SI Vault
 
It's a great leap forward
Demmie Stathoplos
May 05, 1980
In only six years, Chinese divers have sprung from nowhere to beat the U.S.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 05, 1980

It's A Great Leap Forward

In only six years, Chinese divers have sprung from nowhere to beat the U.S.

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

By Saturday night the Chinese team led the U.S. 23-21, but Coach Kimball was philosophic. "We did a very fine job," he said. "It would have been better with Louganis, but in all honesty, the Chinese are world-class divers. There's no shame in losing to them. And we're not out of it yet."

But on Sunday, they were. The final score: China 45, U.S. 43. The Chinese dominated the women's platform event, taking first, second and fourth, but the Americans came back in the men's springboard, which Burgering won, with Machemer second and Kimball fourth.

"Well, we really didn't know what to expect," said Panzano as the crowd drifted out of the Aquatic Center. "Now we know the Chinese team is excellent. And they're great people, friendly and warm."

Fast learners, too.

1 2