If U.S. divers are to match their synchronized-event medal output from the London Olympics, they must make the podium in all of their events at the Rio Games.
The U.S. qualified for three of the four Olympic synchronized diving events at the FINA World Cup at the outdoor Rio Olympic venue over the weekend, an event complicated by thunderstorms and power outages.
The surprise came in the women’s springboard synchro, with Olympic silver medalist Abby Johnston and Laura Ryan finishing eighth and missing Rio qualification by one spot (3.24 points out of seventh).
Johnston and Ryan, and all of the U.S. divers competing in the World Cup, are trying to qualify Olympic quota places for the U.S. rather than spots specifically for them. The U.S. Olympic diving team will be determined at trials in Indianapolis from June 18-26.
In 2012, Johnston and Kelci Bryant earned synchro springboard silver on the first night of diving competition in London, the first U.S. Olympic diving medals since 2000. It sparked a resurgent Games for U.S. divers, who earned medals in four of eight total events, finishing second to China in the medal standings.
On Sunday, individual Olympic champion David Boudia and Steele Johnson capped the synchro portion of the competition by finishing fourth in the platform, adding the U.S. to the Olympic field of eight total.
In 2012, Boudia and Nick McCrory earned synchro platform bronze, the first U.S. Olympic men’s synchro medals ever. Synchronized diving debuted at Sydney 2000.
The U.S. women also earned an Olympic synchro platform spot at the World Cup. Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto, both looking to make a first Olympic team, placed fourth. In 2012, the U.S. did not qualify for women’s synchro platform at the Olympics for the first time.
In men’s synchro springboard, Olympic bronze medalist Kristian Ipsen and Sam Dorman squeaked the U.S. into the Olympic field by .36 of a point, overtaking Canada for the last Rio berth on their final dive.
A nation may qualify no more than two spots in individual Olympic events. The U.S. came into the World Cup already with one spot qualified in men’s and women’s platform.
The U.S. is perfect so far individually at the World Cup, gaining both men’s springboard Olympic spots and a second in women’s platform.
The World Cup continues through Wednesday on NBC Sports Live Extra, with more Olympic individual event quota spots on the line in women’s springboard and men’s platform.