KYIV, Ukraine – Maria Coburn (Round Rock, Texas) came from behind to win the bronze medal in the girls’ group A 1-meter final Tuesday at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships.
Coburn scored 393.05 points for third, with China’s Ma Tong winning gold at 410.85. Russia’s Uliana Kliueva finished second with 398.35.
In seventh place with two rounds to go, Coburn closed out her list with two strong dives to earn a spot on the podium. She came through with 56.40 points on a reverse 1 ½ pike to move up to fourth heading into the last round. Just 4.5 points separated third from sixth with one round to go, and Coburn responded with her highest scoring dive, a reverse 1 ½ with 1 ½ twists that earned 58.50 points. It was enough to move her into third place, 1.8 points ahead of Switzerland’s Michelle Heimberg.
“I was not expecting to be on the podium, not after my first couple dives. When I saw that I was up there, I was very pleased,” said Coburn, who won gold on the same event in the B group at the 2016 World Junior Championships. “I didn’t hit my first two dives the way I wanted, so I knew I had to hit my last two if I wanted a chance to be on the podium. I was hoping I could, but I really wasn’t sure until after.”
Sophie McAfee (San Marino, Calif.) also competed in the girls’ A 1-meter event and scored 320.95 points for 27th. After missing her third-to-last dive, she came back strong for 47.50 points on a back 1 ½ with 1 ½ twists and 48 points on an inward 1 ½ pike in the last two rounds.
Jack Matthews (Powell, Ohio) and Manuel Borowski (McLean, Va.) finished ninth in the boys’ synchronized 3-meter. They scored 257.76 points, highlighted by a front 2 ½ with 2 twists that scored 64.80 points in the last round. Canada’s Henry McKay and Victor Povzner won with 300.33 points.
Daryn Wright (Plainfield, Ind.) and Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas) competed in the girls’ B platform prelims but did not advance to the finals. Wright finished 13th with 289.00 points, 8.75 behind 12th place and a spot in the final. Hernandez finished 16th with 265.10 points, dropping out of contention for a spot in the finals after failing to get her back 2 ½ tuck off in the final round.
The FINA World Junior Diving Championships continue through July 29. Wednesday’s competition features Coburn and Bridget O’Neil (Southlake, Texas) in the girls’ A 3-meter contest and Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo.) and Max Weinrich (Brookeville, Md.) in the boys’ B 1-meter event.