Simpson wins high diving gold at world championships
KAZAN, Russia (AP) The judges made them wait, but it was job done for the U.S. divers.
Rachelle Simpson and Cesilie Carlton won gold and silver for the U.S. in the women's high dive at the world championships Tuesday, but only after a lengthy wait for scores that left Carlton in suspense on the ground and Simpson shivering 20 meters (66 feet) above.
Defending world champion Carlton dived second to last in the final round with a smart triple somersault, but an apparent technical error meant the scores didn't come through for around three minutes.
Simpson, waiting on the tower in chilly conditions, didn't let the wait bother her and executed the highest-scoring dive of the competition into the Kazanka river to take the gold.
''You're ready to go, it's windy. I knew I was sitting in a good place but I just wanted to get the dive off,'' Simpson said. ''It was a little more nerve-wracking but I was just really excited.''
Simpson won with a score of 258.70 points across the three rounds, 102 of them earned off the last dive - a triple somersault with one-and-a-half twists. Carlton was over 20 points short of retaining her world title, scoring 237.35, with bronze medalist Yana Nesterova of Belarus close behind on 233.10.
Speaking after the medal ceremony, Carlton was still confused about her final-round wait for the judges' scores.
''Maybe because I take the dives so quickly, they wanted me to wait after. Maybe not enough time was taken up,'' she joked. ''I was nervous. We didn't know where I was sitting.''
It is high diving's second appearance at the world championships, after the discipline made its debut two years ago in Barcelona.
High diving has ambitions to join the Olympics and some of the sport's biggest names have said greater female participation will be key to reaching that goal. The world championships this week feature 20 men but only 10 women.
''The men, we have quite a few competitors, so they're looking really good on that front,'' Simpson said after her win. ''If we could get a few more women involved, that would really help our chances. Fingers crossed for the future and hopefully we can get some young women to come up and join us.''
After the first three rounds of the men's competition off the 27-meter board, Britain's Gary Hunt leads with 381.10 points. David Colturi of the U.S. is second on 359.10, with Mexico's Jonathan Paredes third on 350.40.
The final two rounds of the men's event take place Wednesday.