Beijing: Canada’s divers take home two bronze medals
The short turnaround between the first and second FINA Diving World Series didn’t seem to affect Canada’s divers, as the team produced two medals on Day 1 of competition in Beijing, China.
In the morning session, Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay teamed up to finish third in the women’s 10m synchro platform, with a score of 313.14 points, a touch better than their score from last week’s first Diving World Series in Japan.
Still, McKay, from Calgary, pointed out it wasn’t their best day, “I think today was a big milestone in our career together, our new goal now is if we’re going to have a bad day we still miss for third, our last dive Meg missed a little bit but we were still able to come out with a medal.”
“I clearly missed my last dive which I’m a little upset about because we could have been second but being on the podium twice in a row is something that I’ve been working on with Caeli and I think we’re off to a good start,” said Benfeito.
The 30 year-old Olympic medallist is now in the third year of her partnership with her 19 year-old teammate, “I’m really proud of Caeli because the two previous years I was hard on her and that’s one of the reasons why she’s able to focus on herself now and I’m really proud of the team we’ve become and it’s honestly the best start to the season that we’ve had.”
The pair also won bronze last week.
Today, Wei Lu and Jiaqi Zhang ran the table for the gold medal with a score of 354.06 points, while A Rim Kim and Mi Rae Kim of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were second-place with 325.80 points.
To close the evening session in Beijing, Olympians Philippe Gagné and François Imbeau-Dulac combined to win the bronze medal in the men’s 3m synchro springboard with a score of 399.48 points.
“It was a very good day, we were very consistent, I think today we both felt quite nervous compared to last week,” said Imbeau-Dulac, 28
The sport of diving’s profile in China leads to more TV cameras, a stadium-feel, and quicker pace to the competition.
“It’s a really big show, so it’s more similar to the competition we have in Montreal, compared to Japan,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
“Usually Phil and I talk a little bit during the event and for some reason today we didn’t really talk much and I think we were trying to get in the right zone. We weren’t thinking about what was happening for the other divers, or people in the stands, it was just trying to focus on the task,” said the native of St-Lazare, Que.
Today’s bronze medal is an improvement on last week’s fourth-place finish from Sagamihara, Japan.
Yuan Cao and Siyi Xie of China turned in 469.08 points for the gold medal while Mexico’s Jahir Ocampo Marroquin and Rommel Pacheco Marrufo scored 413.61 points for second place.
In the women’s 3m synchro springboard, Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu were sixth in the final.
Coming up on Day 2 in Beijing, Gagné and Imbeau-Dulac will compete individually in the men’s 3m springboard, while Olympian Pamela Ware competes against Abel in the women’s 3m event.
Imbeau-Dulac and Abel also have the mixed 3m synchro springboard.
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