2021 Virtual Nations Challenge Day 1 presented by 1 Square Phillips and Speedo
Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay took the top spot in the women’s open platform synchro finals and Pamela Ware finished first in the women’s open 3m finals on Thursday at the Virtual Nations Challenge.
The Virtual Nations Challenge is Diving Plongeon Canada’s first web-based competition that allows international athletes to compete against each other in real-time. This edition features 37 athletes from four countries (GBR, CAN, JAM and RSA).
“I actually really enjoyed it,” said Ware (Montreal, QC). “It was fun having Great Britain competing with us. They have some really great girls so to have that competition on top of the Canadian girls was a really great feeling.”
McKay (Montreal, QC) added: “It felt amazing. It felt really nice to be back up there with Meaghan doing synchro. It has been quite a while since we’ve done a synchro event and to have the adrenaline pumping and to be able to compete side-by-side again just felt really nice.”
On the men’s side, Vincent Riendeau (Beaconsfield, QC) and Nathan Zsombor-Murray (Pointe-Claire, QC) finished second in the open platform synchro finals with a score of 398.35.
Day 1 of the competition wrapped up with the men’s open 3m finals where Thomas Ciprick (Baie D’Urfé, QC) came in third with a combined score of 408.30. François Imbeau-Dulac (St-Lazare, QC) finished fifth with a score of 374.70 and Cedric Fofana (Montreal, QC) had a cumulative score of 364.35 good for seventh.
Ware, who admitted she felt some nerves after getting to the pool on Thursday, finished a cumulative score of 341.50.
The 28-year-old said her only disappointment in the competition was her final dive – the reverse one-and-a-half somersaults, three-and-a-half twists – in both the prelims and the finals.
“It has been really good in practice, but I think the nerves got the best of me today on that dive. I was really happy with everything else,” she said. “It is very different competing just in front of the people you see every day and people you only see in competitions so today felt really good.”
Benfeito (Laval, QC) and McKay finished with a combined score of 316.15. Thursday marked the first competition for the pair since last March and McKay called it a good opportunity for them to see how they measure against Great Britain.
“They have a pretty good team as well so it was nice to be able to have that competition and not just have us doing our list trying to do the best we can for ourselves,” McKay said. “It was nice to actually compete against somebody and have someone kind of pushing us.
“I am really happy with everything that we did. We put down a really good list. Of course, there are little things we can tweak such as entries and everything like that, but everything we put down today we were really happy with.”
The Virtual Nations Challenge features seven judges from across Canada and the U.K. submitting their scores remotely through Integrated Sports System’s uJudge platform as the competition takes place.
The competition sites include the London Aquatics Centre in London, England, the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, Scotland and Sports Centre at Montreal’s Olympic Park in Canada. This event provides an opportunity for the athletes to see how they measure up against some of the best divers in the world.
About Diving Plongeon Canada
Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC) was established in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization to promote the growth and awareness of the sport in this country. As a member of FINA, the world’s governing body of aquatic sports, DPC contributes to the development of globally accepted standards of excellence in diving and supports the rules and regulations of international competition. Representing nine provincial diving associations, 67 local diving clubs and close to 4,000 high-performance athletes, DPC shares a national commitment to advance the art and sport of diving and to position Canada as the number one diving nation in the world. For information, visit www.diving.ca.
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