Feature | Diving

Olympic diving at Tokyo 2020: Top five things to know

Your one-stop guide to diving at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, including top athletes, venue information, schedule and more!

By Andrew Binner ·

Diving has featured at the Olympic Games for over a century, and there will be eight medals on offer in the sport at Tokyo 2020.

There will be four medals available each for men and women, including two 3m springboard and two 10m platform events.

Below, we take a look at the divers expected to light up the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in 2021, the competition schedule, and even some Olympic history in our top things to know about Olympic diving guide.

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Top Olympic divers at Tokyo 2020

China is the dominant force at diving, and they won seven out of eight gold medals at Rio 2016.

The Asian powerhouse won nine out of 12 events at the 2019 world championships, meaning they will once again be the nation to beat at Tokyo.

On the men’s side, double world champion Yang Jian has been the most consistent diver in this Olympic cycle. But he will have one eye on Britain’s Tom Daley, who beat him on one leg of the last World Series and will be hoping to add another Olympic medal to his tally.

In the synchro 10m event, China’s depth of diving talent is on full display with double Olympic gold medallists Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen the clear favourites.

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Things could be more competitive in the 3m springboard however with Britain’s Jack Laugher set to provide another stern examination of his Chinese rivals, four-time world champion Xie Siyi and Cao.

Synchro Olympic champion Laugher will have a new partner in Dan Goodfellow for Tokyo, but their silver medal at the 2019 world champs suggests they will be competitive. However, they were beaten by Xie and Cao in Gwangju, who will be quietly confident of another victory.

Laugher will also be a threat in the individual event, having won silver in Rio and was leading the 2019 world champions until an uncharacteristic error on the final jump meant he finished in third.

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On the women’s side, 3m springboard queen and double Olympic champion Shi Tingmao will lead China’s charge.

Her nearest competition will come from compatriot and world champion synchro partner Wang Han, as well as Australian Olympic bronze medallist Maddison Keeny.

Also keep an eye out for Canadian Olympic bronze medallist Jenny Abel who took world silver in 2019 in the individual event, and synchro alongside Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu.

On the 10m platform, all eyes will be on Chinese teenager Chen Yuxi, who won the individual world title in 2019 as a 13-year old. Her main rivals will be compatriots in Olympic champion Ren Qian and fellow world champs Lu Wei and Zhang Jiaqi.

In the synchro event, keep an eye out for double 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Lin Shan.

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Olympic diving schedule at Tokyo 2020

The competition will take place from 25 July - 7 August 2021.

25 July 2021

  • Women's Synchronised 3m Springboard Final

26 July 2021

  • Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Final

27 July 2021

  • Women's Synchronised 10m Platform Final

28 July 2021

  • Men's Synchronised 3m Springboard Final

30 July 2021

  • Women's 3m Springboard Preliminary

31 July 2021

  • Women's 3m Springboard Semifinal

1 Aug 2021

  • Women's 3m Springboard Final

2 Aug 2021

  • Men's 3m Springboard Preliminary

3 Aug 2021

  • Men's 3m Springboard Semifinal
  • Men's 3m Springboard Final

4 Aug 2021

  • Women's 10m Platform Preliminary

5 Aug 2021

  • Women's 10m Platform Semifinal
  • Women's 10m Platform Final

6 Aug 2021

  • Men's 10m Platform Preliminary

7 Aug 2021

  • Men's 10m Platform Semifinal
  • Men's 10m Platform Final

23 Jul - 8 Aug

Tokyo 2020 | Olympic Games


Olympic diving venue at Tokyo 2020

Diving will take place at the band new Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The state-of-the-art facility was opened by Rikako Ikee, and is located in the Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park. With a 15,000-fan capacity will also host swimming and artistic swimming.

Following the 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, the venue will host domestic and international competitions.

Olympic diving competition format at Tokyo 2020

There will be eight diving competitions, with both men's and women's versions the 3m springboard, synchronised 3m springboard, 10m platform, and synchronised 10m platform.

Unlike the world championships, there are no mixed events.

There will be 136 athletes taking part in the competition, with athletes from Japan, China, Mexico, USA, Great Britain, Canada and Malaysia having qualified so far.

Qualification has not been completed yet, with the final places to be won at the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup.

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Olympic diving history

Diving made its Olympic debut at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and has appeared at every Olympic Games since.

However, back then athletes could choose between platform or plunge diving, where the athlete who dove to the greatest depth underwater from a standing, ground-level dive would be the winner.

Plunge diving was replaced by the springboard at the London 1908 Games in order to increase spectator interest.

The 1912 Olympics in Stockholm saw women’s diving and plain high diving added to the programme. But the latter event, where no acrobatic moves were allowed, was dropped after Paris 1924.

The next major addition to Olympic diving came when synchronised was introduced for Sydney 2000, and it has remained ever since.

While China has dominated the sport in recent history, their 40 Olympic gold medals (and Olympic absence between 1952-1984) mean that in the all-time record table they sit second, behind the United States who have 49.

In an era when two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half rotations dives became the standard, China’s divers pushed the level of difficulty to four-and-a-half rotations with almost no splash on entry.

The most successful divers in Olympic history are Pat McCormick (4 golds) and Greg Louganis (4 golds, 1 silver) from the USA, alongside China’s Fu Mingxia (4 golds, 1 silver).

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