American’s David Boudia and Steele Johnson turned in a strong performance to score 457.11 points and secure the silver medal, but China finished nearly 40 points ahead with an Olympic record score of 496.98.
Great Britain’s Thomas Daley and Daniel Goodfellow narrowly edged Germany’s Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein on their final dive to secure the bronze medal by 6.03 points.
Mexico’s Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez, who took the silver medal in 2012, placed fifth with 423.30 points.
Chen and Lin received a number of 10s from the judges in both execution and synchronization for their fifth dive — a forward 4.5 somersault that carried a degree of difficulty of 3.7 and earned them 106.56 points.
Lin, who partnered with Huo Liang and took gold in the 2008 Olympics, is the first ever individual to win multiple gold medals in the men’s synchronized 10m platform.
The silver is the highest the United States has ever placed in the event, marking the first career medal for 20-year-old American Johnson in his first event. It’s the third Olympic medal for Boudia, who partnered with Nick McCrory in 2012 to win bronze in the synchronized platform and is the defending champion in the individual platform.
The American duo showed great poise, turning in their highest-scoring dive with the pressure on in the final attempt.
“I’m always nervous, but it wasn’t the most nervous I’ve ever been,” Johnson said in a Facebook Live broadcast after the event. “I was able to control the nerves pretty well, I thought.”
“For me, this was actually a pretty chill competition,” Boudia said. “To say that at the Olympic Games with millions of people watching you and thousands of people in the stands, it was actually true. We had a lot of fun, joking up the platform and getting the job done off the 10m.”