David Boudia from the US competes during the men's 10-meter platform diving semi final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
LONDON — David Boudia ended a gold-medal drought for the United States with a dramatic last dive that scored the most points of the 10-meter platform competition at the Olympics on Saturday night.
Boudia’s victory gave the U.S. its first gold in diving since 2000, when Laura Wilkinson upset the Chinese on women’s platform, and was the first by an American man since the late Mark Lenzi won the 3-meter springboard at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Boudia won by 1.8 points over Qiu Bo of China. The American scored 568.65 points in the six-dive final. Qiu took the silver at 566.85.
Tom Daley of Britain settled for the bronze at 556.95 after leading going into the final dive in front of a raucous home crowd that included David Beckham and two of his sons.
Daley had good scores on his last dive, including one 10, but Boudia and Qiu did the same tougher dive in the last round.
Boudia, tied for second with Qiu going into the last round, scored 102.60 points on a back 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists pike worth a 3.6 degree of difficulty.
Qiu followed him and scored 100.80, not quite enough to deliver a seventh gold for China in these games. The diving superpower won six golds, first losing the men’s 3-meter springboard to spoil its bid for a sweep of the eight gold medals, and then coming up short in the last diving event in London.
Qiu rested his head against the wall behind the diving boards in anguish. Boudia, meanwhile, shared in a group hug with his coaches and teammates, a broad smile on his face.
Daley was in contention until the very end to win the host country’s first-ever diving gold. But he appeared plenty happy with his bronze medal, jumping into the diving pool with his teammates and coaches for a splashfest after the final scores were posted.
It was the first diving medal of any kind for Britain since 2004, when Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor won the 10-meter synchronized event, and it was the first individual medal since 1960, when the country won two bronzes.