Yesterday’s Olympic test event, at the Aquatics Centre, was the FINA Diving World Cup, which acted partly as a qualifying event for Olympic selection. The events in last night’s programme were the Men’s 10 metre Platform and the Women’s 3 metre Synchronised Springboard.
I found the first event by far the most interesting, purely because of the courage and skill it must take to dive and perform from such a great height (and because we had medal hopes which were realised when Peter Waterfield achieved bronze). China’s Qiu Bo was a worthy gold medalist though and will probably prove hard to beat in this summer’s Games.
The judging system is very complex and depends on the number and quality of the dive, as well as the degree of difficulty. To me, a dive is a dive and for spectators the sheer speed of the drop means that you need the slow-motion replays to see the quality and execution of the dives, twists and somersaults. An explanation of how the scoring works (although it is included, in part, in the programme), would have been very welcome.
The springboard event does not have the same draw of the platform – and the synchronised part of it gets a little dull after watching one or two rounds. Perhaps the women’s event does not have the same cachet, or the fact that we were clearly not going to achieve one of the first three places meant that crowd interest flagged; in any case it was very much the first event which got the cheering up within the Centre.