David Boudia, Steele Johnson
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U.S. divers qualify for all but one Olympic synchronized diving event

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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.

Full World Cup results are here.

VIDEO: Brazilian badly misses dive, gets 0 points at World Cup

Swim meet canceled after FINA’s threat to ban athletes

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GENEVA (AP) — Amid growing conflict between swimmers and their world governing body, an international swimming meet was canceled on Thursday after threats to ban athletes who took part seeking better prize money.

The Italian swim federation called off the Dec. 20-21 competition it was organizing in Turin, saying it acted to protect athletes from FINA.

The Turin meet was linked to a proposed International Swimming League, a privately run operation which aims to operate outside FINA’s control and pay higher prize money.

“FINA declared the event ‘non-approved,’ threatening sanctions against the participating athletes,” Italian officials said in a statement.

FINA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Olympic champions have long criticized FINA, believing swimmers should be better rewarded, have more say in decisions, and could create their own union.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Britain wrote on Thursday on Twitter he was “incredibly disappointed” by the cancellation.

The politics involved will “galvanize swimmers, not break them,” wrote Peaty, who holds 50m and 100m breaststroke world records.

Peaty has previously supported Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu in her public criticism of FINA, and calls to create a swimmers’ union.

Italian organizers said Peaty, Hosszu and other Olympic champions including Chad le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden were due to take part in their 25-meter pool event. It was scheduled days after the short-course world championships being staged in Hangzhou, China.

The clash of events seemed to provoke FINA into finding more prize money for its worlds event in the smaller pool.

On Nov. 6, FINA added to its promised prize fund for China by almost doubling the total to $2.07 million.

FINA wrote to member federations on Oct. 30 warning of bans of up to two years for taking part in Turin.

However, a European Commission decision last year suggests swimmers could successfully challenge any attempt to limit their right to race and earn money.

The European Union’s executive arm ruled the International Staking Union in breach of anti-trust laws by threatening severe bans for speed skaters who wanted to compete in a South Korean-organized event in Dubai.

The ISU’s threats “also serve to protect its own commercial interests,” the European officials said.

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Simon Ammann believes ski jumping career end is near

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Simon Ammann, the most decorated active ski jumper with four Olympic gold medals, said it is hard to imagine competing beyond this season, according to Swiss newspaper Blick.

Ammann, 37, swept the individual Olympic titles in 2002 and 2010 to join retired Finn Matti Nykänen as the only four-time Olympic ski jumping champs.

In PyeongChang, his sixth Olympics, Ammann placed 11th and 13th, one month after making his first World Cup podium in nearly three years. He decided after those Winter Games that he would continue at least one more season, but has no plan to go all the way to a seventh Olympics in 2022, according to Blick.

Ammann has teased retirement since at least 2011 and even said going into the 2014 Sochi Olympics that he was “99 percent sure” they would be his final Games.

The now-father of two first gained crossover celebrity with his surprise Salt Lake City 2002 gold medals, his first wins in top-level international competition. The bespectacled Ammann’s victory screams and resemblance to Harry Potter helped land him on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and one of Europe’s biggest shows, sitting next to Shakira.

Fellow ski jumper Noriaki Kasai of Japan holds the Winter Olympic record of eight appearances. Kasai, 46, has said he plans to go for a ninth participation at Beijing 2022.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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