OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 18: Boudia Stuns Diving World, Wins Gold Medal By 1.08 Points To End U.S. Drought

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 18: Boudia Stuns Diving World, Wins Gold Medal By 1.08 Points To End U.S. Drought


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

August 11, 2012

In one of the most exciting finishes in the sport’s history, David Boudia pulled off a huge upset to win the gold medal Saturday on the final day of diving at the London Olympics.

Only 15/100ths of a point separated the top three divers going into the sixth and final round of men’s platform.

China’s Qiu Bo and Yue Lin, top qualifiers after prelims and semifinals, were overwhelming favorites to medal going into the finals followed closely by Great Britain’s 18-year-old poster boy Tom Daley and Boudia.

It was Boudia, competing in his second Olympics, who captivated the crowd of 17,000 at the Aquatic Centre with his consistent diving after barely qualifying for the semifinal round by finishing 18th, the last qualifying spot.

Boudia, 23, of Noblesville, Ind. is the first male diver since former University of Miami and Mission Bay diver Greg Louganis won a gold medal on platform at the 1988 Seoul Olympics; first male diver to win any gold medal since the late Mark Lenzi won on springboard at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and first U.S. diver to win a gold medal since Laura Wilkinson in 2000.

“That’s the greatest performance I’ve ever seen him have,” said Boudia’s coach, Adam Soldati.

Going into the final round, it was Daley leading with 460.20, and Boudia and Qiu tied with 460.05.

Boudia nailed his back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists (3.6 degree of difficulty) for 102.60 points to overtake the lead and finish with 568.65 points. Qiu scored 100.80 on the same dive to finish with 566.85 and clinch the silver. Daley scored 90.75 on his reverse 3 ½ somersault (3.3 degree of difficulty), finished with 556.95 and bronze medal.

It was the first diving medal for Great Britain in 52 years and only the fourth aquatics medal for Britain at these Games.

Boudia looked in a state of shock as friends, family and coaches took turns hugging him on the pool deck. He finished second to Qiu at last year’s world championships in Shanghai.

“It’s very hard to believe,” Boudia said. “When I was 13 I was petrified with the height of the 10-meter platform. It took me almost six years to overcome that fear and here I am now, after winning the Olympic gold medal in this event. “My goal was to focus on one dive at a time.”

Entering his final dive, Boudia had no idea he was in contention for the gold medal. He wasn’t looking at the scoreboard, he said.

“If I had known the margin needed to win, my heart would have been pounding and the pressure would have been building,” Boudia said. “I was so calm.

“It’s very hard to believe,” Boudia said. “I’m in disbelief. I dreamed about this. It didn’t even feel like I was diving. It was so surreal.”

When Boudia climbed out of the pool, a Canadian diver told him, “You can smile now.”

“To be in the record books alongside Greg Louganis, the greatest diver in the entire world, Olympic legend, is amazing,” Boudia said. “The rest of the world is definitely catching up behind China.”

Said Louganis who told Boudia two years ago not to be afraid to leave the pack behind, “I have no words to explain what I just saw.”

Qiu, 19, visibly shaken, started crying against a wall. Chinese divers had won six of the seven gold medals awarded going into the final day.

“I have competed so many times but I have never had that much nervousness,” Qiu said. “It is OK. I am still young. I will be back.”

Daley and most of the British diving delegation were in the pool celebrating the 18-year-old’s medal success. It was probably one of the most wild bronze medal celebrations in any sport at the Games. Daley was clearly the favorite of the crowd that included soccer hunk David Beckham and his children clapping wildly.

“It’s simply an amazing experience, after all the difficult times I had in the last 18 months,” Daley said. “Despite all the ups and downs, the medal is here. The crowd certainly contributed to this outcome. I am over the moon with the bronze.”

Boudia had nothing but praise for Daley, whose father died of brain cancer at age 40 last year.

“Tom Daley dove absolutely amazing,” Boudia said. “In front of a home crowd, this kid had so much pressure on him, and he stepped up to the occasion, got a bronze medal and made his country so proud.”

Daley was actually awarded a mulligan in the opening round of the final when his coach filed a protest saying his diver was distracted by flashing cameras in the stands. A FINA judge allowed the protest and Daley was allowed to do his dive over. He raised his score from 75.60 points to 91.80 on his back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists.

The U.S. finished second in medals in diving with four, signaling a resurgence in USA Diving that has been dormant for years. Boudia also won a bronze with Nick McCrory on platform synchro; Kris Ipsen and Troy Dumais took a bronze on 3-meter synchro and Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant won a silver in 3-meter synchro.

“It’s massive, it’s a massive step forward,” said Steve Foley, the high performance director for USA Diving. “I hope we can take it forward with a little momentum and hopefully build on it for Rio.”

McCrory, the other U.S. diver to final in his Olympic debut, finished ninth with 505.40 points.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham of Australia failed to advance into the final after missing his last semifinal dive.

Olympic Notes

Michael Phelps is about to improve his stroke and it’s not in swimming. The 22-time Olympic medalist has been signed for the upcoming season of Golf Channel’s The Haney Project. The show, hosted by Hank Haney, former coach of Tiger Woods, will follow Phelps around over the course of the season as he attempts to conquer some of the world’s greatest golf courses. “As I enter this next chapter of my life, I think I will be able to shift my competitiveness to anything I put my mind to,” Phelps said. “And golf is one of the things I want to focus on. I want to play all the world’s great golf courses, but I’d like to play them well.” Past seasons have featured Charles Barkley, Ray Romano, Rush Limbaugh, Sugar Ray Leonard and Adam Levine. Production begins next month. Haney said it would likely be an eight-part series…Ironically, golf makes its debut at the Olympics at Rio 2016. Maybe Phelps will be back, only in a different sport…Now that Missy Franklin has been able to take a breath, the 17-year-old is considering her college and pro options in swimming. “We’ll definitely have to sit down and talk about it,” Franklin said. “I think that my experience here has done two very different things for my decision. I think it’s made my decision a lot more difficult because I’ve been able to see the benefits and everything and how people get these sponsorships; what it’s like for them and how much fun they are having and seeing those and kind of wanting that, wanting to be a part of it and having it be so hard to turn it down.” Franklin will be a senior at Regis Jesuit High School when she returns to Aurora, Colo.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 174: Dumais Makes History, Ipsen Win To Land Olympic Synchro Berth

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 174: Dumais Makes History, Ipsen Win To Land Olympic Synchro Berth


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

June 22, 2012

The veteran and teenager put on a show to clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic team Friday night at the U.S. Olympic trials in Federal Way, Wash.

At 32, Troy Dumais of Ventura, Calif. became only the second male diver since Greg Louganis to make his fourth Olympic team.

Ipsen, 19, of Clayton, Calif. fought off nerves in the fifth round, to make his first Olympic team.

Dumais and Ipsen led all six rounds to top the eight-team field and finished with 1,296.21 points.

Only one synchro team advances to the London Olympics. Dumais and Ipsen will compete against each other in Sunday’s 3-meter individual event final.

2008 Olympian Chris Colwill of Brandon, Fla. and Drew Livingston of The Woodlands, Texas, who led after the preliminary round and dropped to second in semifinals, finished with 1,263.51 points.

Brothers Justin and Dwight Dumais were third with 1,151.46.

Dumais and Ipsen won five of the six rounds with steady execution and synchronization. They scored only 69.30 points in the fifth round when Ipsen hit the end of the board with his toes and both were short of vertical and entered the sixth round with a 27-point lead.

Colwill and Livingston scored 81.60 on their inward 3 ½ in the same round and picked up 12 points but it wasn’t enough. Going into the sixth round, all Dumais and Ipsen needed were 5 1/2s to clinch but they ended up scoring 87.72 points.

Ipsen, the youngest diver at the Olympic Trials four years ago, was overcome with emotion burying his head in his arms at poolside while Dumais stared at the scoreboard.

For Dumais, his moment in history was hopefully just the beginning, he said.

“It’s very satisfying. It is an amazing feat and great feeling but our job isn’t done,” Dumais said. “We set out for a goal and this is one of the steps that’s taken us to our goal. London awaits.”

Ipsen admitted he was nervous for the first time during the competition.

“My heart is beating very fast,” Ipsen said. “Before I felt calm and collective for this entire meet but not today. Today was tough. It was a struggle to get my heart rate down. I kept thinking ahead which I didn’t want to do. I kept trying to bring it back to the present

“That fifth dive I struggled with,” Ipsen said. “It’s been good all week but I was really anxious before and too quick off the board. On my last dive I was walking down the board telling myself to stay calm and let the body do what it wants to do. I didn’t overthink it. I am glad we ended on a good note.”

Despite the age discrepancy and lack of Olympic experience, Dumais has great confidence in Ipsen.

“I know he can compete and step up and do his job,” Dumais said. “Everyone comments on the age but I feel like we are compatible. When we are at the pool we know we have a job to do. This is the moment he always dreamed about, it’s hard to control.”

The pair have a month of training before London. The score they finished with on Friday night would not be enough to medal at the Olympics and they know it.

Dumais and Ipsen join other synchro divers Kelci Bryant, Abby Johnston, David Boudia and Nick McCrory on the U.S. team.

Since the U.S. did not qualify a women’s 10-meter platform team, only two teams competed in an exhibition. Ashley Buchter and Natalie Kalibat edged Allie Alter and Andrea Acquista, 701.73-699.27.

Miami Diving’s Samuel Dorman and partner Zachary Nees of Indiana finished seventh with 1,028.73 points. According to announcers, Dorman is transferring to Indiana to be able to train syncrho with Nees.

On Saturday, the finals in the men’s 10-meter platform and women’s 3-meter springboard will be held. The events will be televised live by NBC 4-6 p.m.

MEN’S SYNCHRO 3-METER SPRINGBOARD

1.Troy Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics/Kris Ipsen, Stanford, 1,296.21

2.Chris Colwill, Georgia Diving/Drew Livingston, Texas 1,263.51

3.Justin Dumais, YCF/Dwight Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics 1,151.46

4.Bryce Klein, GC Diving/Bradley Christensen, GC Diving 1,091.40

5.Aaron Fleshner, Alabama Diving/Chris Heaton, Unattached 1,054.38

6.Michael Mosca, Harvard/Toby Stanley, Unattached 1,042.77

7.Zachary Nees, Unattached/Samuel Dorman, University of Miami Diving 1,028.73

8.Justin Youtsey, Redhawk Diving/Clark Thomas, Jayhawk Diving 957.18

WOMEN’S SYNCHRO 10-METER PLATFORM EXHIBITION

1.Ashley Butcher, SEDC/Natalie Kalibat, JRD 701.73

2.Allie Alter, Ohio/Andrea Acquista, Ohio 699.27

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

 

 

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

April 26, 2012

Back-to-back new textile-best men’s and women’s times in the 50-meter butterfly highlighted third day action at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A day after Brazilian Cesar Cielo came close to swimming a textile-best in the 50-meter freestyle, came back to better the existing time in the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 22.76, bettering the old mark of 22.96 held by Roland Schoeman. The time also shattered Brazilian and South American records.

Cielo’s time made him the fourth fastest in history of the race.

In the women’s 50-meter butterfly, Jeanette Ottesen swam a textile-best 25.29 to better Therese Alshammar’s old textile-best of 25.37. It was the third best swim in history.

Wind and rain played havoc at the outdoor meet and some coaches complained that the times were wind-aided.

In other championship finals:

Leonardo de Deus broke a meet record in the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:57.38. Current national record holder Thiago Pereira finished just .01 seconds behind in 1:57.39.

Felipe Silva broke the minute-barrier twice and won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.83 after going 59.63 (third fastest in the world this year) in morning prelims. Henrique Barbosa was second in 1:00.54. Olympic qualifier Felipe Lima was fourth in 1:00.62. Five swimmers have broke the minute barrier in the event so far this year.

World runner-up Lotte Friis of Denmark won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:26.98, sixth fastest time in the world this year.

Laure Manaoudou of France won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.77.

Ana Carvalho won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:10.53.

Miscellaneous

Coral Springs Swim Club five-time Olympian Dara Torres is among 18 Olympians suing Samsung Corp. over a Facebook app they said misuses their names and images. Mark Spitz, Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, Cullen Jones, Amanda Beard, Jessica Hardy and several others filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday. The athletes object to the Samsung Olympic Genome Project which shows Facebook users how they are connected to famous Olympians. The complaint said Samsung has been running the Olympic Genome Project since March without the permission to use the athletes’ names and images. Samsung said it was disappointed by the lawsuit. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the USOC and Samsung began the Olympic Genome Project so Americans could find connections with U.S. athletes and not as a way to commercialize athletes’ names…Olympian Natalie Coughlin was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night along with singer Moby and actress Diane Keaton…Olympic breaststroker Rebecca Soni is featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

Let The Countdown Begin: 100 Days To Opening Day Of The London Olympic Games

Let The Countdown Begin: 100 Days To Opening Day Of The London Olympic Games


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

April 17, 2012

SOFLO’s Arlene Semeco of Venezuela and Nick Schwab of the Dominican Republic have already stamped their ticket to the Summer Olympics.

Several more including Olympians Dara Torres of the U.S., Alia Atkinson of Jamaica, Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan and Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago are working toward that goal.

Wednesday marks the 100-day countdown to the July 27 opening for South Florida Aquatic club athletes and coaches training for Olympic glory at the 2012 London Games.

The $14.7 billion extravaganza will feature 10,500 athletes including 575 Americans from 204 nations competing in 26 sports and 300 events.

London organizers are putting the finishing touches on venues and city officials are preparing for fans and athletes from around the world training for their big moment in the spotlight.

It’s been a labor of love for Sebastian Coe, head of the London Organizing Committee, for seven years centered around turning the deprived industrial area in east London into Olympic Park.

Because of the Olympics, a large shopping mall, the athletes’ village will be turned into apartments, a new school will be built and other improvements are being planned.

“One hundred days means something to people,” Coe told reporters. “When you are talking about seven years, six years, five years, four years, that’s one thing, but actually you’re talking about days. It’s really very close.”

Olympic Fever will begin in earnest when the Olympic flame arrives in Land’s End on the westernmost tip of England on May 19, kicking off the start of the 70-day, 8,000-mile torch relay across the United Kingdom.

The next round of Olympic ticket sales will take place in May with 2.5 million tickets available. Those who were unable to secure tickets in previous rounds will get a 24-hour window before the remaining tickets go on sale on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On Wednesday, 73 athletes including swimmer Missy Franklin, diver Brittany Viola and water polo player Tony Azevedo, will gather in Times Square in New York City for the Road to London Celebration. Olympic legends will also be in attendance including divers Micki King and Greg Louganis and swimmers John Naber and Gary Hall Sr.

For those younger SOFLO swimmers, just a reminder the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games are right around the corner.

Elsewhere

Olympian and five-time Olympic medalist Greg Louganis, who grew up training in South Florida, one of his former coaches Sammy Lee and former University of Miami diver and U.S. Olympic hopeful Brittany Viola rang the closing bell at NASDAQ Tuesday during a ceremony to ring in the Olympic Countdown. Louganis also turned on the switch that lights the Empire State Building in red, white and blue colors…McDonald’s is promoting “Champions of Play,” a program geared for kids ages 6 to 14 and built around physical activity and nutrition. It includes fliers in 70 million Happy Meals encouraging kids to earn activity points by doing such things as cartwheels or running or swimming with a friend and logging the activities online. The website goes live on June 4 with a preview launching on Wednesday. McDonald’s has signed up several well-known athletes including Coral Springs Swim Club’s Dara Torres, Shawn Johnson, Dwight Howard, Antonio Rossi, Fernando “Xuxa” Scherer and several others to help motivate the kids and participate in chat rooms.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com