WUHAN, China— Led by a fifth-place finish on 3-meter from Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.), U.S. divers picked up three top-10 finishes Saturday at the FINA World Cup. Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas) joined Palmer in the 3-meter final and finished ninth, while Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./Austin, Texas) and Maria Coburn (Round Rock, Texas) finished 10th in mixed synchronized 3-meter. David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio/Miami, Fla.) and Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./West Lafayette, Ind.) qualified for Sunday’s 10-meter semifinals with top-18 finishes in Saturday’s preliminaries.
Palmer scored 331.30 points and clinched a spot to compete in the 2019 FINA Diving World Series with her fifth-place finish. After placing 11th in the semifinals, Palmer built momentum in the finals as she climbed her way up from ninth place after the first round, to eighth in the second and third rounds, seventh in the fourth round and fifth to complete the competition. Her most successful dive - an inward 2 ½ somersaults pike - came in the fourth round, when she earned 70.50 points. China’s Shi Tingmao earned gold with 404.70 points, while teammate Wang Han scored 383.55 points for silver. Canadian Pamela Ware took bronze with 348.75 points.
“I kept thinking about just hanging in there and taking it step by step. I wanted to make it through the three rounds - the preliminaries, semifinals and the finals after that,” Palmer said. “Everything else is extra. I think using today’s performance (going forward) as motivation will help motivate me during practices and know that my level is improving. If I can get my practice level to improve even more then my competition level will improve even more.”
Hernandez finished the finals at ninth place with 311.20 points. The 15-year old diver held 11th place during the first two rounds before climbing her way up to eighth in the fourth round, after an inward 2 ½ tuck landed her 67.20 points. Hernandez slipped to ninth in the final round with a front 2 ½ somersaults with one twist bringing her only 58.50 points. Hernandez finished her first World Cup 4.10 points shy of Canadian Olympic medalist Jennifer Abel.
“I was just trying to stay calm, do my dives and not worry about everyone else,” Hernandez said. “It was such a great experience to be able to see competitors and Olympians and be able to stand and compete with them.”
Campbell and Coburn were unable to remain consistent in Saturday’s mixed 3-meter synchro. The pair, who placed 10th with 283.32 points, started competition at 11th before building their way to seventh in the second round. The duo then slipped down to 10th but jumped to sixth with their most successful dive, a front 3 ½ pike for 68.82 points. In the final round the divers slipped back to 10th after a missed back 2 ½ pike. Although the pair struggled, they qualified the U.S. for the 2019 World Championships with a top-12 finish.
“I thought they did a great job,” coach Matt Scoggin said. “It was Grayson’s first time at a senior world event and Maria’s second time at a senior world event. I thought they did well. I thought they had an opportunity going into that last round with a back 2 ½ pike. They both wanted to do it a bit better than they did. We were happy that they qualified their country a spot for next year’s World Championships.”
Dinsmore and Loschiavo qualified for the 10-meter semifinals after placing 12th and 17th, respectively, in the preliminaries. Dinsmore finished with 404.40 points. He began competition at 15th and climbed his way to ninth in the third round, after performing a back armstand with 2 somersaults and 2 ½ twists for 86.40 points. He then dipped back to 13th and 15th in the third and fourth rounds. In the final round, Dinsmore executed his most successful dive, a back 2 ½ somersaults with 2 ½ twists for 90 points, to qualify for the event’s semifinals.
Loschiavo advanced to Sunday’s semifinals with 375.85 points. He struggled early with a missed inward 3 ½ tuck that put him in 16th place after round one. In the fourth round Loschiavo skidded further back to 21st before performing his strongest dives, a front 4 ½ tuck and a back 2 ½ somersaults with 2 ½ twists, in the final two rounds.
The FINA World Cup concludes Sunday, June 10. The final day of competition includes Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/Austin, Texas) and Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark.) competing in the women’s 3-meter synchro preliminaries and Dinsmore and Loschiavo returning for semifinals in the men’s 10-meter. The men’s 10-meter platform final will be broadcast Sunday at 4:30 a.m. ET on the Olympic Channel, while the women’s 3-meter synchro finals will air at 7:30 a.m. ET on the Olympic Channel.