London 2012 Guide to…Diving

BACK in 1904 it was called Fancy Diving and the two disciplines were the ‘Fancy High Dive’ and the ‘Plunge for Distance’.¬†

Fast forward to 2012 and diving has come along way since its introduction to the Olympics in St Louis in the early 20th century.

It’s now one of four aquatic sports at the Olympics, alongside swimming, water polo and synchronised swimming.

  • How it works

A panel of judges grade each diver from one to 10, for the level and performance of each dive. Simple really.

  • The Superpowers

China dominated diving in Beijing in 2008, while the USA has a formidable Olympic  diving record.

The Chinese won seven out of a possible eight golds four years ago, while the Americans have 131 medals in total, including 48 golds.

However, the Chinese are the ones to watch, as they are a relatively new addition to the sport. The country was initially banned from competing due to its government and was only allowed in at the Games in 1984. Since then it has topped all but one of the Olympic diving tables.

  • Diving in London

Divers will compete from two boards: the 3m springboard and the 10m fixed platform, meaning there will be four events each for men and women.

They are the 3m springboard, 10m platform, 3m synchronised springboard and the 10m synchronised platform.

There are 68 men and 68 women competing in the events.

Synchronised diving is making only its fourth Olympic appearance, having debuted in Sydney in 2000.

  • Daley’s the real deal

Despite coming home empty-handed from Beijing as a 14-year-old, British sensation Tom Daley has since won two Commonwealth Games gold medals and is currently 10m platform World Champion.

A nation expects.

And finally…

Look out for: a splash in the water. That probably means it’s game over as the idea is to make as little as possible (well, ideally nothing).

Not to be confused with: Premiership football at 3pm on Saturday afternoons.

Useless but informative fact: 180,000 tiles have been used to line the pools in the Aquatics Centre.

Diving in two words: pure concentration.

Olympic diving events start on Sunday 29th July and finish on Saturday 11th August.