Grant Nel

Commonwealth Games diving includes scores of 0, 13-year-old (video)

Leave a comment

The Commonwealth Games diving competition made peculiar headlines on Thursday.

Two Australian divers, including an Olympic silver medalist, were so off on their dives that they received zeroes from judges. England fielded a team that included a national champion born April 3, 2001.

First, the Aussies.

Grant Nel slipped on his 3m springboard takeoff for a forward 4 1/2 and nearly entered the water flat on his back to receive straight zeroes from the judges.

Nel appeared to laugh it off on the deck after his scores came up, and he grabbed redemption in the synchro event with a silver-medal performance Friday.

“I am absolutely chuffed to come back and see that diving board again and think, ‘That’s my house,'” Nel said, according to the Australian Associated Press. “I really wanted to take control if it.”

Melissa Wu is an experienced platform diver, winning silver in the synchro event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But she had an uncharacteristic miss in the individual event Thursday, slipping off the platform and landing feet first into the water.

Like Nel, she earned zero points from the judges. She bravely came back to complete her final four dives in the competition.

https://vine.co/v/MEDtQ6Ee2MY

“My body just sort of reacted. I had no idea where I was. The dive just felt completely different to normal and I just didn’t know where I was,” Wu said, according to the Australian newspaper The Age. “It was a bit of a shock really. My foot slipped on the platform and I didn’t get into my rotation properly and I just got really lost and ended out coming out (early). Luckily I didn’t hurt myself too badly or anything. I guess I was just really shocked as it doesn’t happen a lot.”

source: Getty Images
Victoria Vincent (Getty Images)

Then there’s Victoria Vincent, the British champion, who at 13 would be too young to compete in the World Junior Championships if they were held this year.

Vincent, who is 4 feet, 8 inches, finished 10th in the Commonwealth Games platform, against women twice her age less than a year after her first dive off the 10m surface.

Vincent’s most prized possession is a teddy bear, which brings to mind one of the most precocious U.S. Olympians ever, Amanda Beard, the swimmer who won three medals at Atlanta 1996 at age 14. Beard toted a teddy bear that became so famous it was asked to be sent for a photo shoot sans Beard.

Vincent’s 2001 birthdate also reminds us that the 2016 Olympics will be the first Games to include athletes born in the new millennium.

Australian weightlifter headbutts Welsh athlete at Commonwealth Games village

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail, fails to finish world championships time trial

Chloe Dygert
Getty Images
Leave a comment

American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail and failed to finish the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title in Imola, Italy.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, her legs appearing bloodied, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken toward an ambulance.

“All we know is that she is conscious and talking,” according to USA Cycling, about 25 minutes after the crash. “More updates to come.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

Diamond League slate ends in Doha with record holders; TV, stream info

Mondo Duplantis
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Diamond League season ends on Friday in the place where it was supposed to start — Doha.

Like many sports, track and field’s calendar was put in disarray by the coronavirus pandemic. The Doha meet, originally scheduled for April 17 to open an Olympic season, was postponed five months while other stops were canceled altogether.

Now, Doha caps an unlikely season that still produced stirring performances. NBCSN coverage starts at 12 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Gold also streams live for subscribers.

The headliner is Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, a leading contender for Male Athlete of the Year. Duplantis, who twice bettered the world record in February at indoor meets, last week produced the highest outdoor clearance in history, too, breaking a 26-year-old Sergey Bubka record.

Duplantis can mimic Bubka on Friday by attempting to raise his world record another centimeter — to 6.19 meters, or more than 20 feet, 3 inches.

The deepest track event in Doha is the finale, the women’s 3000m, featuring 3000m steeplechase world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, 5000m world champion Hellen Obiri and rising 1500m runner Gudaf Tsegay.

Here are the Doha entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

11:18 a.m. ET — Men’s Pole Vault
11:33 — Men’s 200m
12:03 p.m. — Men’s 400m
12:08 — Women’s Long Jump
12:12 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
12:21 — Men’s 1500m
12:34 — Men’s 110m Hurdles
12:43 — Women’s 800m
12:56 — Women’s 100m
1:07 — Men’s 800m
1:18 — Women’s 3000m

Here are three events to watch (statistics via Tilastopaja.org):

Men’s Pole Vault — 11:18 a.m.
Duplantis looks to complete a perfect 2020 against his two primary rivals — reigning world champion and American Sam Kendricks (who went undefeated in 2017) and 2012 Olympic champion and former world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Kendricks was the last man to beat Duplantis, at those 2019 World Championships, and is the only man to clear a height within nine inches of Duplantis’ best this outdoor season.

Women’s 100m — 12:56 p.m.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah looks poised to finish the year as the world’s fastest woman after clocking 10.85 seconds in Rome last week, her fastest time outside of Jamaica in more than three years. That’s one hundredth faster than countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce‘s best time of 2020. Thompson-Herah was fifth and fourth at the last two world championships after sweeping the Rio Olympic sprints. Like in Rome, her primary challengers in Doha are Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou and 2018 U.S. champion Aleia Hobbs.

Women’s 3000m — 1:18 p.m.
A meeting of titans in a non-Olympic event. Chepkoech is the fastest steeplechaser in history by eight seconds. Obiri is the fastest Kenyan in history in the 3000m and the 5000m. Tsegay, just 23, chopped 3.26 seconds off her 1500m personal best in 2019, taking bronze at the world championships to become the second-fastest Ethiopian in history in that event. In all, the field includes five medalists from the 2019 Worlds across four different events.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s return from destruction, death to sprinting

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!