March 26, 2007
MELBOURNE, AUSTRAILIA – Former University of Iowa all-American diver Nancilea (Underwood) Foster placed sixth out of 43 competitors on the three-meter board at the FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday.
Foster was the highest finishing American with a score of 312.70. The top eight finishers all qualified for the World Series of Diving, which will take place in August and September. The series of three competitions will take place in England, China and Mexico City.
Foster’s finish came after a dramatic comeback in the semifinals. Only the top 12 divers in the semis advance to the finals, and Foster ranked between 14th and 17th through the first four rounds of the semis. But she ended the competition with the highest score in the fifth round, earning 76.50 points on her reverse 2 ½ pike to jump five spots in the standings and earn a spot in the finals. She ended the semis with 296.75 points.
“I was pleased. I felt I dove fairly consistently, and my goal was to be in the top six,” said Foster, who was ninth on the event at the 2005 World Championships. “I could have done a few of my dives a little better. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me as I start looking forward to Beijing.”
Foster also earned 25 points for the USA diving qualifier for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She will start 25 points ahead of the other competitors at the qualifier.
Foster’s Iowa coach and head of USA Diving’s Committee for Competitive Excellence, Bob Rydze, was selected as the Team Leader for USA Diving at the 2008 Olympics, pending a final approval by the USOC Board of Directors.
“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be selected as the team leader for an Olympic Games,” said Rydze, who is also serving as the team leader at the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne. Rydze also served as the team leader at the 2006 FINA World Cup in Changshu, China.
Release courtesy of USA Diving (www.usadiving.org).
Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.