Asia is in shock.
On the ninth day of the 2012 Olympic diving action, world champion three-meter spring board diver He Chong was upset by his Russian rival, Ilya Zakharov. But not only that, He was also outscored by his own teammate, Qin Kai, who had previously been in He’s shadow in the competition.
While He managed to win bronze, his failure to take the gold is still a major surprise.
Before Tuesday, China had won five diving gold medals. This time around, it’ll be forced to settle for silver and bronze.
Here are the medal winners, final standings and a recap of Tuesday's most memorable performances.
|Gold||Ilya Zakharov||Russia ||555.90|
Qin Kai ||China ||541.75|
|Bronze||He Chong ||China ||524.15
|1||Ilya Zakharov ||Russia ||555.90|
Yahel Castillo ||Mexico ||492.70
|7||Ethan Warren ||Great Britain ||488.95
Illya Kvasha ||Ukraine ||462.25
|9||Chris Mears||Great Britain||439.75|
|10||Ken Nee Yeoh ||Malaysia ||437.54|
|11||Alexandre Despatie ||Canada ||413.35
|12||Javier Illana Garcia||Spain||371.60|
Full results can also be found at NBCOlympics.com.
Best Performance: Ilya Kakharov
Following his silver-medal performance at the 2011 World Championship, Ilya Zakharov became an instant favorite to medal on the three-meter springboard in London. And after recording a 505.60 in the semifinals of the event—the second-highest score in the round—he looked well on his way to fulfilling those expectations.
Those expectations weren’t for gold, though.
According to bet365, Zakharov was a 5-1 underdog to finish first in the event. Of course, odds are set to be shattered.
Zakahrov’s medal hopes came down to his final dive in which he came up in the clutch. He scored a heroic 104.5 in the forward 4 1/2 somersault to clinch gold.
Next-Best Performance: Qin Kai
“I did just so-so. I was upset because I slipped during the preliminary, so I only wanted to make it into the final.”
He did just that and he left with a result that even he couldn’t have been expecting.
At the 2011 World Championship, Qin just missed winning a medal as he finished in fourth place. According to bet365, he had 7-to-1 odds to win gold on Tuesday. While he didn’t beat those odds, he managed to outscore his teammate, He Chong, who had won gold on the three-meter springboard at Worlds, by almost 20 points.
Most-Disappointing Performance: He Chong
Just as his teammate wasn’t impressed with himself in the semifinals, He Chong sang the same tune—literally. He said (via Yahoo! Sports):
“My performance is just so-so. I still have room to improve for the final because I can do much better in training. I especially hope I can have less splash.”
While Qin improved in the final, He can’t say the same.
In the semifinals, He blew away the field in the semis with a score of 510.15. His performance was almost five points higher than Zakharov, who finished second.
After winning gold in the 2011 World Championships and dominating early in London, He was the heavy favorite going in to the final, pegged as a 2/7 favorite by bet365.
His brutal start on the back 2 1/2 somersault ended up costing him. Judges dealt him a crushing score of 72.0, and despite strong dives later in the competition, he was just in too deep to bounce back.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.