You could argue all day about who are the best or most impressive or most beautiful athletes at the Olympic games and not get anywhere, but springboard diving has to be in the conversation. The act of diving has a whole lot in common with gymnastics, with the controlled spins and flips while flying through the air, all finished with an impossibly precise landing maneuver. On springboards, you have the added challenge of bouncing on a surface much less predictable than anything in the gymnastics arena.
Take poor Malaysian diver Ahmad Amsyar Azman, whose bounce on the 3 meter springboard during his final dive of the preliminary round took him nearly off the board, sending him careening off the side where he flipped and spun as hard as he could, but ultimately lost it all in a theatrical belly flop. Amsyar, who entered his final dive at 12th of 29 divers with the top 18 set to advance, had easily the worst score of the event and failed to qualify.
“I knew then that it was over as there was no way for me to make the semi-final,” Amsyar told the New Strait Times. As funny as the dive may have been, there’s such a tragic element here, because he wasn’t some novelty act from a country just happy to appear in the games — he’s just an elite athlete who had a terrible dive at the worst possible moment.
(H/t Fox Sports Blackburn)