Finchum, Loukas in Grand Prix finals
Thomas Finchum and Christina Loukas advanced to the finals at the US Diving Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center on Thursday.
Finchum scored a 466.95 in the men’s 10-meter platform semifinals and Loukas reached the women’s 3-meter springboard finals with a 345.75 in the semis.
”It was definitely a little adverse conditions having to wait out a rain delay but it was a really good test for me,” Finchum said. ”With the Olympic trials and Olympics coming up it’s always good to be put in these kind of situations now.”
Loukas, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was the only American women to earn a spot in final.
”I was really excited with how I dove,” she said. ”It was definitely an improvement from this morning’s preliminaries. … Going into the final I hope I can continue that and even be a little bit better.”
Matthew Mitcham of Australia, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the 10-meter platform, missed the cut in the men’s event. Mitcham, who scored a 440.95, came in fourth out of six in the second semifinal. Only three divers from each semifinal advance.
Although Mitcham did well at the Australian Olympic Trials last month, Australia’s Olympic diving criteria also demands certain results at this meet and the Grand Prix event in Canada last week.
Mitcham, who reportedly is once again being bothered by a stomach muscle pull sustained in April 2011, didn’t perform to a high enough standard the past two weeks, which could leave him in jeopardy of not being included on the Olympic team.
Graeme Rose, Australian Diving’s High Performance Manager, told the AP he would address Mitcham’s situation on Friday.
Zhou Luxin of China, who won the silver in Beijing, reached the final here with a 514.65.
”It feels pretty good,” Zhou said through an interpreter. ”I think I was good but I think I can perform better in the finals.”
The four other men that will compete in the 10-meter final are Ivan Garcia of Mexico (482.20), Huo Liang of China (480.15), Riley McCormick of Canada (466.95), and Saul Sanchez of Mexico (448.05).
China’s Han Wang had the highest score of the women’s 3-meter semifinals with a 354.70. Also advancing to the finals were Sharleen Stratton of Australia (339.95), Jiao Lui of China (333.75), Arantxa Chanez of Mexico (320.05) and Pamela Ware of Canada (317.05).