U.S. could send full team of individual divers to Olympics

Kristian Ipsen
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U.S. divers came into the FINA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro this past week with plenty of work to do, and they just about got the entire job done.

The U.S. has qualified seven of a possible eight individual diving spots for the Olympics, after coming into the World Cup with two qualified spots.

The U.S. could receive an eighth spot, its second women’s springboard berth, but that might not be determined until June.

Abby Johnston finished 20th overall in the World Cup springboard preliminary event, missing earning the U.S. a second Olympic spot by two places (the top 18 divers in the event qualified a spot automatically).

All nations will submit their Olympic diving entries to FINA by June 15. If spots remain in the field, either by nations not sending divers or by athletes doubling up in multiple events, FINA will reallocate spots based on the World Cup results. The U.S. would be second in line to receive a women’s springboard berth.

The U.S. had a full complement of individual divers at its last 15 Olympics (not counting the boycotted Moscow 1980 Games), according to sports-reference.com.

Earlier at the World Cup, the U.S. earned Olympic berths in three of the four synchronized events, missing out only in the women’s springboard. That was a surprise given the U.S. earned its first Olympic women’s diving medals since 2000 in women’s synchro springboard at London 2012 (silver).

This past week, the best individual U.S. performances came from men’s divers.

Kristian Ipsen, an Olympic synchro springboard bronze medalist, earned individual springboard bronze on Monday, the first U.S. World Cup medal in that event since Troy Dumais‘ bronze in 2006.

David Dinsmore, who will eye his first Olympics at the June trials, also finished third in men’s platform, one spot ahead of Steele Johnson.

Olympic platform champion David Boudia did not compete individually at the World Cup because he already qualified a U.S. Olympic platform spot via his silver medal at the 2015 World Championships. He and Johnson were fourth in synchro platform Sunday.

Johnston, the only active U.S. female diver with an Olympic medal, struggled at the World Cup. She and Laura Ryan were eighth in synchro springboard, failing to qualify a U.S. spot for the Olympics by one place.

No U.S. divers clinched spots on the Olympic team at the World Cup. Rather, they qualified spots for the U.S. that will be allocated at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis from June 18-26.

MORE: David Boudia: ‘Silver is like a thorn in the side’

NBC Olympic researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report from Rio de Janeiro.