17-year-old Tyler Downs makes Olympic diving team, while David Boudia misses out

0 Comments

Through 15 rounds of dives this week, there was little to no question that one of the nation’s most decorated divers, David Boudia, would make a record-tying fourth U.S. Olympic team.

An Olympic champion in the individual 10-meter platform event in 2012, Boudia had transitioned down to the 3-meter springboard in 2017 and was planning to compete in Tokyo in that event.

That changed when the four-time Olympic medalist scored 40.8 points on his fourth of six dives in Sunday’s final and dropped from first to third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis.

Boudia then fell to fifth in the penultimate round before sliding back up to third, but he was a mere 4.45 points out from one of two available Olympic spots.

“This was, by far, not my best competition,” the 32-year-old father of three noted to USA Diving.

DIVING TRIALS: Full Results | TV Schedule

It was instead 17-year-old Tyler Downs who won the event and will make his Olympic debut next month.

Downs was handed a ring — with the Olympic rings on it — that belonged to Boudia once he secured his spot on the team. Steele Johnson, 2016 Olympic synchro silver medalist with Boudia, was the one to hand the ring to Downs while Boudia was waiting to perform his final dive.

“I think he’s a legend,” Downs, who turns 18 four days before next month’s Opening Ceremony, said of Boudia. “He won gold in London. Three Olympic Games. He’s an amazing person as well, really great mentor.”

Prior to this week’s competition, Boudia had not ruled out a run at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Downs totaled 1333.75 points between the prelims, semifinal and final. He was followed by Andrew Capobianco, who finished with 1319.4 points.

The two were unlikely contenders entering the final, with Down sitting fourth and Capobianco in sixth. They worked their way up the rankings and were 1-2 after the fourth round, which they held on to until the end.

“Andrew has battled back and stepped up to the occasion, and he got the job done,” Boudia said. “For Tyler Downs, I think everyone in this building had a tear for him, and he has an exciting future and I’m super proud of him.”

Downs, who said he was at a loss for words after the competition, far exceeded his own expectations by finishing fifth in the individual platform final on Saturday and winning springboard the following day.

“My whole team, my mom, my grandma, my sister all came to support me, and I wanted to dive my best and put on a show,” Downs said.

The Olympics will mark just the second senior-level international meet of Downs’ young diving career. He is a multi-time junior national champion on both the 1- and 3-meter springboard events, with a win on the platform as well.

Downs won the junior world championship silver medal on 1-meter in 2018.

Capobianco’s ticket to Tokyo was already confirmed when he won the synchronized springboard on Friday with 2016 Olympic silver medalist Michael Hixon, but he was eager to compete in both events.

“It means a lot,” the 20-year-old said. “I definitely had to fight through this week. … I’m just really excited.”

Hixon, who competed in both events in Rio, was fourth with a 1309.65 total.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
Getty
0 Comments

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!