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Amherst’s Michael Hixon reaches 1-meter springboard final at FINA World Championships

  • This March 21, 2017 photo shows an inside view of the new building of Duna Arena, formerly known as Dagaly Swimming Complex, in Budapest. Duna Arena will be the central venue of the FINA World Aquatics Championships 2017 to be held in Hungary between July 14 and 30. ( Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP,file) Tamas Kovacs

  • This March 21, 2017 photo shows an inside view of the new building of Duna Arena, formerly known as Dagaly Swimming Complex, in Budapest. Duna Arena will be the central venue of the FINA World Aquatics Championships 2017 to be held in Hungary between July 14 and 30. ( Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP) Tamas Kovacs



Friday, July 14, 2017

Michael Hixon reached the finals in the first of three disciplines at the FINA World Championships Friday.

Competing on 1-meter springboard, the Amherst native finished fifth after the preliminary round at the Dagaly Swimming Complex, in Budapest.

The 2016 Olympian scored 384.80 points. USA teammate Steele Johnson scored 360.15 points for 12th place, the last qualifying position.

China’s Peng Jianfeng and He Chao secured the top two spots with 435.15 and 431.35 points, respectively.

Hixon opened the preliminaries with just 43.50 points on his back 2½ tuck to sit in 49th place after round one. He came back by scoring at least 63 points on each of his remaining five dives.

The Indiana senior received 72 points on his second-round reverse 1½ with 2½ twists and by round four, he climbed into the top 10. He closed out his list with 73.10 points on an inward 2½ pike to move into fifth.

“One dive at a time. With any prelim, you know it’s going to be a long one,” Hixon said. “I’m very strategic with the way I order my list. 205 (back 2½) is most people’s worst dive, so I was able to battle back and get in a good position. I’m really excited for finals, and I’m happy Steele’s there too.”

Prior to Sunday’s 1-meter final, Hixon will compete with Sam Dorman in Saturday’s men’s synchronized 3-meter contest. The preliminary round and finals are both Saturday. The duo earned a silver medal in the event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

On Wednesday, Hixon will compete on 3-meter springboard.