Sarah Bacon

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Sarah Bacon is first U.S. female diver to earn world medal in 14 years

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Sarah Bacon became the first U.S. female diver to earn an individual Olympic or world championships medal since 2005, taking silver on Saturday at worlds in the 1m springboard, which is not an Olympic event.

Chen Yiwen won Saturday with 285.45 points as China swept the first two events at worlds (including the mixed synchro platform), which includes 13 total events and runs through next weekend.

Bacon, the 22-year-old NCAA champion from Minnesota, tallied 262 points on the first day of finals in Gwangju, South Korea, to become the first U.S. woman on an Olympic or world podium since Laura Wilkinson won the 2005 world title on the platform.

The last U.S. woman to make a springboard podium was Mary Ellen Clark, who took bronze at the 1996 Olympics. The last to do it at worlds was Wendy Lucero, in the 1m in 1991.

Bacon endured two shoulder surgeries, a concussion, stress fractures in her back and mental struggles to get here. Bacon said she wanted to quit before enrolling at Minnesota, where former U.S. national team coach Wenbo Chen is at the helm.

“I wanted nothing to do with it. I came here not even wanting to dive,” she said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But my parents said, ‘You should go dive with [Chen]. See if that sparks your interest again.’ And he completely changed the way I view it.”

Bacon, a rising senior, is at her first senior worlds. She also qualified as the second U.S. woman in the 3m springboard behind Brooke Schultz. That is an Olympic event and will take place later next week.

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U.S. diving roster for world championships finalized at nationals

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Collegians David Dinsmore and Brandon Loschiavo beat out Olympian Steele Johnson for the two U.S. men’s platform spots at July’s world championships.

Dinsmore, a rising Miami senior, had the highest cumulative score at the U.S. Championships in Indianapolis, while Loschiavo, a rising Purdue senior, was second while earning the national title with the top tally in Sunday’s final.

Johnson, coming back from two foot surgeries in the last eight months, ended up third, 41.95 points behind Loschiavo.

Johnson is still going to worlds in South Korea with former Purdue teammate Ben Bramley in the synchronized platform. Johnson is an Olympic silver medalist in that event with David Boudia, who left the platform for the springboard and won the national title on that event Saturday.

Also Sunday, Brooke Schultz and Sarah Bacon earned world spots in the women’s springboard, the one event this weekend without an Olympian in the field. Schultz won the previous world championships trials in 2017 and placed 25th at those worlds. Bacon, a rising Minnesota senior, is going to her first worlds.

Divers will compete at worlds for themselves but also to earn Olympic quota spots for the U.S.

U.S. roster for World Diving Championships
Women
Synchronized Springboard — Alison Gibson/Krysta Palmer
Synchronized Platform — Murphy Bromberg/Katrina Young (Olympian)
1m Springboard (Not an Olympic event) — Sarah Bacon, Maria Coburn
3m Springboard — Brooke Schultz, Sarah Bacon
Platform — Amy Cozad Magana (Olympian), Delaney Schnell

Men
Synchronized Springboard — Andrew Capobianco/MIchael Hixon (Olympian)
Synchronized Platform — Ben Bramley/Steele Johnson (Olympian)
1m Springboard (Not an Olympic event) — Briadam Herrera, Michael Hixon (Olympian)
3m Springboard — Michael Hixon (Olympian), David Boudia (Olympian)
Platform — David Dinsmore, Brandon Loschiavo

Mixed (Not Olympic events)
Synchronized Springboard — Briadam Herrera/Lauren Reedy
Synchronized Platform — Zach Cooper/Olivia Rosendahl

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