Krysta Palmer took up diving when she was 20 at the suggestion of some friends. At 29, she made her Olympic debut and became the first American woman to win a medal in an individual diving event since Laura Wilkinson took gold at the Sydney Games in 2000.
With a total score of 343.75, Palmer snagged the bronze in the women's individual 3m springboard final. Shi Tingmao and Wang Han finished in the top two spots, raising China's total medal count across diving events in Tokyo to six. The only diving event in which China has not won gold at these Olympics was the men's 10m synchronized platform.
Palmer's place on the podium comes as a bit of a shock after she nearly failed to advance beyond the preliminary round. The top 18 qualified to semifinals, and Palmer finished 15th. She climbed to fifth in the next round and, with a chance at a medal on the line, nailed all of her dives in finals to place third. Her bronze marks the first medal for the U.S. in the event since Kelly McCormick won bronze in 1988.
Hailey Hernandez finished ninth overall, improving on her 10th place placement from qualifications.
Canadian Jennifer Abel, who was favored to win bronze behind Shi and Wang after finishing 4th in Rio, fell out of medal contention in Round 3 after scoring a 39 on a missed dive. She was the lone diver from Canada in the final after her teammate Pamela Ware failed to complete her final dive of the semifinals and dropped to the podium of the standings.