clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lookit

Defending Olympic gold medalist diver finishes last in semifinal after magnificent belly flop

Four years ago, Russia's Ilya Zakharov won gold in the men's 3m springboard. He looked fantastic back then. Fast-forward to 2016, with Zakharov competing in the semifinal for the same event. This time, everything fell apart for him.

His knees buckled mid-air, causing him to belly flop into the water. He scored zero points, which put a dent into his total score -- 555.90 back in 2012, but 345.60 in Rio -- and placed him in last place. The fact that he even made it to the semis is pretty noteworthy; during the preliminary round, Zakharov hit the board on his first dive, but still placed third after better dives.

Zakharov isn't the only top-level diver to not make it to the final: during Monday's preliminary, where winds caused delays and botched dives. China's He Chao, who won gold at the 2015 World Aquatic Championships, failed to qualify for the semis, finishing in 21st place.

At the very least, Zakharov can take solace knowing that a) he's not the only top-tier diver to be eliminated and b) he's not the only one that belly-flopped in the 3m springboard.

(h/t NBC Olympics)