American David Boudia bested his closest competitor by less than two full… (Adam Petty / Associated…)
LONDON -- David Boudia of the United States put on a diving clinic for the ages.
There was emotion, drama and a packed house pulling for the local hero, Tom Daley of Britain, on Saturday night.
In the end, it was Boudia who grabbed gold and became the first American male to win the 10-meter platform since legend Greg Louganis captured gold in 1988 in Seoul.
In fact, the U.S. had not won a diving gold medal since Laura Wilkinson did so in 2000 in the 10-meter platform.
Winning the silver was Qiu Bo of China, and Daley took the bronze. Boudia had been lucky to make the final day of diving after grabbing the last qualifying spot after Friday's preliminary round.
PHOTOS: 2012 London Olympics | Day 15
In the final, it came down to the last round of dives at the Aquatics Centre.
The threesome of Daley, Boudia and Qiu staged an epic battle.
The 23-year-old Boudia won it with his final dive, scoring 102.60 points.
Qiu would have had to score 102 points to beat Boudia, but he fell short.
The final scores: Boudia had 568.65 to Qiu's 566.85, and Daley was not far behind at 556.95.
American Nic McCrory finished ninth with 505.40 points.
Incredibly, three divers were separated by 0.15 heading into the final round.
The night of sensational diving also had a dose of high drama.
Daley received a rare re-dive when flash photography from the crowd unnerved him in the first round. He had been thrown off in a big way, receiving a score of 75.60, and it climbed to 91.80 on the do-over.
Boudia was waiting in the wings, but the delay did not seem to bother him.
He seemed to relish diving right after Daley and kept responding to the challenge.
After four rounds, the race seemed whittled down to a three-man contest: Boudia, Qiu and Daley after Lin Yue faltered in the fourth round.
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