2007 World Championships and eighth at the 2008 World Cup.

"We've grown a lot as a synchro team," Dunnichay said. "We train hard, smile and just try to do the best we can."

Women's 1-meter was also contested Sunday. Christina Loukas (Riverwoods, Ill.) led the U.S. with a eighth-place finish at 266.35 points, and Brittany Viola (Orlando, Fla.) scored 244.80 for 14 th. Yulia Pakhalina of Russia scored 325.05 points for gold.

The diving events at the World Championships continue through July 25. Monday's competition features women's 3-meter and men's 10-meter.