In the four diving events contested on Saturday in Berlin, the Men’s 3m synchro final was the wildest. Maybe not for Great Britain who led after each round to win gold, but for the rest of the scoreboard which imploded in the final round. Mexico went into the last dive just 6.63 points from gold but scored 0 points when one of the pair’s divers didn’t finish his twists. The failed dive enabled Italy to seize silver, followed by the US who claimed bronze.

In the day’s second event, the US captured another medal – gold this time – in the women’s 10m synchro final thanks to the 2020 Olympic silver medalists, Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell. Canada and Ukraine went 2-3.

Next, two-time world champion Chen Yiwen won the women’s 3m title handily for China, ahead of silver medalist Maddison Keeney whose highest-DD dive paid off in the last round to push the Aussie 17 points past bronze medalist Sarah Bacon of the US.

Lastly, on the men’s 10m platform, no one could catch Lian Junjie of China. He earned at least 90.0 points on four of his six dives, including 101.75 on his toughest one in the last round: a forward 4½. Canada’s Rylan Wiens took silver (48.05 points back) and 2023 world champion Cassiel Rousseau finished third.  

For plot details and athletes’ reactions, keep reading.

Men’s 3m Synchro

Image Source: Jo Kleindl

In men’s 3m synchro, Mexico had a shot to topple Great Britain’s Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding who were outscoring everyone in almost every round. Going into their sixth and final dive, Osmar Olvera Ibarra and Rodrigo Diego Lopez were just 6.63 points out of first place, but they saved the competition’s hardest dive for last. Unfortunately, Diego Lopez failed to finish all three twists in their 5156B (which included a forward 2½), so the 3.9DD dive resulted in zero points and extinguished their medal hopes. In the aftermath, Tyler Downs and Greg Duncan of the US advanced into podium position out of fifth place with a clean but easy forward 3½ pike (with 3.1 DD). So it was up to the final pair, Italy’s Giovanni Tocci and Lorenzo Marsaglia, to see if they could outscore the Brits’ 423.27 points. But it was a big ask.

Even though Italy was only trailing Great Britain by 13.11 points with one dive to go, Laugher and Harding scored 90.06 points on their final dive (with 3.8 DD) which meant that Italy needed more than 100 points to win. Ultimately, the World Championships silver medalists scored 77.52 points on a forward 4½ and took silver with 397.62 points via the same dive list in the same order that they had used in Doha. The US clinched bronze, 48.42 points behind the British victors.

Surprisingly, Downs of the US admitted, “I actually didn’t know the Mexicans failed their dive. I was just focused [on ours],” adding that third place “definitely gives us a boost of confidence” going into the World Cup Super Final next month in Xi’an, China.

Gold medalist Laugher attributed Saturday’s victory, in part, to his and Harding’s dive list. “It plays to a lot of our strengths,” he said, but at the same time, “we knew China weren’t going to be there so gold was up for grabs [which] can be quite difficult to deal with sometimes,” implying that when China competes, the Brits aren’t necessarily the favourites so there’s less pressure.

Silver medalist Marsaglia said that in addition to the Italians’ consistency on Saturday, his friendship with Tocci was a huge asset. “We live in the same city,” he said. “We love to train with each other.”

Women’s 10m Synchro

Image Source: Jo Kleindl

The women’s 10m synchro final featured a small field (absent of China) and an unusual set-up in which both divers took off from two separate platforms (instead of side-by-side on the same one).

In the end, Tokyo Olympic silver medalists Jessica Parratto, 29, and Delaney Schnell, 25, of the US pulled ahead of the field in the last two rounds by performing the only dives that scored more than 70 points en route to gold. They won with 306.00 points – 23.28 points ahead of runners-up Caeli McKay, 24, and Kate Miller, 18, of Canada. Ukraine’s Kseniia Bailo, 19, and Sofia Lyskun, 22, earned the bronze.  Germany and Spain finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the five-nation contest.

“We had a tough performance in Doha so we wanted to come back strong,” Schnell said, referring to the Americans’ eighth-place finish at the 2024 World Championships in Qatar in February.

At Schnell’s suggestion, Parratto came out of retirement in 2023. She left her jobs in health care and in television because, she said, “it felt right. I wanted to come back for synchro only, knowing we have a chance at the medals again. That’s what we’re going to fight for. I quit [my job] so I can 100% focus on Paris. We’re really excited to get some consistent training leading up to our Olympic Trials in June.”

Runner-up McKay, reflecting on Saturday’s silver, said, “it definitely wasn’t our best event ever. We’re going to be working on cleaning up all of those dives.”

One in particular, in the penultimate round, was the hardest dive in the competition, a back 3½ that carried a 3.3 degree of difficulty. On Saturday, it was Canada’s lowest-scoring dive in terms of execution, but McKay said the risk was worth it. “It is a dive we we’ve been doing for a long time,” she said. “When we put it down at the same time, it is quite spectacular. We don’t want to do what everyone is doing. We always like a challenge, and I think we can handle it.”

For third-place finisher Bailo, however, the bronze was “a dream come true, my first medal in a World Cup. I am very happy, very excited.” She and Lyskun train in Kyiv and Bailo admitted that “it is hard, really hard, because every day we have an alert so we need to go to shelter and stop training. We can’t train like most divers in this sport.”

Women’s 3m

Image Source: Jo Kleindl

Two-time world champion Chen Yiwen won gold in women’s 3m, just as she had at the first World Cup in Montreal, but she didn’t need as many points in Berlin as she did in Canada. On Saturday, she scored 356.40 points, 11.65 ahead of the runner-up Maddison Keeney. Keeney threw the hardest dive in the final round (a forward 2½ with 2 twists with a 3.4 degree of difficulty) and scored 81.60 for it, which was enough to put her 17 points ahead of American Sarah Bacon, who took third.

Keeney said, “I really wanted to be able to go into the dive and not hesitate. I think I was able to do that.”

Chen, despite winning, said, “my performance wasn’t very good today but it is quite normal for this period of time because we just had Doha and Montreal. It has been quite hard in the last two months. You have to push yourself.”

Bacon said she had been working on consistency and was pleased that she put together five consistent dives. As for the five-plus-hour time difference between Berlin and the US, she said, “you just have to learn how to dive tired… and focus when the time comes.”

Men’s 10m

Image Source: Jo Kleindl

As usual, the men’s 10m final was intense. In the end, Lian Junjie, 23, of China led after each round, broke the 500-point barrier, and never scored lower than 90 points on his last four dives.

Rylan Weins, 22, of Canada, was in second place all night and took silver with an impressive 91.80-point reverse 3½ in the third round that momentarily brought him 10 points behind Lian.

Afterwards, Wiens said, “every dive I was nervous. The nerves got more and more until the last dive when I got a little more confident, but nerves were there the whole time. This is my first major season where I do every competition. It’s exhausting, but I think it’s worth it. I’m soaking in every moment.”

The 2023 world champion, Cassiel Rousseau of Australia, was in third place after each round, and took bronze to give Australia its second medal in Berlin.

“My performance was very average,” Rousseau said, but “hopefully when I travel to Xi’an, China, everything is going to be in place and hopefully I’m going to be diving pretty well.”

On Friday, Rousseau pulled out of the team event and explained on Saturday that it was “just making sure I don’t get injured, because recently I’ve been feeling pretty poorly due to all the travelling. My wrists and knees were feeling a bit sore. I’m just trying to focus on individual and now [Sunday’s] synchro.”


Competition concludes on Sunday with four more finals in this order: women’s synchro 3m, men’s 10m synchro, men’s 3m, and women’s 10m. China is heavily favoured to win both individual events, as triple world champion Wang Zongyuan was the top qualifier in men’s 3m, and the reigning world and Olympic champion Quan Hongchan, 16, qualified first in women’s 10m.