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

Grant Nel

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.

“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

Jim Hines, Olympic 100m gold medalist and first to break 10 seconds, dies

Jim Hines

Jim Hines, a 1968 Olympic 100m gold medalist and the first person to break 10 seconds in the event, has died at age 76, according to USA Track and Field.

“I understand that God called him home today and we send the prayers up for him,” was posted on the Facebook page of John Carlos, a 1968 U.S. Olympic teammate, over the weekend.

Hines was born in Arkansas, raised in Oakland, California and attended Texas Southern University in Houston.

At the June 1968 AAU Championships in Sacramento, Hines became the first person to break 10 seconds in the 100m with a hand-timed 9.9. It was dubbed the “Night of Speed” because the world record of 10 seconds was beaten by three men and tied by seven others, according to World Athletics.

“There will never be another night like it,” Hines said at a 35th anniversary reunion in 2003, according to World Athletics. “That was the greatest sprinting series in the history of track and field.”

Later that summer, Hines won the Olympic Trials. Then he won the Olympic gold medal in Mexico City’s beneficial thin air in 9.95 seconds, the first electronically timed sub-10 and a world record that stood for 15 years.

Hines was part of a legendary 1968 U.S. Olympic track and field team that also included 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and Carlos, plus gold medalists Wyomia Tyus (100m), Bob Beamon (long jump), Al Oerter (discus), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m relays.

After the Olympics, Hines joined the Miami Dolphins, who chose him in the sixth round of that year’s NFL Draft to be a wide receiver. He was given the number 99. Hines played in 10 games between 1969 and 1970 for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

He remains the only person to have played in an NFL regular season game out of the now more than 170 who have broken 10 seconds in the 100m over the last 55 years.

2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, is her top remaining challenger in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round. No. 4 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who has three wins over Swiatek this year, withdrew before her third-round match due to illness.

No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the top hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

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