Aug. 11, 2012
Results: Finals | Semifinals | Preliminary Round
LONDON -- In what turned out to be a comeback day for the ages, former Purdue diver David Boudia scored 90-plus points on five of his six dives, including a 102.60 on his final dive, to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games Saturday.
Boudia became the first American man to win 10-meter platform gold at the Olympics since Greg Louganis in 1988. NBC will televise highlights of the competition tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
Boudia also claimed Team USA's first individual diving medal at the Olympics since Laura Wilkinson won gold in the 10-meter platform at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Mark Lenzi's bronze in the 3-meter springboard at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta marked the last individual medal by an American man. Scott Donie's silver at the 1992 Olympics marked the last time an American man medaled in the 10-meter platform.
"Ending this drought is the epitome of what hard work and planning does," Boudia said. "Just taking the focus off wanting all these medals and putting the focus on how we compete. That's just been the main goal."
Boudia's award of 102.60 on his final dive was enough to hold off China's Qui Bo, who had won the gold at the 2011 FINA World Championships. Qui Bo scored 100.80 on the final dive of his list and 90-plus on each of his six dives of the finals Saturday.
Most impressively, Boudia responded after a so-so performance on Friday that saw him place 18th of 32 in the preliminary round. Only the top 18 finishers advanced to the semifinals Saturday morning. Boudia was third in the semis Saturday morning to set himself up for his gold medal push in the evening finals.
"I actually woke up and it almost felt like I was dreaming the night before," Boudia said. "Like it didn't really happen. It was a brand new day. The sun came up and I was diving first."
"God has just filled me with a tremendous sense of gratitude to the hundreds of people who have contributed to this achievement," said Purdue head diving coach Adam Soldati, who is Boudia's personal coach. "First Gods grace, next, my amazing, amazing wife, USA Diving staff and many coaches and athletes who have giving me wisdom and insight over the years. And of course Purdue University and Boiler Nation. Boiler up, hammer down, hail Purdue!"
LONDON (AP) -- David Boudia ended a gold-medal drought for the United States with a dramatic last dive that scored the most points of the 10-meter platform competition at the Olympics on Saturday night.
Boudia's victory gave the U.S. its first gold in diving since 2000, when Laura Wilkinson upset the Chinese on women's platform, and was the first by an American man since the late Mark Lenzi won the 3-meter springboard at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Boudia won by 1.8 points over Qiu Bo of China. The American scored 568.65 points in the six-dive final. Qiu took the silver at 566.85.
Tom Daley of Britain settled for the bronze at 556.95 after leading going into the final dive in front of a raucous home crowd that included David Beckham and two of his sons.
Daley had good scores on his last dive, including one 10, but Boudia and Qiu did the same tougher dive in the last round.
Boudia, tied for second with Qiu going into the last round, scored 102.60 points on a back 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists pike worth a 3.6 degree of difficulty.
Qiu followed him and scored 100.80, not quite enough to deliver a seventh gold for China in these games. The diving superpower won six golds, first losing the men's 3-meter springboard to spoil its bid for a sweep of the eight gold medals, and then coming up short in the last diving event in London.
Qiu rested his head against the wall behind the diving boards in anguish. Boudia, meanwhile, shared in a group hug with his coaches and teammates, a broad smile on his face.
Daley was in contention until the very end to win the host country's first-ever diving gold. But he appeared plenty happy with his bronze medal, jumping into the diving pool with his teammates and coaches for a splashfest after the final scores were posted.
It was the first diving medal of any kind for Britain since 2004, when Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor won the 10-meter synchronized event, and it was the first individual medal since 1960, when the country won two bronzes.
-- AP Story by Beth Harris