UPDATE July 26
BARCELONA, Spain— Arizona State diving alum Constantin Blaha capped a successful campaign at the 2013 FINA World Championships with a ninth-place finish on the men's 3-meter springboard. Blaha had previously finished fifth in the 1-meter competition on Monday.
The three-time Pac-12 Champion qualified for the finals on each of the springboard events, which initial feature 40-plus of the world's best divers. The FINA World Championships are the pinacle of international competition, swimming and diving, in non-Olympic years.
Of the 46 divers on the start list for the 3-meter, three held allegience to Arizona State with Blaha competing for Austria, senior Riley McCormick representing Canada and alum Mickey Benedetti representing Italy. McCormick, who qualified for the Olympic Finals on the platform, finished 21st in the quarterfinals and narrowly missed moving on. Benedetti took 28th.
Arizona State diving alum Constantin Blaha took fifth place in men’s 1-meter springboard for his home country of Austria at the 2013 FINA Diving World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Essentially finishing fifth-best in the world, Blaha competed in his first-ever World Championships finals, Monday, finishing with a total of 411.75.
“Fifth place is sensational for a small country like Austria,” said Blaha, a five-time All-American at Arizona State. “The first three dives were the best I’ve ever had.”
At ASU, Blaha was a three-time Pac-12 Champion on the 3-meter springboard and finished fourth in the nation on the 1-meter at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Blaha had finished in 10th place in the prelims on Saturday to qualify for the 1-meter finals. Fellow Sun Devil Harrison Jones also competed on the 1-meter for Team USA, finishing in 15th place and just three spots shy of qualify for the finals.
On Thursday, Blaha and teammate Riley McCormick will compete on the 3-meter springboard prelims for a chance to advance to the finals on Friday. McCormick competed for Canada in the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympics, advancing to the Olympic finals on the 10m platform in 2012.
Jones will next compete for the United States on the 10m platform with prelims on Saturday and finals on Sunday.
Arizona State diving head coach Mark Bradshaw is also on hand in Barcelona as a member of the Team USA coaching staff.