A diving duo from Long Island and Massachusetts who met at the University of Indiana dove their way into the record books, joining the parade of Americans claiming medals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nassau County native Andrew Capobianco, who calls Mineola home, and his teammate, Hampshire County resident Michael Hixon, out of Amherst, Massachusetts, took home the silver medal for the US in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard event.
The duo finished with a score of 444.36 to take the silver behind the Chinese pair of Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi. Germany’s Patrick Hausding and Lars Rudiger narrowly edged out the Mexican on the last dive of the event to win the bronze medal.
Capobianco and Hixon’s spot on the podium ensured that America medaled in that event for the third straight Olympics.
The American duo struggled at the outset of the event, but ended with a flourish, working their way up the leaderboard in the last four rounds to claim the silver.
This is the first Olympic medal for Capobianco, who is competing in his first Games, while Hixon previously claimed a silver medal in 2016 in Rio with former partner Sam Dorman.
“It feels incredible, I’m so proud of him,” Hixon said to TeamUSA.org. “The way that we performed as a team, the way that we came together… We were both in Bloomington (at the University of Indiana), and I just turned to Cap and asked him to get to that level and he did an incredible job.
“He worked his butt off. He became one of the best synchro divers in the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the work he’s done to get there.”
Still just 21 years old, Capobianco was a junior gymnast before transitioning to full-time diving under the eye of the 27-year-old veteran Hixon.
“It was just great to have the best diver in the country in your pool every day, just to have him to look up to and learn from,” Capobianco said. “He’s taught me so much about competing and just being a world-class diver.”
Moving forward, Capobianco will be competing as an individual in the 3-meter event at the Olympics.
“It definitely makes me confident going into individual,” he said, “and I’m happy that the judges were able to see a little bit more of me heading into there. I’m just going to take it one step at a time and it definitely takes a little bit of the nerves off, but at the same time I do have expectations for individual as well.”
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