Oliver Dingley, Ireland’s first diver in 68 years to compete at an Olympic Games, has qualified for the semi-final of the 3M Springboard after a 13th place finish in today’s preliminaries at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Ireland has only ever had one other diver compete at the Olympic Games, Dubliner Eddie Heron in London in 1948. Heron withdrew from the Games after the preliminary round along with his team mates in protest over the banning of Northern Irish swimmers and Ireland has not been represented in the discipline since.
Dingley, who qualified for the Games at the Maria Lenk Stadium in February, started well with a 66.00 to go through the first round in 20th place, but that was as low as he would place throughout, moving up to 12th after a round two score of 74.40 points.
A solid score of 61.20 in round three saw the 23 year old move to 14th place before heading back to 12th after a back 2 ½ somersault scored him 72 points for 273.60 points overall.
A drop for 48 points in the 5th dive saw Dingley drop down to 16th, but he finished with his best score in his final, most difficult dive, a back 2 1/2 somersault 1 ½ twists, to score 78.20 for 399.80 points overall and a place in the semi-final.
China’s Yuan Cao progressed as the top qualifier with 498.70 points while London 2012 Olympic champion Ilia Zakharov of Russia went through in 18th place on 389.90 points.
The semi-final of the 3M Springboard will take place at 2pm (Ireland) tomorrow with the top 12 progressing the Final at 10pm (Ireland).
Oliver Dingley 3m Springboard Prelims 399.80 Points (13th)
Oliver Dingley 3m Springboard Semi-Final 2pm
Oliver Dingley 3m Springboard Final* 10pm