Jessica Parratto finishes 10th at Olympic Games in women's 10-meter final

By USA Diving | Aug. 18, 2016, 5:49 p.m. (ET)

                RIO DE JANEIRO – Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.) finished 10th in the women’s 10-meter finals Thursday at the Olympic Games. She advanced to a world-level final for the first time in her career and finished with 334.60 points in the finals.
                China’s Ren Qian scored 439.25 for the gold, while teammate Si Yajie was second with 419.40 points. Bronze went to Canadian Meaghan Benfeito, who finished with 389.20 points.
                 Parratto was in third place and in contention for a medal through two rounds after scoring 81 points on her front 3 ½ pike and following up with 79.20 points on a back 3 ½ tuck. Misses on her third and fourth round dives dropped her out of the medal hunt.
                “You have little misses here and there. This field is very close and you have to be on in the finals,” Parratto said. “It’s just a little bit of fine tuning on those dives and hopefully next time around I can do a little better.”
                Parratto qualified for the final after finishing second in the morning semifinals, finishing behind Si and ahead of Ren. With divers competing in reverse order of their semifinal finishes, that meant Parratto was diving second-to-last and in between the two Chinese in the finals.  
                “I got in the final, and that was huge for me. Obviously I didn’t do as well as I did in the prelims and semis, but splitting with the Chinese (in the semis), that meant a lot to me. They’re amazing divers, so having to go after them, they’re pretty much flawless. You know, that was really special to me. This was my first world final. I couldn’t be more excited,” Parratto said. 
                The 22-year-old Parratto had previously advanced to the 10-meter semifinals at world-level meets three times, finishing 14th at the 2014 FINA World Cup, 15th at the 2011 FINA World Championships and 17th at the 2016 FINA World Cup, but had never made a final until doing so at the Olympic Games.
                Prior to placing second in the semifinals on Thursday morning, Parratto was third in the preliminaries Wednesday afternoon.
                “I tried not to think about that. I just wanted to have a good experience and it didn’t matter where I ended up. I just wanted to enjoy the whole thing, and no matter what, hopefully I’m going to be back in four years and improve,” said Parratto, who finished seventh in the synchronized 10-meter contest earlier in the games.
                Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) also represented the United States in Thursday’s 10-meter semifinals but missed out on qualifying for the finals by one spot. She mounted a comeback to finish 13th with 301.45 points, just five points out of the 12th and final qualifying spot. Young was in 18th place after missing her back 3 ½ tuck for just 21.45 points in round two but came back with 72 points on each of her final two dives – an inward 3 ½ tuck and a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists – to narrowly miss a spot in the finals.
                “I’m proud of myself for fighting back, but I’m definitely disappointed. I had a technical error on my second dive, but I pulled it together the best I could after that. I’m proud of myself for that. It was a learning process,” said Young, who was competing in her first Olympics. “I know what I technically did wrong (on the back 3 ½ tuck), but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and process how I got there. Now I really want to make that dive my most solid dive. That’s my goal, but I just had to let it go and move on to the next round and do the best I could after that.”
                 Diving competition continues Friday with David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) in the men’s 10-meter preliminaries.