Canadians Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware are the only women in the world using the double twisting 2½ somersault in the three-metre springboard competition.
It requires timing and precision, as all diving does, but this one requires more brute strength than most female divers have and that’s why it’s generally considered a male dive.
It’s always risky — it’s the dive that they lost the Pan Am Games gold medal on — but the long-term rewards, they hope, will be worth it.
The dive carries a 3.4 degree of difficulty, while the rest of the top women’s field generally uses 3.0 and 3.1 dives. Execution scores for each dive are multiplied by the difficulty to get the result.
Diving Canada’s technical director Mitch Geller explains what it takes to execute the dive judges know as the 5154B.
Abel and Ware need perfect balance and control in their hurdle. That’s where they stride to the end of the board and jump, using all their strength to push it down as far as possible. They have to be on the very edge, perfectly straight, and they must stay on the recoiling board for as long as possible to achieve the maximum height.
The height is what gives them the airtime to complete all the elements.
Then, they need to use their strength to force their body to rotate fast to finish the dive — it’s all done in about 1½ seconds — and have room to make a splash-free entry.
“There’s no margin for error,” Geller said.