Self-indulgence alert: Two Dukies made the Games — Nick McCrory and Abby Johnston.
For projection purposes, here’s a better piece of news: FINA’s rankings are nicely detailed.
As we said in the initial picks, we could just pick China for every possible medal and move on. But we’ll go into more detail …
Springboard: Gold medalist He Chong isn’t going anywhere — world titles in 2009 and 2011, first in the rankings. Qin Kai was only fourth at Worlds but is second in the rankings. Russia had two on the World Championship podium — Ilya Zaharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov. U.S. warhorse Troy Dumais placed fifth at Worlds; Chris Colwill is more of a long shot to reach the final but has done it before. Projection was CHN-MEX-USA; now China, Russia, China
Platform: Better medal prospects for the USA here — David Boudia is ranked second and placed second at Worlds. First in both was another Chinese diver, Qiu Bo. Germany’s Sascha Klein finished third at Worlds. The USA’s Nick McCrory was sixth at Worlds, ninth in the rankings. Britain has a couple of hopefuls here, with youngster and 2009 world champ Thomas Daley fourth in the rankings and 2004 Athens medalist Peter Waterfield fifth. Russia’s Victor Minibaev is ranked third. Was CHN-AUS-GBR; now China, USA, Britain
Synchro springboard: FINA ranks by country in the synchronized events, and it’s no surprise who’s first here — China. Then Russia and Mexico, following the World Championship podium. The USA, who’ll pair Dumais with Kristian Ipsen, ranks fifth after a fourth-place finish at Worlds. Was CHN-USA-CAN; now China, Russia, Mexico
Synchro platform: China and Germany were 1-2 at Worlds and 1-2 in the rankings. The USA (Boudia/McCrory) ranks third despite a fifth-place finish at Worlds behind Ukraine and Russia. Mexico ranks fourth. Was CHN-GER-CUB; now China, Germany, USA
Springboard: Wu Minxia took bronze in 2008 and is now No. 1 in Worlds and the rankings. China made it 1-2 with He Zi. After that, third place is wide open — Canada’s Jennifer Abel was third in Worlds, Italy’s Tania Cagnotto ranks third, and the USA’s Christina Loukas is fourth in Worlds and the rankings. Cassidy Krug snagged the second U.S. spot. Was CHN-MEX-CHN; now China, China, USA
Platform: Mexico’s Paola Espinosa won the 2009 world title. She slipped to fourth in 2011, when China restored order with Chen Ruolin and Hu Yadan finishing 1-2. They hold those spots in the rankings, with Canada’s Roseline Filion third. Americans Brittany Viola and Katie Bell are long shots. We’re going to leave the projection intact: China, China, Mexico
Synchro springboard: We’ll have to make at least one change here — Russia didn’t qualify. China is yet again the clear favorite, with World runner-up Canada second in the rankings. Australia finished third at Worlds but is tied for fifth in the rankings with the USA, all behind Italy and Ukraine. Kelci Bryant and Abby Johnston are the U.S. divers. Was CHN-RUS-CAN; now China, Canada, Australia
Synchro platform: The USA didn’t qualify in this one. China is the clear No. 1 and Australia’s the clear No. 2, leaving Canada (ranked third), Germany (third at Worlds) and Great Britain (fourth in each, with home-pool advantage) vying for bronze. Was CHN-CAN-AUS; now China, Australia, Britain