The first individual diving medals of the 2016 Rio Olympics were captured on Sunday afternoon and both gold and silver went to China.
Shi Tingmao, the favorite entering the event, put together a dominant program with high elevation off the board, clean lines through the air, and ripped entries on every attempt, totaling 406.05 points for the gold medal.
Countrywoman He Zi comfortably took silver with 387.90 points.
Behind the two Chinese divers, Canada’s Jennifer Abel and Italy’s Tania Canotto went back and forth for third with the Italian emerging at the end to secure the bronze medal.
Cagnotto, who also took silver in the synchronized 3m event, trailed Abel by 6.45 points going into the final dive. But she closed her list with a massive reverse 2.5 pike for a score of 81.00 and a total of 372.80 to overcome Abel and win her second medal of the Rio Games. Cagnotto was all smiles after her final score posted and gave a big hug to her coach and father Giorgio Cagnotto — a four-time Olympic diving medalist in his own right.
Abel finished in fourth place in both the synchronized and individual 3m events, leaving her without a medal in the 2016 Games despite a strong showing.
USA’s Abby Johnston placed sixth in the preliminary on Friday and fifth in the semifinal on Saturday, but a low score on her third dive on Sunday stuck her with 302.85 total points and a last place finish in the final.
Shi, 24, made a clean sweep of her 2016 Olympic events, taking gold in both the synchronized 3m with partner Wu Minxia last Sunday and gold in the individual event exactly one week later.
The following divers advanced to Sunday’s 3pm final but failed to medal: Jennifer Abel (CAN), Maddison Keeney (AUS), Abby Johnston (USA), Yan Yee Ng (MAS), Olena Fedorova (URK), Pamela Ware (CAN), Esther Qin (AUS), Grace Reid (GBR), Nora Subschinski (GER).
China maintained its streak in the women’s individual 3m springboard event, which they have won at every Olympics since 1988 — eight straight victories.
Abby Johnston’s list
1. Back 2.5 pike — 3.0 — 67.50
2. Reverse 2.5 pike — 3.0 — 60.00
3. Forward 3.5 pike — 3.1 — 41.85
4. Inward 2.5 pike — 3.0 — 67.50
5. Forward 2.5 pike 1 twist — 3.0 — 66.00
Total score: 302.85