Krysta Palmer

Palmer just misses Olympic synchro qualification

Individual 3-meter springboard qualification begins Thursday

Krysta Palmer dives toward the pool Monday during the final round of the women’s 3m synchronized diving competition alongside her partner Alison Gibson. Palmer and Gibson finished second.

Krysta Palmer dives toward the pool Monday during the final round of the women’s 3m synchronized diving competition alongside her partner Alison Gibson. Palmer and Gibson finished second.
Team USA Diving

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Krysta Palmer and her 3-meter synchronized springboard partner Alison Gibson won’t be competing as a pairing in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, but the two still have a chance to qualify as individuals later this week.

The 2020 Team USA Olympic representatives – who took eighth place in Tokyo at the Summer Games in 2021 – battled for the one and only Olympic qualification spot, but finished in second Monday night.

Representing Team USA will be Kassidy Cook and Sarah Bacon, who won the event with a total score of 629.82.

Palmer and Gibson finished Monday’s synchronized competition in second place with a final score of 599.49.

In the immediate aftermath of their second-place finish, the duo was still able to put their journey into perspective.

“I feel blessed for this opportunity that we had to compete again together,” said Palmer. “I think that’s something we have to truly take a step back from and take a moment to soak that in. If it wasn’t for you (Gibson) coming out of retirement, we wouldn’t have been able to compete today together and I truly enjoyed every moment of it.”

Gibson, who came out of retirement a year ago to compete alongside Palmer, took solace in the performance they put up.

“I’m so proud of how we carried ourselves and kept fighting until the end,” Gibson said. “I am incredibly honored and so proud to be able to compete with this girl right here.”

Every time Palmer and Gibson hit the water, the main section of fans erupted in cheering an applause.  

Palmer, who said she had 20-plus family and friends in attendance, will be back at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee competing for an individual Olympic qualification in the 3-meter springboard, beginning Thursday.


FINALS

Trailing by 11.22 points coming into the finals, Palmer and Gibson put together solid scores through their finals dive.

However, the team of Cook and Bacon were a bit more polished and grew their lead to nearly 36 points after the third round of dives in the finals Monday night.

It’s hard to tune out the external pressures knowing their yearlong goal is slowly slipping away, but the pair tried to do the best they could given the circumstances.

“Honestly, (it’s) pretty difficult,” said Palmer. “I think when your focus is right and you dial in with your coaches and the team that we’ve built, you really can zone in on that. I think that’s what we had today.”

Palmer and Gibson outscored the eventual winners on their final two dives, but the deficit through the first eight rounds left too much room to make up.

Their penultimate dive (a 107B) scored the duo a 74.40 only to be topped in their final dive of the evening – the double out (5154B).

Palmer and Gibson posted a 74.46 on that double out, which was also the highest degree of difficult of any dive attempted by any team in the competition.

It was also the highest scoring single dive of any performed Monday.

In the prelims, Palmer and Gibson were steady through their opening five dives.

The pairing was the last to dive in the preliminaries, but finished each round in second place.

The only group they trailed were the combo of Cook and Bacon, who led through the entirety of the competition.

By the end of the fifth round Cook and Bacon had a score of 311.55 while Palmer and Gibson sat with a 300.33.

Palmer will have a couple days off before returning to the Trials as an individual.

She says she will still have some training, but rest and relaxation will be the main focus along with her preference of food choices.

“Eating a burger, that’s for sure,” laughed Palmer. “Making sure that we are catching up on rest from today’s event and then training and preparing for the next one.”

The Carson City native will begin her individual preliminaries at 7 a.m. (PST) Thursday followed by the semifinal at 2 p.m. (PST).

The individual finals will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. (PST).

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