WUHAN, China - Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./West Lafayette, Ind.) placed fifth in 10-meter synchro Friday at the FINA Diving World Cup. Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas) and Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.) advanced to the women’s 3-meter semifinals after placing eighth and 11th in Friday’s preliminaries.
Johnson and Loschiavo scored 400.74 points for fifth, 8.85 points behind bronze medalists Domonic Bedggod and Declan Stacey of Australia. China’s Chen Aisen and Yang Hao won the gold with 491.73 points, and Russia’s Aleksandr Belevtsev and Nikita Shleikher took second with 427.20 points. Johnson and Loschiavo, who finished second in the morning preliminaries with 401.19 points, qualified for the 2019 FINA Diving World Series.
“The final didn’t go the way we had hoped or planned. We had a couple of little mistakes that kept us off the podium,” Johnson said. “The encouraging thing is we still qualified for the World Series. This (final) gives us a good idea of what we need to work on going into next year, when you can begin to qualify spots for the Olympics. If you are going to miss things, this year is the year to do it. Next year we will come out guns blazing to get back on that podium.”
An inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck for 69.12 points in the third round dropped the duo from third place to sixth. Despite moving up to fourth following a reverse 3 ½ tuck for 75.48 points in round four, the pair slipped to fifth in the final two rounds.
“(The outcome) isn’t what I wanted. These situations happen and I’m glad it isn’t next year when we have to qualify for the Olympics,” Loschiavo said. “I just want to use this as a learning experience as to what I should and shouldn’t do. I want to change my mindset because going into this I was so hyped up and looking forward to that top-three. Next time I won’t focus on the outcome at all, I’ll just do me the entire time.”
Hernandez qualified for the women’s 3-meter semifinals by placing eighth with 290.35 points in the preliminaries. Team USA’s youngest diver earned 63 points apiece on two dives, a back 2 ½ tuck and a front 2 ½ somersault with 1 twist. Palmer also advanced to the semifinals after placing 11th with 279.15 points. Palmer was in 15th place after an inward 2 ½ tuck landed her 58.05 points in the first round, but she was able to climb to 11th in the final round after performing a back 2 ½ pike for 61.50 points. Hernandez and Palmer will compete in Friday’s semifinals at 10 p.m. ET.
The FINA World Cup continues through Sunday, June 10. Saturday’s competition includes Hernandez and Palmer in the women’s 3-meter semifinals and Loschiavo in the men’s 10-meter preliminaries. David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio/Miami, Fla.) also will compete men’s 10-meter, and Maria Coburn (Austin, Texas) and Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./Austin, Texas) will dive in the mixed 3-meter synchro. The mixed 3-meter synchro will broadcast Saturday at 4:30 a.m. ET on the Olympic Channel, while the women’s 3-meter springboard finals will air at 7:30 a.m. ET on the Olympic Channel.