In their first international event together as a 10-meter synchro team, Purdue divers Steele Johnson and Ben Bramley placed eighth in the event at the FINA World Championships on Monday.
The pair improved on their preliminary score (373.80) by 10 points in the final (383.79) but did not move up in the final standings after also placing eighth in the prelim.
This was Bramley’s first time competing at World Championships, according to a Purdue news release.
“It was a good experience to be on the world stage and get this opportunity to compete against the best people and have that pressure,” Bramley said in the release. “Obviously I would have hoped to do a little bit better, but at least now I know what I need to do. I have this experience under my belt, so hopefully I’ll be more relaxed next time.”
Only the top three teams qualified their countries for the 2020 Olympic Games. The U.S. will have another opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in the 10-meter synchro event at the FINA Diving World Cup, in April 2020 in Tokyo.
During David Boudia and Johnson’s silver medal run at the 2016 Olympics, they earned their Team USA Olympic bid during a fourth-place showing at the 2016 FINA Diving World Cup.
This was the third straight World Championship where a pair of Boilermakers represented the U.S. in men’s 10-meter synchro event. Johnson has been part of all three synchro teams – joining up with Boudia in 2015, Brandon Loschiavo in 2017 and Bramley this year. All three pairs were finalists and finished among the top 10 at the biennial international showcase.
Bramley and Johnson teamed up not long after Johnson returned to training in the spring from the multiple foot surgeries that sidelined him for most of the 2019-20 school year. In Bramley’s freshman season, he was a bronze medalist on the tower at the 2019 Big Ten Championships and also a finalist in the event at the NCAA Championships.
Bramley and Johnson have also been selected to represent USA Diving at the Pan American Games in August in Lima, Peru. They’ll compete together again as a 10-meter synchro team and also dive individually on the tower.
Bramley and Johnson were the first of the school-record eight Boilermakers set to compete at the FINA World Championships this year. Purdue alumnus David Boudia is the next Boilermaker set to compete. His event, the 3-meter board, is set for 9 p.m. Tuesday.