Assured of at least a silver, the American had to sweat it out with Qiu going last. The final dive of the competition was stunning as well, but a slight splash on the entry left Qiu with 100.80 points for his dive — and 566.85 total.
Mobbed by his teammates and coaches, Boudia kept mouthing the word, "Wow." As he stepped up on the podium to receive his gold, he wiped his brow and said, "Whew."
Yes, it was that close.
Boudia didn't know how close until he saw the final scores.
"If I had known the margin, my heart would've been pounding and the pressure would've been building," he said. "I just went up there for the last dive like I did for the first five."
Daley settled for bronze with 556.95, but he sure felt like a winner. His teammates threw him into the pool and jumped right in with him, splashing the first British diver to win an individual medal since 1960.
He smiled as he thought of his father, who died last year at age 40 after a battle with brain cancer.
"It's really tough not having him here," Daley said. "I know if he was here, he would be very proud."
Boudia is getting married in October, a reminder that there are more important things in life than gold. He plans to take at least four months off, then will decide what the future holds in diving.
"Who knows?" he said, breaking into a big smile. "I still can't even believe I'm the gold medalist right now. Let's take it one step at a time."
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