Tom Daley shines in 10m prelims; Boudia, Johnson, Qiu, Chen all advance

It was only the preliminary, but plenty of big scores hit the board Friday afternoon in a tightly contested opening round of the final diving of the Rio Olympics — the men’s individual 10m platform. 

Great Britain’s Tom Daley laid down a near flawless list en route to the top qualifying spot on a calm and comfortable evening at Maria Lenk Aquatics Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His 571.85 total points would have been enough to take gold in both the 10m final at the 2016 World Cup in Rio and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Daley was pressed throughout the prelim, however, by China’s two competitors. Qiu Bo finished second with 564.75 points and Chen Aisen placed third with 545.35 points.

USA’s reigning gold medalist David Boudia overcame a missed entry in the third round to place fourth with 496.55 points. 

USA’s Steele Johnson made life difficult when he overcooked his fourth dive and kicked up a big splash and a small score. He found himself in 18th place going into the final round of dives and did not deliver his finest. But with 403.75 total points, Johnson barely squeaked through to the semifinal, where the scores will reset, settling in the 18th and final qualifying position.

While 10s have been rare in the Rio Games, the top of the leaderboard coaxed their fair share from the judges on Friday. Daley delivered the high-scoring dive of the three-hour event, totaling 103.60 points in the fourth round with a forward 4.5 tuck. 

Qiu was the only other competitor to break the 100-point mark, scoring 102.60 on his back 3.5 pike, also in the fourth round.

The gauntlent was thrown from the very start, when Chen rolled out of bed with a 91.80-point reverse 3.5 tuck on the first dive. Chen scored upwards on 90 points on four of his six dives, topping out at 99.00

The divers will be back at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center Saturday morning for the semifinal at 10am ET. The Rio diving slate concludes with the men’s 10m final Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm ET.

David Boudia’s list

1. Armstand back double free 2.5 twists — 3.6 — 88.20
2. Inward 3.5 tuck — 3.2 — 86.40
3. Foward 4.5 tuck — 3.7 — 49.95
4. Reverse 3.5 tuck — 3.4 — 88.40
5. Back 3.5 pike — 3.6 — 97.20
6. Back 2.5 pike 2.5 twists — 3.6 — 86.40
Total score: 496.55

Steele Johnson’s list

1. Armstand back double free 2.5 twists — 3.6 — 70.20
2. Inward 3.5 tuck — 3.2 — 86.40
3. Back 3.5 tuck — 3.3 — 84.15
4. Forward 4.5 tuck — 3.7 — 37.00
5. Reverse 3.5 tuck — 3.4 — 61.20
6. Back 2.5 pike 2.5 twists — 3.6 — 64.80
Total score: 403.75