Diving: Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021

Diving: Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021

One of the three indoor pool events, diving, serves as a method in which grace, precision, and technique shines at the Olympics. Diving has been part of the Games since 1904. At the St. Louis Olympics, diving had two events, namely the Plunge for distance and the 10m platform. While the latter remains a core event even today, the former was replaced by the 3m springboard in 1908. This is also an event that will feature at Tokyo 2020.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Yuan Cao of China competes in the Men's Diving 3m Springboard semi final at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Women first competed in diving at the 1912 Games which saw plain high-diving emerge and remain a part of the program until 1924. From 1928 (the first Games to not feature plain high-diving) to 2000, there were only two diving events for both genders. However, in Sydney, the synchronized events emerged, thus expanding the diving program to 8 events in each Olympic Games. 


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The most successful nation in diving events at the Olympics is the USA with 138 medals. (49 Gold, 44 Silver, 45 Bronze)


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Meanwhile, the most successful divers at the Games are China's Wu Minxia with 5 medals (5 Gold) and Chen Ruolin with 5 medals (5 Gold). 

Diving at Tokyo 2020 Olympics 2020-2021

After being held in an open-air venue in Brazil five years ago, Diving will return to an indoor arena in Japan. 136 divers will compete across 8 unique events and seek glory for their nations at the sporting extravaganza. Despite the sport's most decorated names not returning, there will be a host of formidable names and fresh talent taking to the boards at the Olympics Aquatic Center. 

Top Divers at Tokyo Olympics 2020

The USA will see Brandon Loschiavo and Jordan Windle in the men's platform events. Meanwhile, Michael Hixon, Andrew Capobianco, and Tyler Downs will look to shine in the men's springboard events. 


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Leading the charge for the women on the platform will be Katrina Young, Delaney Schnell, and Jessica Parratto. In springboard, Krysta Palmer, Haley Hernandez, and Alison Gibson will seek glory. 

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JUNE 10: Krysta Palmer (L) and Alison Gibson speak to the media after placing first in the women's synchronized 3m springboard event during the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials - Diving - Day 5 at Indiana University Natatorium on June 10, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Britain's Tom Daley will have a lot of attention ahead of his fourth Olympic Games appearance. He will look to better his Bronze from the London Olympics in 2012. Another Brit to watch out for is Jack Laugher. 

Defending gold medalist Shi Tingmao will look to take more medals home to China in her second consecutive games. Also, names like Yang Jian, Cao Yuan, Chen Aisen, and Chen Yiwen will be favorites at the events.  

Aside from the diving powerhouses, potential surprise winners could include Australia's Maddison Keeney and Canada's Jenny Abel. 

Competition format

The men's events see the divers make six dives per round. Meanwhile, in the women's events, five dives per round need to be made. The score from each dive is added to give each diver the final score to help them advance or claim gold, based on the stage of the competition. 

Individual events feature three stages, i.e. heats, semis, and the finals. While the heats may have an unspecified number of entries, only the top 18 make it to the semi-final stage. From here, the divers in the top dozen spots enter the final. The synchronized events begin and end with the finals. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Jack Laugher and Chris Mears of Great Britain compete in the Men's Diving Synchronised 3m Springboard Final on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

At the Olympics, a panel of seven judges score each individual event dive with three scores getting picked for the official score. The top two and bottom two scores are eliminated. The three middle scores are added and multiplied with the difficulty number of each dive. 

For synchronization events, things are a bit more complicated. Coordination and timing are of paramount importance here. 

11 judges are involved (3 for each diver and 5 for the synchronization). Here, too, the highest and lowest scores from each set are not considered. The remaining 5 scores get adjusted so as to balance it with a three-judge scoring panel. Like with the individual event, the final tally is multiplied by the dive difficulty. 

Types of Diving

The two types of diving are the platform event and the springboard event. Both events will take place at the Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021.

There are six types of dives (1 forward, 2 backward, 3 reverse, 4 inward, 5 twisting, and 6 armstand). The twisting dive has its own different types of twists (1. forward, 2. backward, 3. inward, and 4. reverse).

Dives may be done in four different body positions i.e. A. pike, B. tuck, C. straight, and D. free. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Aisen Chen and Yue Lin of China compete in the Men's Diving Synchronised 10m Platform Final on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

While watching diving, fans can recognize the type of a dive by the code. This includes the first digit (a number revealing the dive group), the second digit (if it is 1 it means that there will be a flying action while 0 means there will not be a flying action). If the first digit is 5 or 6, the second digit will represent the group. 

Moving on, the third digit is double the number of somersaults the diver will perform (If a dive is two-and-a-half somersaults, the number will be 5). The fourth digit will identify the number of twists (applicable if the first digit of the dive is 5 or 6) body position and the concluding letter will be a representation of the diver's body position for the routine. 

Diving Schedule for Tokyo Olympics 2020-2021

The eight diving events will be spread out from July 25 (Women’s synchronized 3m springboard) to August 7 (Men’s 10m Platform). 


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Men’s 3m SpringboardAugust 2August 3August 3
Women’s 3m SpringboardJuly 30July 31August 1
Men’s Synchronized 3m SpringboardN/AN/AJuly 28
Women’s Synchronized 3m SpringboardN/AN/AJuly 25
Men’s 10m PlatformAugust 6August 7August 7
Women’s 10m PlatformAugust 4August 5August 5
Men’s Synchronized 10m PlatformN/AN/AJuly 26
Women’s Synchronized 10 m PlatformN/AN/AJuly 27

Venue for Diving at Tokyo 2020

Diving events at Tokyo 2020 will take place at the Olympics Aquatics Center


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Venue Olympics Aquatics Center
 Date July 25-August 7
ChannelPeacock TV (US), BBC iPlayer (UK), Eurosport Player (Europe), TSN (Canada), Channel 7 (Australia), Sony LIV (India)
Total Divers136
Most medals in the sport USA 138