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Krysta Palmer secures first individual U.S. women's diving medal since 2000 as China's Shi Tingmao wins 3M gold

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The United States is the all-time leader in Olympic diving medals

Until Sunday, however, a U.S. woman hadn't claimed individual hardware in 21 years. Krysta Palmer ended the drought by securing bronze in the 3-meter springboard final with a total score of 343.75 over five dives.

Palmer's bronze was the first U.S. Olympic medal in individual women's diving competition since Laura Wilkinson won gold on the platform at Sydney in 2000. It was the first for a U.S. woman on the 3-meter springboard since Kelly McCormick won bronze in Seoul in 1988.

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 01: Krysta Palmer of Team United States poses with the bronze medal for Women's 3m Springboardon day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Krysta Palmer's Olympic hardware is a rare prize for modern U.S. divers. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

China's continues run of dominance atop diving podium

The gold and silver medals? They went to China, of course. Shi Tingmao won gold in dominant form with a score of 383.50, securing a sweep at 3 meters after winning gold in synchronized diving alongside Wang Han. The tally matched her 3-meter gold sweep in Rio in 2016. She posted the highest-scoring dive in each round on Sunday.

Wang secured silver with a score of 348.75. The performance continued China's dominance in diving, a mantle it took from the U.S. after Greg Louganis' Olympic retirement in 1988.

It hasn't been a complete shutout for the Americans in recent Olympics. The U.S. claimed synchronized bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016. But it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 135 diving medals the U.S. tallied prior to Tokyo, most of them between 1904 and 1988.

China entered the Tokyo Games having won 40 gold medals in diving since 1984. Sunday's performance doesn't suggest a slowdown anytime soon. For the U.S., it's just nice to see Palmer back on a podium it once owned.

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