David Boudia’s innate sense of timing extended beyond the 10-meter platform.
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He earned an individual spot on the U.S. Olympic diving team to go with his synchro platform berth on Saturday, giving his mother Sheilagh a memorable present on her birthday.
Boudia totaled 1,642.40 points over the six-round final, easily defeating synchro partner Nick McCrory, who finished second with 1,582.55. That gave McCrory an individual event in his first Olympics.
”Nick and I battling back and forth, we just fed off one another,” Boudia said. ”That’s what we want to see going into London. It just raised my level of competition.”
Cassidy Krug is going to her first Olympics after winning the 3-meter springboard title. Christina Loukas finished second to grab the other spot on her second straight Olympic team.
Thomas Finchum, a 2008 Olympian, finished third on men’s platform with 1,463.20. Only the top two individuals qualified for the Olympics. Afterward, Finchum, who is a long shot in the 3-meter springboard final on Sunday, said he plans to retire at 22.
”It’s disappointing to be left off the team, but I’m happy with what I’ve done,” Finchum said, regaining his composure after breaking down in tears. ”I don’t have any regrets. I didn’t win, but I definitely showed a little bit of what I’ve done.”
Boudia, McCrory and Finchum were the top talents in the 12-man final. Besides being the most experienced, they also had the highest degree of difficulty. All three divers earned perfect marks of 10.0 among their scores over the final three rounds.
Boudia finished 10th in platform and fifth on synchro platform four years ago in Beijing.
Diving in front of Boudia, McCrory received one 10 for his fourth dive, a reverse 3 1/2 somersaults that totaled 92.40 points. Just before he dived, Finchum did the same one and earned two 10s for a score of 90.75.
Boudia followed with the same dive and totaled 89.10.
”I took a deep breath,” McCrory said. ”I love that dive. I’ve done it for 10s before. I wanted to do something exciting in finals.”
McCrory was just getting warmed up. He followed up in the next round with a backward 3 1/2 somersaults tuck that earned five 10s and a score of 99.10. Boudia topped him on the same dive, earning one 10 and a score of 102.60.
”In order to hang with him, I have to be consistent,” McCrory said about Boudia. ”He’s always throwing up huge scores.”
On the awards podium, four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis presented Boudia and McCrory with blue glass sculptures. McCrory’s slipped out of his hands and crashed in pieces, leaving him empty-handed as he left the podium.
Finchum said he plans to move to Nashville, Tenn., and attend Belmont University while pursuing a country music career with his band. Boudia trained with Finchum for eight years in the Indianapolis area.
”He had a great career and more to look forward to than diving,” Boudia said.
In women’s 3-meter, Krug was consistent throughout the five-round final, totaling 1,094.85 points.
”I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics since I was 3,” said Krug, now a 26-year-old Stanford graduate competing in her third trials. ”It’s not even real right now.”
Loukas finished second at 1,017.85. Kelci Bryant, already on the team in 3-meter synchro, finished third at 967.05.
”Oh my gosh that was the longest week of my life,” said a relieved Loukas, who was ninth on 3-meter in Beijing. ”This time around I kind of know what to expect and I have more confidence in my diving. I know I can compete with the top women on 3-meter.”
Loukas rebounded after missing badly on her second dive, a reverse 2 1/2 somersaults that earned her all 5.5s.
”I was kind of mad about it, but I just had to blow it off,” she said. ”I knew I had a cushion going in, so I couldn’t stress out about it too much.”
Abby Johnston, who was 11th going into the final, withdrew to rest her inflamed shoulder. She had already earned an Olympic spot with Bryant in springboard synchro.