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2012 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Diving

By Gerard Gallagher, Olympics Writer

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - After Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen won the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard title at the U.S. trials without a dive above a 3.5 degree of difficulty, Dumais indicated their willingness to step it up in London.

"We're not going to leave any stone unturned," said Dumais, the second U.S. male diver to make four Olympic teams.

But after hitting the water with a thud in the last two Olympics, American divers need more than just rhetoric going forward.

They need a rebirth.

Despite their historical dominance in the sport, including 131 total medals since the first decade of the 1900s, Americans were shut out in Athens and Beijing.

They haven't won an Olympic diving medal since Laura Wilkinson's platform gold in 2000. American men have gone even longer, since Mark Lenzi's springboard bronze in 1996. Lenzi, who died in April, was the last American man to win gold in 1992.

Meanwhile, the Chinese have stepped in to dominate international diving competitions, winning 13 of 16 gold medals in the last two Olympics and all eight at the world championships in February.

China won 11 medals in Beijing, including seven of eight golds. The only thing stopping a sweep was Australian Matthew Mitcham's upset of favorite Zhou Luxin in the platform.

Canada captured a pair of silver medals, from Alexandre Despatie in the men's springboard and Emilie Heymans in the women's platform, but the U.S. walked away empty-handed for the second straight time after winning a medal in every Olympics its had participated in since Stockholm in 1912.

Despatie and Heymans are back on the Canadian Olympic team, Despatie for the fourth time.

Dumais, 32, joined Greg Louganis as the only American male divers to be named to four Olympic teams. Dumais will dive in two events after winning the synchronized springboard with Ipsen and coming in second behind Chris Colwill in the individual springboard at trials.

They are part of the 11-diver U.S. team headed to London.

David Boudia and Nick McCrory will compete in both 10-meter platform events -- individual, and together in synchro -- to round out the men's team.

Brittany Viola, the daughter of 1988 American League Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola, made the woman's team in the 10-meter platform along with Katie Bell.

Kelci Bryant and Abby Johnston edged out Kassidy Cook and Christina Loukas to win the women's 3-meter springboard synchro, though Loukas still made her second Olympic team after finishing second behind Cassidy Krug in the solo springboard.

The diving program starts July 29 with the women's 3-meter synchro springboard and runs through Aug. 11.

07/05 13:23:27 ET


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