It was an exciting day for rising Minnesota Golden Gophers senior Sarah Bacon when she won the one-meter springboard NCAA championship back in April for the Gophers. It was even more exciting last weekend when Bacon would win the silver medal at the 2019 FINA World Diving Championships for the United States in Gwangju, South Korea. Bacon became the first American woman to win an individual diving medal in 14 years!
Bacon qualified for the finals in sixth place with a five dive score of 240.0 points. She had more success in the finals, but was still in fourth place after her first three dives. But she would save her best for last. Bacon would score 54.60 points on a front 1 ½ with two twists to move into third place after her fourth dive. On her final dive she scored 55.90 points on a front 2 ½ pike to jump over South Korea’s Kim Suji by 4.8 points and claim the silver medal.
USA’s Sarah Bacon with a fantastic dive in the Women’s 1m Springboard which won her the silver medal. Chen Yiwen of China was in a league of her own and a well-deserved gold medal for her. #Diving #FINAGwangju2019 #FINA @usa_diving pic.twitter.com/gxaJZEsBu5— FINA (@fina1908) July 13, 2019
Bacon told the assembled media after the competition:
“I did know how close it was. Paying attention to the scores and being that close kind of gives me motivation going into my dives. It gives me a little more fire to perform them well. I could have hit one or two dives a little better, but it was a very consistent list.”
Bacon became the first US women’s diver to win an individual medal at a World Championships since Laura Wilkinson won gold on platform in 2005. The last U.S. woman to medal on 1-meter was Wendy Lucero, who won silver in 1991.
Sarah will have one more chance to bring home even more hardware as she competes in the 3-meter springboard event that begins on Thursday. She finished third at the NCAA Championships in that even in April.
Congrats to her and good luck this weekend!