From: Frank Gorman
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:47 PM
Subject: Boudia + McCrory = GOLD! - FINA World Series
Attachments: McCroryNickDavid Boudia.jpg
David Boudia Nick McCrory
The Union Tribune - San Diego
Friday, April 20, 2012
TIJUANA — The 5255b is among diving’s most revered and harrowing maneuvers. You take off with your back to the pool, perform 2½ somersaults, then 2½ twists in the pike position, then try to enter the water 33 feet below with the splash of a pebble.
Now try doing it perfectly synchronized with a partner … on the night’s final dive … on a 10-meter platform in Tijuana … in second place behind the hometown favorites … after flying 40,000 miles and crossing 56 time zones over the past month.
David Boudia and Nick McCrory apparently have unlocked one of the universe’s great secrets. The U.S. pair beat an Olympic-caliber field in men’s synchronized 10-meter platform at the FINA Diving World Series on Friday, and beat jet lag.
“It’s good,” Boudia said, “because we will go to London (for the Olympics in July) and it will be cake. The six- or eight-hour flight will seem like a 30-minute hop from Indianapolis to Chicago.”
The FINA Diving World Series is four separate competitions open to only the highest-ranked divers. It started a month ago in Dubai. The next weekend it was in Beijing. Two weeks later, Moscow. A week later, the pristine aquatic complex at Tijuana’s High Performance Sports Center not far from the Otay Mesa border crossing.
Four events were held Friday, including a come-from-behind win by 2008 bronze medalist Paola Espinosa of Mexico in women’s platform and two more – yawn – victories by China, which so far has amassed 24 of a possible 28 titles in the monthlong series. The remaining four events are today, with prelims in the morning and finals starting at 4 p.m.
You get a medal for winning your event. You also should get one for making it to all four cities, for surviving with your luggage and your sanity.
Boudia and McCrory were among the few who braved all four stops, and somehow they got better at each – from sixth to fifth to second to the only American victory in the 2012 World Series by passing Mexico’s Saul Sanchez and Ivan Garcia after nailing the 5255b on their final dive. Troy Dumais did the quad as well and was less fortunate, faltering on his fourth of six dives in the 3-meter springboard and slipping from the podium to fifth place.
“My problem is my body swells on international flights,” Dumais said. “And then it takes me four or five days to get the swelling out … It’s been tough, but at the same time if you can do this, you can dive anywhere.”
It didn’t help that after competing in Dubai with just two days to adjust to the time zone and culture, the U.S. divers didn’t hop on the eight-hour nonstop to Beijing. Instead they flew back to Washington, D.C., then to San Francisco, then crossed the Pacific to China – 32 hours, not counting layovers.
“Because we weren’t in charge of booking our own flights,” Boudia said.
But there were no complaints from the divers once they arrived in Tijuana and set eyes on the facility. It rivals (and probably surpasses) anything north of the border, with eight 1-meter boards, four 3-meter boards and a world-class diving tower that, unlike most facilities in the States, has platform wide enough to accommodate the relatively new discipline of synchronized diving.
And that’s just the pool. Add a massive dryland training area with trampolines, suspension harnesses and diving boards into foam pits, and it’s no wonder that FINA, the sport’s international governing body, has come to Tijuana three times since starting the Diving World Series in 2007 and not at all to the United States.
“I just wish I had a facility like this to train in,” said American Christina Loukas, who is based outside Houston and finished second with Kassidy Cook in the synchronized 3-meter springboard behind China’s Wu Minxia and He Zi. “It’s just incredible.”
Loukas and Cook also had the advantage of competing in only Dubai and Tijuana, opting to train for June’s U.S. Olympic Trials instead of padding their frequent flier accounts with trips to Beijing and Moscow.
There’ll be ample opportunity for that in the future. FINA is considering expanding the global series to six cities next yea
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Photos courtesy of USA Diving