China has traditionally dominated the synchronized diving competitions in the Summer Olympics, winning 16 of a possible 19 gold medals in synchronized diving since the sport’s addition to the Olympic program heading into the men’s 3m springboard final. While China still has an incredible rate of success in synchronized diving competitions, they were unable to add to that gold medal total Wednesday.
Great Britain’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears pulled off the upset, taking the gold medal with a score of 454.32 points in the six-round competition. And in winning, Laugher and Mears earned their nation’s first-ever Olympic diving gold medal. Taking the silver was the American duo of Michael Hixon and Sam Dorman with a total of 450.21 points, and China’s Cao Yuan and Qin Kai took the bronze with 443.70 points.
Cao and Qin held the lead through two rotations, but it was in the third and fourth rotations when the pairs from Great Britain and the United States made their charge.
The difference between gold and silver was essentially determined in the fifth round of dives, with Great Britain posting a score of 86.58 to the United States’ 78.54.