TOKYO (KVOA) - Former Tucson High student-athlete and University of Arizona Pac-12 Championship diver Delaney Schnell fell short of winning her second medal in the Tokyo games.
Delaney Schnell ended her first Olympic Games by placing fifth in the Women’s 10-Meter Platform finals.
The proud Tucson native's finish turns out to be the best U.S. finish since Laura Wilkinson’s fourth-place performance in 2004.
"I’m really excited with how this Olympics went. Obviously, it would have been nice to come away with a medal in the individual but it just goes to show what I’m capable of doing and I know that come 3 years from now I’ll be more prepared than ever," said Schnell. "This team was very young and very new and I think that’s a huge part of what made it special, I think that’s also what made it to where none of us had expectations we came into it just to enjoy it. This is all of our lifelong dreams so for us to all even be here it’s pretty special."
Schnell, who earned Team USA’s first-ever silver medal in the Women’s 10-Meter Synchronized event with partner Jessica Parratto earlier in the Games, placed third in both the qualifying and semifinal rounds of the competition.
Schnell began the final round scoring 8’s on her first dive, Back 2.5 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike, putting her into second place. Of the 20 dives she performed throughout the Olympic Games, only one dive was scored below 6.5’s by the judges. That dive, being her third of finals where she scored 5.5’s on her Back 3½ Somersaults Tuck.
Schnell rallied on her fourth dive nailing her Front with 3.5 Somersaults Pike for 8.5’s and 9’s.
Going into the final round of dives, the gap to eventual bronze medalist Melissa Wu from Australia was 11 points. Wu nailed her final dive scoring 8.5’s making the gap insurmountable for Schnell without complete perfection.
She ended her list with 6.5’s on her Inward 3.5 Somersaults Tuck securing her top-five finish in her second event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
This marks the first Olympic Games since 1988 that female U.S. divers have earned more than one medal.
When asked how the success of the U.S. Olympic Diving team in Tokyo will impact the future of diving in the U.S. Schnell said, "It goes to show we’ve come a really long way in the sport and we have a ton of growth to continue to do. I’m really excited to see where the future goes with USA Diving."
Competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games continues overnight with the Men’s Platform competition.
Former UArizona standout diver Rafael Quintero will take part in the competition and represent his home country of Puerto Rico.