The Diving events at the 2012 Olympic Games were held at the London Aquatics Centre from July 29 – August 11. In total, 136 athletes (68 men and 68 women) competed.
Diving is a sport that requires strength, power, agility, balance, flexibility and, certainly, a dose of fearlessness. In both the Individual and Synchronized Diving competitions, each dive is awarded a degree of difficulty based on the type of maneuver performed. The diver’s position, the number of somersaults and twists, and the take-off height are all considered. The degree of difficulty ranges from 1.4 for easier dives to 3.8 for the most difficult dives. A dive consists of the following stages: 1) starting position and approach, 2) jump, 3) flight and execution, and 4) entry into the water. At the Olympic Games, the judges’ panel consists of seven judges who award the dives, with a score between zero and 10, based on the execution of the dive.
Competitors dive into a pool from either the springboard (3m) or the platform (10m).
The dives are divided into five groups according to the direction the diver is facing before take-off (backward, forward or handstand position) and the way the diver leaves the board (reverse or inward). During the dive, the diver may be in a straight, Pike, Tuck or Free position. The latter is only used in difficult dives that include twists. The Free position consists of a combination of the other three positions.
There are more than 100 recognized dives with assigned degrees of difficulty for both Springboard and Platform Diving.
The competition is split into preliminary, semifinal and final rounds. In the preliminary and final rounds, divers perform optional dives (there is no limit to the degree of difficulty). In the 3m Springboard preliminary event, the athletes perform dives that are chosen among the five different dive groups: Front, Back, Reverse, Inward and Twisting dives.
In the semifinals, the divers compete in the reverse order of their ranking, which is determined by the total scores at the end of the preliminary competitions. The 3m semifinal round for both men and women consists of five dives from different groups. The 12 best divers (for men or women) advance to the final.
The men’s 3m final competition consists of six dives without limit of degree of difficulty; one dive is selected from each group (Front, Back, Reverse, Inward and Twisting dives), plus an additional dive that may be selected from any group. The women’s 3m final competition consists of five dives from different groups, without limit to their degree of difficulty.
In 10m Platform events, the same procedure is followed for both men and women. The men’s Platform preliminary and final competition consists of six dives from different groups without limit to their degree of difficulty. The women’s Platform preliminary and final competition consists of five dives from different groups without limit to their degree of difficulty. In semifinals, both men and women execute four dives from different groups; their total degree of difficulty must not exceed 7.6.
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