Tokyo Olympics Diving in review: China nearly sweeps, U.S. bags trio of medals

Posted at 3:25 AM, Aug 08, 2021

For the second straight Olympics, China put on a diving clinic in Tokyo, winning an astounding seven out of eight gold medals and impressing with nearly every dive.

Veterans and teenagers alike starred for the diving powerhouse as China swept gold and silver in every individual event, along with three golds and a silver in synchro competition. But it wasn't quite perfection for the Chinese, losing out to one of the sport's biggest global stars who claimed a crowing achievement.

Relive all the best moments from the Tokyo Aquatics Center diving well, from breakout performances to touching farewells.


Women's synchronized 3m springboard

Shi Tingmao and Wang Han set the tone early with a masterclass on the springboard. Their final three dives were the three best of the entire competition, all scoring near or above 75 points.

Shi collected her second straight Olympic gold medal in the event while Wang, at 30, capitalized on her first Olympics opportunity.

Gold: Shi Tingmao / Wang Han (CHN)
Silver: Jennifer Abel / Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu (CAN)
Bronze: Lena Hentschel / Tina Punzel (GER)

SEE MORE: China's Wang, Shi win first diving gold medal of Tokyo Games

Men's synchronized 10m platform

In three prior Olympic appearances, British diving superstar Tom Daley had only managed a pair of bronze medals. On the Tokyo tower, flanked by partner Matty Lee, he would not be denied gold any longer.

It came down to the final dive against, who else, China. After Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen nailed their backward twisting 2 1/2 somersaults for 101.52 points, the Brits needed to hit something nearly as good.

They took off for a forward 4 1/2 somersaults and came up golden.

Gold: Tom Daley / Matty Lee (GBR)
Silver: Cao Yuan / Chen Aisen (CHN)
Bronze: Aleksandr Bondar / Viktor Minibaev (ROC)

SEE MORE: Tom Daley and Matty Lee nail final dive to beat China in 10m

Women's synchronized 10m platform

The women's synchro platform event debuted at the Olympics in 2000. For two decades, the United States had never managed to win a single medal in the event.

Delaney Schnell and Jessica Parratto changed that with five composed dives.

Gold: Chen Yuxi / Zhang Jiaqi (CHN)
Silver: Delaney Schnell / Jessica Parratto (USA)
Bronze: Gabriela Agundez / Alejandra Orozco (MEX)

SEE MORE: Parratto, Schnell win synchro silver for first U.S. medal

Men's synchronized 3m springboard

After scoring an emotional silver medal with then-partner Sam Dorman in 2016, Mike Hixon again reached the second step of the podium in Tokyo. This time, he teamed up with first-time Olympian Andrew Capobianco to get it done, even giving a slight scare to the Chinese team during the final.

Gold: Xie Siyi / Wang Zongyuan (CHN)
Silver: Andrew Capobianco / Mike Hixon (USA)
Bronze: Patrick Hausding / Lars Rudiger (GER)

SEE MORE: Hixon, with Capobianco, wins 2nd straight synchro silver

Women's 3m springboard

The Chinese synchro duo of Shi and Wang could not be caught, but Krysta Palmer made sure she out-dove the rest of the field. Despite finishing 15th in prelims, Palmer executed her five-dive list in the final round with poise to win the first individual diving medal by an American woman since Laura Wilkinson in Sydney 2000.

Gold: Shi Tingmao (CHN)
Silver: Wang Han (CHN)
Bronze: Krysta Palmer (USA)

SEE MORE: Krysta Palmer stuns on springboard, wins historic U.S. medal

Men's 3m springboard

Xie Siyi completed the men's synchro/individual springboard double and Great Britain's Jack Laugher won his third Olympic medal, but the lasting image from this competition featured two divers who did not contend for the podium. Ken Terauchi of Japan and Rommel Pacheco of Mexico, two diving lifers likely competing in their final Olympics, received standing ovations as they hit their final dives. The ovation came not from fans — there were none in the stands, of course — but from their fellow divers in a wonderful moment of shared respect.

Gold: Xie Siyi (CHN)
Silver: Wang Zongyuan (CHN)
Bronze: Jack Laugher (GBR)

SEE MORE: Divers Terauchi, Pacheco get standing ovations in farewell

Women's 10m platform

Quan Hongchan executed one of the most incredible final round displays in the history of Olympic diving, performing not one, but two (and very nearly three) perfect dives. Breathtaking for any diver, borderline unthinkable for a 14-year-old like Quan. She broke the Olympic record total en route to China's sixth diving gold.

Gold: Quan Hongchan (CHN)
Silver: Chen Yuxi (CHN)
Bronze: Melissa Wu (AUS)

SEE MORE: 14-year-old Quan Hongchan delivers perfection on platform

Men's 10m Platform

Cao Yuan took gold on the platform five years after reigning supreme on the Rio springboard. He became the first man to win gold on both disciplines since Greg Louganis did so at the same Games in 1988. Cao's teammate Yang Jian pushed Cao to the final dive, while Tom Daley picked up another medal with bronze.

Gold: Cao Yuan (CHN)
Silver: Yang Jian (CHN)
Bronze: Tom Daley (GBR)

SEE MORE: Cao Yuan seals China's 7th diving gold on platform