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Archive for Sunday, July 20, 2008

U.S. divers lose appeal for Olympic synchro

July 20, 2008

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— Laura Wilkinson and her diving partner Jessica Livingston lost their appeal Saturday to compete in 10-meter synchronized platform diving at the Beijing Olympics.

An arbitrator ruled to keep 15-year-olds Haley Ishimatsu and Mary Beth Dunnichay as the synchro platform team for next month's games.

Wilkinson and Livingston had filed a complaint against USA Diving and the U.S. Olympic Committee asking to be placed on the team or have another competition to see if they or Ishimatsu and Dunnichay should compete in Beijing.

Details of Friday's confidential American Arbitration Association hearing were not disclosed, although USA Diving called the decision "a strong ruling."

In their complaint, attorneys for Wilkinson and Livingston said USA Diving's selection criteria was too broadly drawn to meet the standard required by the USOC for team selection proceedings.

The younger duo was named to the Olympic team after they split four rounds with Wilkinson and Livingston at a selection camp earlier this month in Knoxville, Tenn.

Wilkinson and Livingston had a higher average score for the four contests, 329.88 points to 327.32.

But Ishimatsu and Dunnichay were chosen because they had the best individual score (346.98) of the four rounds of dives and because they had a higher score under a formula known as "projected competition score," according to the complaint.

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