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Their second dive put them in contention. The duo crept up the standings when they approached their dreaded fourth dive, a reverse 2 ½ summersault with 1 ½ twists.
The Californians had struggled with executing it cleanly at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. It cost Ipsen and Dumais a medal when they fell from second to fourth on the final rotation.
"It is a blind entry and they have been struggling with it," Schavone said.
Not on the world’s biggest stage. They got the best score of the round — yes, even ahead of the vaunted Chinese.
Dumais, the leader of America’s first family of diving, did what he could to alleviate the pressure in Ipsen’s Olympic debut. He told Ipsen not to worry about whether he got an elusive medal. After each round Dumais inquired, "Are you having fun?"
Ipsen, who usually spends his summers working in the family’s restaurants, Skipolini’s Pizza, was having a ball.
They tiptoed along the springboard like an orchestrated dance. Then they exploded into the air as if shot from a cannon.
"I didn’t push anything," said Dumais, who is from Ventura. "I just did what I was capable of doing."
So did Ipsen, the NCAA 3-meter springboard champion as a freshman last season. Ipsen failed to qualify in the individual 3-meter springboard at the U.S. trials in June when Dumais edged him out on the final dive.
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