Olympic Diving 2012: Bold Predictions for 10m Platform

Colin Kennedy@ColinKennedy10Featured ColumnistAugust 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25:  Qiu Bo of China compeates in the Men's 10m Platform Final during the 18th FINA Visa Diving World Cup at The Aquatics Centre on February 25, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A sport which was dominated by the United States for much of the twentieth century now struggles to find intrigue or even competition in London's games.  

The Olympic diving platform has been mostly a one-sided affair for the past 100 years. However, recent history has seen the torch passed from the hands of the US across the Pacific ocean.

Global superpower China has taken control of the diving world after American divers took 44 of 60 gold medals between 1924 and 1988. An emergence which began with the country's first medals in 1984 was largely confirmed in Beijing four years ago when the Chinese claimed seven of the eight golds. 

And now...it's seemingly a race for the silver.

Only three diving events remain in the London Olympics, and the Chinese are heavily favored in all of them. Great Britain's Tom Daley seems the likeliest contender to pull off the upset. but will he prevent the Chinese from completing the clean sweep? 

Here are some bold predictions for the 10m platform:

Home-nation favorite Tom Daley will fail to medal

Great Britain's own Tom Daley took the diving world by storm when he reached the men's 10m platform final as a fourteen-year-old in Beijing four years ago. And after claiming the world championship crown in 2009, Daley has been earmarked as China's greatest competition in 2012. Rumors of a casual work ethic have been pinned to Daley, who will have to best two Chinese favorites, Qui Bo and Lin Yue, if he wants to capture the gold in front of his beloved fans. 

America's Brittany Viola will medal in the women's event

Daughter of former AL Cy Young award winner and World Series MVP Frank Viola, the 25-year-old platform diver Brittany may represent the best hope that the United States have of medaling in the 10m event. After claiming the championship at the US Olympic Diving Trials back in June, Viola is a first-time Olympian in 2012. Though it may be a stretch to suggest she can surpass the overwhelming favorite Chen Roulin, it isn't blasphemous to contend that Viola could capture the Bronze with a slight improvement on her score. 

China will complete the clean sweep and claim four of the six medals in 10m platform event

With five of the eight already in the bag, only the men's 3m springboard and both 10m platform events stand between China and perfection. On the women's side, it would take a miracle to upset the heavily favored Chen Roulin, who took gold in the individual and synchronized 10m events in Beijing and then repeated the feat at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. 

Qiu Bo is the undisputed favorite in the men's competition, however, there may be more room for competition. Some expect Tom Daley or even his own countryman Lin Yue to challenge Bo, but in the end, it is China's gold to lose. 

Perhaps the bolder prediction isn't that China will sweep the diving events in London with two golds in the 10m platform event, but that in doing so, they will claim four of the six available medals. The Chinese have won 27 of the last 40 Olympic diving gold medals, and this year hasn't seen a changing trend. The world's most populated country has recently developed into an international diving powerhouse, and even with 54 other national elites to contend, expect all four of the Chinese divers to medal in the 10m platform event.