BUDAPEST, Hungary - Purdue alumnus Steven LoBue rallied to win the gold medal in 27-meter high diving Sunday at the FINA World Championships.
LoBue, a Purdue diver from 2004 to 2007 who now trains in Fort Lauderdale, scored 397.15 points to become the first U.S. male and third U.S. diver to win high diving gold at the World Championships. U.S. women took home gold at the 2013 and 2015 championships.
Purdue alumnus David Colturi (2008-10) finished 10th in the 27-meter competition with 340 points. He and LoBue are multi-year members of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, earning podium finishes in Portugal (LoBue, 2nd) and Italy (Colturi, 2nd) so far this season. Current Boilermakers Steele Johnson and Brandon Loschiavo also competed in the traditional indoor diving events at World Championships earlier this month.
LoBue, who won silver at the FINA High Diving World Cup in April, entered Sunday’s competition in fourth place after Friday’s first two rounds. He moved into second place after his first dive Sunday, an inward triple somersault pike with a half twist scoring 99 points and earning a 10 from one judge.
LoBue then wrapped up his list with a difficult inward five somersaults tuck with a half twist. With a degree of difficulty of 5.4, it was the second-most difficult dive performed in the contest and LoBue came through with 113.40 points on the dive. Only Gary Hunt, who led heading into the final round, performed a more difficult dive. Hunt missed the inward triple somersault with 4 ½ twists to score just 70 points and drop to fifth in the final standings.
Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic finished second with 390.9, and Alessandro De Rose of Italy scored 379.65 points for bronze. USA’s Andy Jones was fourth at 368.05.
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) July 30, 2017
LoBue joins David Boudia as Boilermakers to medal at the FINA World Championships. Boudia won silver on 10-meter at three straight World Championships from 2011 to 2015. Boudia is the other Purdue diver to win gold at an international meet, his historic 10-meter gold at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Jones, a former Utah diver who trains in Los Angeles, climbed five spots in the standings with a strong final dive. He was ninth after the third round but finished fourth in the final standings after closing out his day with 109.65 points on his inward triple somersaults with 2 ½ twists.
Colturi, now training in Los Angeles, wrapped up his competition in Budapest with 86.40 points on an inward triple somersault pike with a half twist and 71.30 points on a back triple somersault with three twists.
On Saturday, former Notre Dame diver Tara Tira led the U.S. with a fourth-place finish in the women’s 20-meter competition. Cesilie Carlton finished sixth, and former University of Georgia diver Ginger Huber was ninth. Carlton won the women’s gold at the 2013 World Championships, with Rachelle Simpson winning gold for the U.S. women in 2015.
The next stop on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is Sept. 3 at Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas.
- Story by Jen Lowery, USA Diving
— Red Bull CliffDiving (@cliffdiving) July 22, 2017