Former Gold Medalist’s Horrendous Dive Earns Him Exactly Zero Points
August 16 / Tanya Ray Fox / SportsGrid
Just four short years ago, Ilya Zakharov was basking in the glory of his gold medal for Russia in the men's 3m springboard. Back then, his impressive forward 4 and 1/2 somersault scored over 100 points, and his entrance into the pool couldn't have been cleaner.
To put it mildly, his experience with the 3m in Rio didn't go nearly as well. This time Zakharov's dive was supposed to be a forward 2 and 1/2 somersault with 2 twists, but what he delivered was most definitely not that.
I admittedly don't know a ton about diving, but I do know FOR A FACT that you're not supposed to land in the water on your hands and feet. Woof. I mean that dive was impressively bad. No seriously, he was awarded no points. Zero. There was not a point to be had.
The commentator informs us that it was his failure to get the right height and momentum off the board that sent the dive tail spinning into disaster, but it's hard to believe that it was just that. Zakharov was a gold medalist four years ago in that exact event. Divers of that caliber rarely make mistakes of that proportion.
Perhaps his head just wasn't in it, or the pressure of being reigning Olympic champion was just too much for him. Either way, this won't define his career or legacy by any means. As embarrassing as it may be in the moment, his three Olympic medals from London will always speak for themselves.
Having said that... the hideousness of that dive will haunt my dreams forever.
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