RIO DE JANEIRO — There won’t be a golden sweep in the green Olympic diving pool.
Britain upset China to win the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard Wednesday, with Jack Laugher and Chris Mears totaling 454.32 points.
American duo Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon took silver with 450.21. China’s Cao Yuan and Qin Kai settled for bronze with 443.70, ending their country’s bid to sweep the eight diving medals at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
The Chinese had won the first three synchro events.
On a dreary day at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, a steady drizzle fell throughout the six-round final. The pool’s water was green for the second straight day, with games officials struggling to correct what they say is decreased alkalinity that’s causing the change from clear blue to murky green.
Qin was trying to win a third straight 3-meter synchro gold medal with his third different partner. But the 30-year-old Chinese — oldest in the contest — faltered in the third round, dropping his team to second behind the British.
China fell to third in the next round, but moved up to second after its fifth dive. Cao and Qin earned scores ranging from 8.5 to 9.0, leaving them within 2.64 points of Britain heading into the last round. Laugher and Mears nailed the toughest dive any team attempted in the final, scoring 86.58 points in the fifth round.
The Brits, Americans and Chinese all attempted the same dive to close the contest.
Dorman and Hixon went first, scoring 98.04 to take over first, with the British and Chinese still to come. The Americans endured a five-minute wait while Mexico’s duo, who competed in front of them, sought a do-over.
Jahir Ocampo and Rommel Pacheco complained to officials after a temporary light on scaffolding above the pool suddenly turned on while they were starting their dive.
It appeared the Mexicans would be allowed to go again, and they climbed back on the boards. Hixon had already started up the stairs, thinking it was his turn before going back down to wait.
Ocampo and Pacheco stood on the boards waiting for the judges to give the go signal. It never came. They weren’t allowed another attempt. It wouldn’t have affected the medal finish, but might have moved the Mexicans up to fourth instead of fifth among the eight teams.
After Hixon celebrated his team’s execution by punching the water, the Brits grabbed the top spot back, although at 91.20 they didn’t score as high as the Americans.
On China’s last dive, Qin struggled again, failing to enter the water straight on a forward 4½ somersaults dive carrying a 3.8 degree of difficulty that scored 83.22.
China failed to win gold in the event for the first time since the 2004 Athens Games.