Her plans include increasing the degree of difficulty (DD) of her dives. Indeed, the hardest dive she performed in Indy—a back 2� pike—has a lower DD than the easiest one Chen did. That means Williams must count on her opponents' faltering, something over which she has no control.
Williams's only regret last week was that her first international victory was witnessed by only a few hundred people, many of them divers and coaches. "Actually, I am a little bummed by the turnout," she said.
The 19-nation World Cup was the first international championship since Louganis's retirement, which meant that it was the first test in more than a decade of the sport's drawing power without its charismatic leading man. "That guy held us up for 12 years," said Hobie Billingsley, who was Indiana University's diving coach for 30 years before retiring in April.
One person who just might fill Louganis's wet footprints is Billingsley's prot�g�, Mark Lenzi, 20, an Indiana junior from Fredericksburg, Va. In Sunday's one-meter springboard final, Lenzi grabbed the lead with his first dive, an inward 2� tuck, which earned him one 7� and the rest 8's. "Whenever I hit my first dive," he said later, "I tend to have a good list."
Spinning through tight, fast tucks, Lenzi led Valeri Statsenko of the Soviet Union by 34.80 points after four of the six rounds. Even though he tensed slightly on his final two dives, Lenzi easily held off Statsenko, 402.18 to 376.50. "Now that I've done it," said Lenzi, "I don't believe I did it."
Lenzi has been diving competitively for only four years. Before that he was that most miserable of men—a wrestler who loves to eat. He quit wrestling during his senior year at Stafford High and, because the school didn't have a diving team, joined the Northern Virginia Diving Club, driving an hour each way to Fairfax for workouts twice a week. His progress has been nothing short of astonishing. In fact, the World Cup was Lenzi's very first international meet. His biggest previous victory came at the same site four weeks ago, when he won the one meter at the NCAA championships.
At 5'5", 145 pounds, Lenzi may have the right build to revolutionize diving. "Mark's short, strong and quick," says O'Brien. "Some people, like the Chinese, spin well in the pike. Mark spins well in the tuck. He is the first person I've seen who can nail a 4� tuck from the three-meter springboard."
Lenzi believes he will soon be doing a reverse 2� with 2� twists as well. "That one's not even on the books yet," he says with a grin.
As he explores dives that exist only in his imagination, Lenzi will be worth watching. "For 10 years," says Williams, "everyone's been saying, There'll never be another Greg Louganis. Well, there may never be another Louganis, but that doesn't mean there won't be other phenomenal divers."