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Former Gold Medal-Winning Olympic Diver Fails Miserably in Semifinals

Olympic diver landing on his back

Despite being the defending gold-medalist, a Russian Olympic diver failed to perform up to expectations. But even that is putting it gently.

Ilia Sakharov won gold on the 3m springboard in the 2012 London Games. Back then, his impressive forward 4 and 1/2 somersault scored over 100 points, defeating Chinese divers Qin Kai and He Chong. The victory turned him into a national hero.

But in the Rio semifinals, the Olympic diver failed to produce an actual dive.

The 25-year-old took off on his attempt at a forward two-and-a-half somersault with two twists. However, his execution resulted in a gold-winning bellyflop.

Check it out:

">August 16, 2016

Ouch. That looks painful.

The social media world certainly had fun poking fun at the wipeout. 

">@NBCOlympics It's like he change his mind on what dive to do? — Brian Healey (@BrianHealey2)

It's like he change his mind on what dive to do?

— Brian Healey (@BrianHealey2) August 17, 2016

">August 17, 2016

">@NBCOlympics That dive I can do. And I just had gallbladder surgery.

— Hector Fontanez (@hectorfontanez)

That dive I can do. And I just had gallbladder surgery.

— Hector Fontanez (@hectorfontanez) August 17, 2016

">August 17, 2016

">@NBCOlympics Maybe he was confused and thought he was about to do a cannonball? — Jonathan Parker (@metalmancpa)

Maybe he was confused and thought he was about to do a cannonball?

— Jonathan Parker (@metalmancpa) August 17, 2016

">August 17, 2016

Ultimately, China's Cao Yuan dethroned the incumbent gold medalist with a final score of 547.60. Jack Laugher of Great Britain earned silver with 523.85, and Germany's Patrick Housing won the bronze with a 498.90 final score. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as points for effort in the Olympic Games. The Olympic diver failed to rack up any points for his pathetic dive, booting him out of medal contention with a 0.0 score from all seven judges. Coming in dead last might hurt even more than the bellyflop. But it looks like Sakharov wasn't the only Russian to disappoint the motherland. Nadezhda Bazhina matched the male diver with an equally painful-looking backflop.

">August 14, 2016

Yikes.