U.S. Divers Pick Up Pair Of Top-Ten Finishes In Synchro Events At World Championships

By USA Diving | July 15, 2019, 11:08 a.m. (ET)

GWANGJU, South Korea – Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Ben Bramley (Wellesley, Mass./West Lafayette, Ind.) finished eighth in men’s synchronized 10-meter, and Alison Gibson (Austin, Texas) and Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.) placed 10th in women’s synchronized 3-meter Monday at the FINA World Championships.

Johnson and Bramley scored 383.79 points in their first international competition together. They scored more than 70 points on three of their four optionals, including an inward 3 ½ that went for 75.84 points.

“It was a good experience to be on the world stage and get this opportunity to compete against the best people and have that pressure,” said Bramley, who was competing at his first World Championships. “Obviously I would have hoped to do a little bit better, but at least now I know what I need to do. I have this experience under my belt, so hopefully I’ll be more relaxed next time.”

The top three teams qualified their countries for the 2020 Olympic Games. China’s Chen Aisen and Cao Yuan won gold at 486.93, and Russia’s Viktor Minibaev and Aleksandr Bondar scored 444.60 for silver. British divers Tom Daley and Matthew Lee were third at 425.91.

Gibson and Palmer scored 274.47 points to finish 10th in the women’s synchronized 3-meter final after placing fifth in the morning preliminaries. They were in sixth place after three rounds, but a miss for 54.87 points on a front 3 ½ pike dropped them to 10th after round four. They hit that same dive for 72.54 points in the preliminaries.

“It was a really awesome experience competing for the second time at the FINA World Championships. I was really happy with how I dove, and our training’s been going really well. There were a few small mistakes in there, but overall we’re a super team,” Gibson said. “Being able to make the final and say that you’re top 10 in the world is pretty crazy, so I’m coming out of this with a lot of positive thoughts. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han scored 342.00 points to win the gold, while Canadians Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini Beaulieu finished with 311.10 points for silver. The Mexican team of Paola Espinosa and Melany Hernandez took bronze at 294.90. The three qualified their countries for the 2020 Olympics.

Diving events at the FINA World Championships continue through July 24. Tuesday’s competition kicks off with Amy Cozad Magaña (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) in the women’s 10-meter prelims, with the semifinals to follow. Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Bloomington, Ind.) and Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) will dive in the team event Tuesday night.