Chris Colwill of the USA Diving team answers questions during a press conference on July 26, 2012 at the MPC in London, England. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LONDON -- Chris Colwill admitted to being nervous early during the preliminary round of the men's 3-meter springboard diving competition at the London Olympics on Monday night.
"We've been here two weeks without any competition and a lot of time to think," said the former University of Georgia diver, who easily moved to the semifinals by qualifying seventh. "After the first three dives I started to have fun with it."
He got rolling on his fourth dive, in which he performed a 1½ somersault with 3½ twists with a 3.4 degree of difficulty. He entered the water cleanly and earned a score of 81.60 points to move into seventh place.
A former NCAA champion, Colwill scored 461.65 points on six dives. Ilya Zakharov of Russia was the first-round leader with 507.65 points. Troy Dumais, the other American diver, was in third place with 486.60 points.
Micky Benedetti of Italy, a former All-American at Arizona State, finished 20th and failed to advance.
The 27-year-old Colwill improved his standings through each of the first four rounds.
"That's pretty normal for me. I climb my way up," he said.
Colwill finished 12th in this event in Beijing and also finished fourth with teammate Jevon Tarantino in the 3-meter synchronized event in China.
Benedetti, who lives in Tempe, Ariz., was in the 18th and final spot after five dives. He scored 73.10 points on his sixth attempt and finished with 433.05 points. He is one of two reserve divers should anyone in the top 18 pull out before the semifinals.