Hartley 4th On Olympic 3-Meter Springboard

Aug. 19, 2008

Former USC NCAA champion Blythe Hartley posted a career-best Olympic finish on Sunday at the Beijing Games, finishing fourth on 3-meter springboard in her final international diving competition.

Hartley, a five-time NCAA champion as a Trojan, a three-time Olympian and a bronze medalist on 10-meter synchronized platform at the 2004 Olympics, posted her highest individual Olympic finish with her fourth-place result.

Defending 3-meter champion Guo Jingjing of China won gold (413.35), Russia's Julia Pakhalina won silver (398.60) and China's Wu Minxia won bronze (389.85). Hartley, who announced she is retiring after the Olympics, scored 374.60 for fourth.

Hartley held third place after the second and third rounds, but got passed after the fourth round. Despite not missing a dive on her schedule, she was unable to move back into the top three spots.

'I think naturally I was more emotional than in the past, but I think that's understandable,' she said. 'I definitely was tight (on Saturday) and I came in (on Sunday) hoping to feel more relaxed.

'But I started the competition very tight and on my second dive I said 'You've got to do something to change this' and then I did. So I'm very proud I was able to acknowledge how I felt and make a chance during the competition.

Canadian Diving technical director Mitch Geller said he was impressed by Hartley's performance, but the competition was just too strong.

'If all of our divers go in and compete like she just competed, I'm going to walk away proud, as proud as I can be,' he said.

'The fact was, she had the best event of her life. The other girls, they beat her fair and square, what can I say. She did pretty much everything we could hope she would do in there.'

Prior to Sunday, her best placing before Sunday night was fifth in Athens in the three-metre springboard.

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