Two-time Olympian Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Trojan Dive Club) wasn’t supposed to be at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
But now, she’s bringing home a silver medal.
Young paired with Olympian Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) for second in a thrilling women’s synchronized 10-meter contest that came down to the wire Thursday.
Schnell and Young rallied from eighth place to finish second with 299.40 points, edging Malaysia’s Pandelela Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sadri by 0.72 points for silver. The Chinese duo of Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan dominated the field and won gold with 368.40 points.
Schnell and Young were paired together just a few weeks prior to the World Championships, when Schnell’s partner, Tarrin Gilliland, withdrew due to injury. Schnell and Young had competed together before, and Young got the call asking if she would dive with Schnell in Budapest.
“It was incredible. It was a pretty last-minute change. It was a lot of stress going into this event, but it worked out,” Young said. “I mean, it was tough. I’m not going to lie. We have a little bit of a different technique, but we were able to take the time and make it work."
The Americans were in eighth place after two rounds but climbed in the standings after three solid optional dives. They jumped to fifth after 68.40 points on their front 3 ½ somersaults pike and moved up to fourth after their inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck scored 73.92 points.
Heading into the final round, the Americans were 4.08 points behind the Malaysian team and 3.64 points behind the Japanese team of Minami Itahashi and Matsuri Arai. The U.S. and Malaysian teams were doing back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists in the final round, a more difficult dive than the Japanese team had left.
Schnell and Young came through with 70.08 points on their last dive, enough to move into the silver medal spot. Pamg and Sabri scored 65.28 points on their final dive to settle for bronze, with the Japanese team finishing fourth.
“Back twister is kind of my go-to dive so I honestly wasn’t too nervous. I knew that we had to fight if we wanted to even get close to the podium. Our vols were obviously not so great, and that was a little unfortunate. I knew that if we could hit our three optionals, then it doesn’t matter about the vols,” Schnell said. “I was just happy that we could come back fighting and show that if you have a bad first dive, it doesn’t matter. You still have four more.”
Both Schnell and Young have had international success with other partners. Young won bronze with Murphy Bromberg at the 2019 World Championships, and Schnell won silver with Jessica Parratto at the 2020 Olympic Games. Schnell also won an individual 10-meter bronze at the 2019 World Championships.