Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) finished fifth in the women’s 3-meter final Saturday and 15-year-old Josh Hedberg (Noblesville, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) placed 11th in the men’s 10-meter semifinals to advance to Sunday’s final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Bacon scored 314.25 points in the 3-meter final, with China’s Chen Yiwen taking gold at 366.90. Canada’s Mia Vallee scored 329.00 points for silver, and China’s Chang Yani took bronze with 325.85 points.
Bacon was in seventh place after scoring 54 points on her third-round reverse 2 ½ pike but rallied back with two of her highest scoring dives in the last two rounds. She earned 69.75 points on her front 3 ½ somersaults pike in round four and finished her list with 66 points on a front 2 ½ somersaults with a twist. She also scored 66 points on her first-round inward 2 ½ somersaults pike.
Bacon’s fifth-place finish is the highest by a U.S. woman on 3-meter at the FINA World Championships since 2011, when Olympians Christina Loukas and Kelci Bryant finished fourth and seventh, respectively. Bacon won the silver medal on 1-meter earlier this week.
Hedberg, competing in his first World Championships, scored 388.60 points in the 10-meter semifinals to qualify for the finals. In 13th place after three rounds, Hedberg scored 64.60 points on a reverse 3 ½ somersaults tuck in the fourth round to move into 11th place. He held onto the spot with 57.60 points on an inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck in round five and then finished with 70.20 points on his back 2 ½ somersaults with 2 ½ twists.
Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind./University of Miami) also advanced to the men’s 10-meter semifinals and finished 13th, just missing the cut for the 12-diver final by 0.70 points. Cooper, who finished with 373.05 points, was in 16th place at the halfway point of the semifinals. He jumped to 12th with 77.70 points on his front 4 ½ somersaults tuck in the fourth round. Japan’s Shu Ohkubo narrowly overtook him for the last qualifying spot after Cooper finished with 57.60 points on a back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists.
Hedberg placed fifth and Cooper was 11th in the preliminaries to advance to the semifinals.
Competition at the FINA World Championships concludes Sunday with the men’s 10-meter final as well as women’s synchronized 3-meter. Kristen Hayden (Hillsborough, N.J./Johansen Diving Academy) and Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark./Columbia, S.C.) will represent the U.S. in the synchro event.
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