BUENOS AIRES, Argentina- Team USA’s Bridget O’Neil (Southlake, Texas) clinched the bronze medal at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 in the women’s 3-meter final Monday evening with 439.60 points. Her performance gives the American divers its first medal of competition after leading Great Britain’s Maria Papworth by 10.65 points to clinch third place and a spot at the podium.
The seventeen year old is now the first female American diver to win a Youth Olympic Games medal. She began final competition with her favorite dive, an inward 2 ½ pike, to place seventh after scoring 58.50 points. In the following two rounds, O’Neil climbed up to sixth place and then fourth after scoring 58.80 points and 61.60 points on a forward 3 ½ tuck and a reverse 2 ½ pike. Her final dive, a forward 2 ½ somersaults with 1 twist, landed O’Neil 61.50 points and the bronze medal. China’s Shan Lin earned the gold medal with 505.50 points, while Russia’s Uliana Kliueva placed second, just 5.45 points ahead of O’Neil.
“She was awesome,” said coach Mandy Eby. “She was focused and consistent from start to finish. And most importantly, she had fun!”
With her bronze medal, O’Neil joins Olympian Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) as the only two American divers to earn medals in the Summer Youth Olympic Games.
The Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 continues Tuesday with Jack Matthews (Powell, Ohio) competing in the men’s 10-meter preliminary at 8 a.m. ET. The Summer Youth Olympic Games can be watched live on the Olympic Channel or on live stream.