Boudia wins silver in platform event at FINA USA Grand Prix
Olympic champion David Boudia came up just short of a gold medal Saturday at his first meet since last summer's London Games.
Boudia won silver with 518.60 points in the men's platform event at the FINA USA Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center.
"I'm super pleased for where I am right now," Boudia said. "I'm just glad to be in the competition where I can be competitive with the Chinese at this stage. Diving is a sport that is totally mentally and it's the windiest day I've dove in in a very long time."
China's Yanquan Zhang, taking off on the final dive of the event just as a thunderstorm moved into the area, edged Boudia to finish with 521.00 points. They both finished with the same dive - a 2 1/2 backwards 2 1/2 twist - but Boudia earned 81.00 points on the dive to Yanquan's 97.20.
"That last dive's been giving me some trouble," Boudia said. "It's like just one degree if you fall back on it. It's like if you force a golf swing it doesn't work."
"And it's the dive I won the Olympics with," he added.
Every time Boudia came up in the rotation the crowd of a few hundred cheered. Fans hoping for Boudia's autograph were told to clear the pool area because of the storm.
"It's cool to see diving and fans get back behind you," Boudia said. "It's encouraging to hear them and made me want to raise my game."
Last year was a big year for Boudia. He not only won a gold medal but got married in October. This year he was a judge on the TV reality show "Splash," where celebrities competed as divers.
Oleksandr Bondar of the Ukraine finished with 507.50 points to take the bronze in the platform.
Zhang Jun of China won the women's 3-meter springboard with 333.90 points. Countrywoman Jiao Liu took the silver with 316.95 points and Tina Punzel of Germany won the bronze with 314.25.
The 27-year-old Zhang is hoping that 2016 is the year she will finally make an Olympic team.
"I usually win at least one meet each year so this means a lot to me," Zhang, through an interpreter. "I really want to go to an Olympics."
In the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard final, He Chao and Shixin Li of China won gold (430.38); Oleksiy Prygorov and Illya Kvasha of the Ukraine won silver (428.37) and Rommel Pacheco and Jahir Ocampo Marroquinn of Mexico won bronze (394.32).
In the women's synchronized platform final, Jie Lian and Huang Xiaohui of China won gold (321.54); Pandelela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee of Malaysia won silver (295.62); and Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch of Britain won bronze (292.68).