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Parratto, Schnell Win Silver On Platform At Tokyo Games

Former Indiana University diver Jessica Parratto

(Indiana University Athletics)

Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell saved their best dive for last and came away with a silver medal in the women’s synchronized platform diving Tuesday at the Summer Games in Tokyo.

Parratto, a 2019 Indiana University graduate, and Schnell, a senior at Arizona, were in second place and clinging to a two-point lead over Japan after four of the five rounds.

But the duo nailed their back 2½ somersaults, 1½ twist, scoring 78.72 points to finish second with 310.80, 11 points in front of bronze medalist Mexico.

“I feel like this event is always so close,” Parratto said. “So, there's always that team that's kind of fighting to get almost a bronze, and that's kind of what my mindset was.

“But to come away with a silver is just mind blowing, honestly, and it just goes to show that if you stay focused and you're confident, anything can happen. So, I just couldn't be more pleased with today.”  

No one was going to beat Chinese teenagers Yuxi Chen and Jiaqi Zhang. They led from the start and took gold with 363.78.

Parratto and Schnell won the first medal for the U.S. ever in the event, which became an Olympic sport in 2000.

Making it even more impressive was that Parratto and Schnell didn’t even team up until less than two weeks before the Olympic trials in Indianapolis last month.

Schnell’s partner, Tarrin Gilliland, pulled out with an injury, and Parratto stepped in.

“It really just took a lot of faith in each other and trust and each other, and I think that’s what really helped it pay off,” Schnell said.

The two started off slowly, scoring just 45 points on their first dive and 46.8 on their second, and were in sixth place out of eight teams with three dives to go.

“I knew that we were a little behind after the vols (voluntary dives), but I almost feel like that’s what kind of lit my fire under me,” Parratto said. “I knew that we could do really good optionals, so I wasn’t concerned about it, and I think I just tried to keep going dive-by-dive not letting anything affect me that was in the past and I honestly feel like that is what propelled us forward.”

But the duo scored 70.2 on their third dive, a forward 3 ½ somersault, to move into fourth, and 70.8 on their fourth dive, an inward 3½ somersault, to vault into second going into the final dive.

There, the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Germany and Japan were all vying for the silver and bronze behind China.

It was the second Olympic appearance for Parratto, who placed seventh in the synchronized platform and 10th on the platform at the 2016 Rio Games.

“I honestly will say I have never woken up for a meet feeling so calm and ready to go,” she said. “I didn’t even wake up having the nerves until kind of the nervousness happened right before we started competing, but that was a good sign, honestly, to me, knowing that I felt as confident as I did that we knew we could hit our dives.”

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