Top 12 women advance to 10m final - WSMV News 4

China's Si back on top in 10m semifinal with USA's Parratto in pursuit

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The way she is currently diving, China's 17-year-old Si Yajie has to be the favorite going into Thursday evening's women's 10m final. She placed first in Thursday morning's semifinal at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center in Rio, just as she did in Wednesday's preliminary.

Si totaled 389.30 points, ahead of USA's Jessica Parratto, who earned second with 367.00 points. China's Ren Qian placed third with 362.40 points.

The 22-year-old Parratto, who improved from third in the preliminary, will have prime position in the final. She'll seek the United States' first medal in the women's individual 10m platform since 2000, when Laura Wilkinson took gold in Sydney.

Parratto deliverd one of the best dives of the semifinal in the fourth round when she ripped the entry on her armstand back triple tuck for a score of 84.15.

Only one of two Americans will advance, however, as Katrina Young placed 13th -- one spot off qualifying -- after a large splash on her second dive left her with 21.45 points and an uphill battle. Young's list earned 313.85 points in the preliminary, but she managed just 301.45 in the semifinal after her back 3.5 tuck went awry.

Young, 24, made a valiant effort to rebound after the miss. In 18th and last place after the second round, she climbed to 17th after the third, 16th after the fourth, and jumped to 13th after the final dive. She finished 5.00 points shy of Mexican veteran Paola Espinosa, who was the last to qualify for the final.

"I’m proud of myself for fighting back, but I’m definitely disappointed," Young said. "I had a technical error on my second dive, but I pulled it together the best I could after that. I’m proud of myself for that. It was a learning process. I know what I technically did wrong (on the back 3 ½ tuck), but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and process how I got there. Now I really want to make that dive my most solid dive. That’s my goal, but I just had to let it go and move on to the next round and do the best I could after that."

Espinosa, the senior diver in the event at age 30, was outside qualification going into her final dive, but delivered in the clutch and leapfrogged Ukraine's Ganna Krasnoshlyk for her spot in the final and a chance to win her third career Olympic medal. Espinosa took bronze in the synchronized 10m platform in the 2008 Olympics and won silver in the same event in the 2012 Games.

Despite a warm and sunny morning with little wind in Brazil, the competition was not quite what you might expect in an Olympic semifinal with plenty of significant splashes sent skyward.

China has taken gold in the women's individual 10m platform at each of the past two Olympic Games. This year's competitors -- aged 15 and 17 -- are both making their Olympic debut, but they're already accomplished divers. Back in February, Ren placed first and Si placed second in the 2016 World Cup in Rio -- the most recent major international diving competition.

The following 12 competitors advanced to Thursday's 3pm final: Si Yajie (CHN), Jessica Parratto (USA), Ren Qian (CHN), Melissa Wu (AUS), Kim Un-hyang (PRK), Pandelela Rinong Pamg (MAS), Roseline Filion (CAN0, Minami Itahashi (JPN), Meaghan Benfeito (CAN), Tonia Couch (GBR), Paola Espinosa (MEX).

The following individuals were eliminated from competition: Katrina Young (USA), Yulia Prokopchuk (UKR), Brittany O'Brien (AUS), Ganna Krasnoshlyk (UKR), Elena Wassen (GER), Ekaterina Petukhova (RUS).

Jessica Parratto's list

1. Forward 3.5 pike -- 3.0 degree of difficulty -- 63.00 points

2. Back 3.5 tuck -- 3.3 -- 74.25

3. Inward 3.5 tuck -- 3.2 -- 68.80

4. Armstand back triple tuck -- 3.3 -- 84.15

5. Back 2.5 pike 1.5 twists -- 3.2 -- 76.80

Total score: 367.00

Katrina Young's list

1. Forward 3.5 pike -- 3.0 -- 72.00

2. Back 3.5 tuck -- 3.3 -- 21.45

3. Armstand back double 1.5 twists -- 3.2 --  64.00

4. Inward 3.5 tuck -- 3.2 -- 72.00

5. Back 2.5 pike 1.5 twist -- 3.2 -- 72.00

Total score: 301.45

USA Diving media services contributed to this report

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