David Boudia Wins Silver At The FINA Diving World Championships

2015 World Championships- Silver 10-meter

Indy Star

Let the Rio hype begin:

Qui Bo versus David Boudia, Part V.

The two divers affirmed their dominance of the 10-meter platform Sunday in the aquatics World Championships at Kazan, Russia.

Boudia, the former Purdue diver from Noblesville, led through two rounds before securing the silver medal with 560.20 points. Qui, of China, pulled away to win with 587.00.

The two have finished 1-2 at four major championships. Boudia, 26, won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games. He was second to the 22-year-old Qui at the 2011, ’13 and ’15 worlds. They likely will meet again in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.

“This was an exciting competition,” Boudia said in a release from USA Diving. “I didn’t really watch a lot of it, but you can feel the pressure. You can’t miss a dive in those finals. This is not an easy competition.

“Anyone from the finals could be up here. We were just the ones who were on top of our game today.”

Boudia had finished second in preliminaries and fifth in the semifinals Saturday. Scores start anew in each round.

He changed his dive order in the finals, opening with an armstand that earned 99.00 and thrust him into the lead. He followed with an inward 3 ½ tuck that earned 92.5 and kept him in first. He scored 91.8 or more on five of his six dives.

“For me, I switched my order to start off with one of my strongest dives, and it paid off,” Boudia said. “It set me up from there. It was a good final. Overall, this competition was exactly what I was looking for.”

Great Britain’s Tom Daley won the bronze medal with 537.95.

With pool competition completed, Team USA finished with two medals: Boudia’s silver and a bronze by Indiana University’s Michael Hixon on 1-meter, which is not an Olympic event.

Gold Medalist David Boudia Has New Diving Partner For Rio


David Boudia hopes to compete in his third Olympic games next year. The 26-year-old Noblesville, Indiana, native remains among the best divers in the world as he trains at Purdue with a new synchronized 10-meter platform partner. Diving alongside Boudia is 19-year-old Steele Johnson from Carmel, Indiana. Johnson is the reigning Big Ten Conference diver of the year, winning the NCAA 1-meter and platform national titles as a Purdue freshman.

If the pair qualifies for the Olympics a year from now in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Johnson would be the 3rd different synchro partner for Boudia in three separate Olympics.

“I’ve had a lot of shortcomings and a lot of failures in my career,” said Boudia after a practice at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. “It’s kind of nice to be able to speak wisdom into his life and maybe save him from some of those failures that I’ve experienced. It’s nice to kind of be in that mentor role.”

“There’s definitely like that much older brother, much younger brother (dynamic),” said Johnson. “But it’s kind of like a close brotherhood. We’re friends. But he definitely picks on me all the time, from the moment I walk in practice he’ll be picking on me like my older brother does every time I see him.”

Boudia and Johnson rank as the top synchro pair in the United States heading to the World Championships July 24 – August 2 in Kazan, Russia. The team leaves for Russia July 15.

“Their physical ability to synchronize is unbelievable,” said Purdue diving coach Adam Soldati, who coaches the pair, “one of the best synchro teams that I have ever seen. That’s a beautiful thing to have. Now it comes down to the execution of the individual dives.”

Boudia competed in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, finishing 5th with partner Thomas Finchum on the 10-meter platform. In 2012 in London, Boudia won the individual 10-meter platform gold medal and the bronze on the platform with Nick McCrory.

Life has changed dramatically for Boudia since winning gold in London. He married his wife Sonnie in October 2012 and the couple now has a 10-month-old daughter, Dakoda.

“Even though my body is wearing down and I am quote, unquote, older in my sport at 26, I feel like I’m the strongest that I’ve been,” said Boudia. “It’s not because I’ve trained harder, but because I’ve trained smarter.”

Johnson may have to redshirt next season at Purdue in order to compete internationally for spot on the Olympic team.

“This time next year I could be an Olympian,” said Johnson. “It kind of gets my heart racing. But at the same time, it’s kind of reassuring because David has already been to two Olympics. He’s an Olympic bronze medalist in synchro, Olympic gold medalist in individual, so he’s got the experience. He’s got the knowhow. He’s really helped me grow in the international scene.”

The Purdue pair is likely to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team next June at the trials at the Natatorium in Indianapolis.

“God has given them a certain level of ability and talent that they certainly had nothing to do with,” said Soldati. “I want to see them foster that talent. I want to see them do the best that they can with that talent that God has given them and continue to use diving and that podium of being on the top right now to continue to influence others.”

David Boudia Earns World Championship Platform Berth


David Boudia might once have been excited about all this. He is introduced as Olympic champion and is headed to another World Championships.

But he is not the first-time Olympian he was in 2008 nor the ambitious 23-year-old he was in 2012. He is more like a Peyton Manning, trying to get the most out of the last part of his career.

“If I made a decision right now,” he said, “I’d be done after Rio.”

But he doesn’t have to decide now, and he is not done. He showed that emphatically Sunday, winning on the 10-meter platform at USA Diving’s trials to select a World Championships team.

The former Purdue diver from Noblesville finished with a flourish, receiving two 10s and four 9.5s from the judges on his trademark back 21/2 somersault with 21/2 twists, worth 102.60 in a sport in which 100-point scores are infrequent.

His total through three six-dive lists was 1,544.05. David Dinsmore, 17, New Albany, Ohio, held off Steele Johnson, 18, a Purdue freshman from Carmel, for the second worlds berth. Johnson trailed by 54 points after prelims and semifinals but cut that margin to 12 by the end, 1,353.55 to 1,341.30.

“You know, it’s better to do that this year than to do it at the Olympic Trials,” Johnson said.

U.S. trials for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics are June 18-26, 2016, at the Natatorium at IUPUI.

Johnson is already on the worlds team with Boudia in synchronized 10-meter, an event in which they won a World Cup bronze medal last year at Shanghai. This year’s worlds are July 24-Aug. 2 at Kazan, Russia.

After the competition, Johnson strapped a protective boot on his right foot for an undisclosed injury, saying it was “nothing too major.”

Boudia characterized his own performance as “solid,” mindful that all other divers are underdogs against the Chinese.

“On any given day, you have the Chinese that can obliterate everybody,” he said. “But they’re also human. At one competition, they can go an unreal score. The next, they’re totally beatable. It’s whether they show up that day.

“I think if we focus on the six dives that we have, everything will fall into place, like London did.”

Although the four years between Olympics can seem longer, Boudia said he would like more time before Rio. He said it’s a matter of “running this marathon” rather than attempting to sprint toward each and every victory.

“I’m just in a different place,” said Boudia, who has an 8-month-old daughter, Dakoda, with wife Sonnie. “I’m getting older, my body is getting a little harder to recuperate. I’m a dad, I’m a husband. I’m just moving on to something else.”