Canada Cup: Mia Vallée proves she belongs among elite
After winning the gold medal in synchronized diving with her teammate Margo Erlam (Saskatoon, SK) on Saturday, Mia Vallée (Beaconsfield, QC) hoped to climb back onto the top step of the podium on Sunday in the individual 3-metre springboard event at the FINA Diving Grand Prix – Canada Cup, being held in Calgary.
Following a tight contest with Sarah Bacon of the USA, Vallée had to settle for second place. Nevertheless, the Québécoise is very satisfied with her result.
“I’m extremely proud of my performance. I was consistent all day, and that’s often the key to success in diving. I made a few small errors on my last two dives, but I’m going to keep working hard,” she stated.
After the first three dives, Vallée led the standings and was well ahead of Bacon, her closest competitor. However, the final two dives ultimately decided the outcome, as Bacon was flawless, scoring 85.25 on her fourth attempt. Vallée came away from the final with 341.25 points, while Bacon clinched the gold medal with 359.75.
Vallée’s performance at the Canada Cup has provided her with a great boost of confidence as she heads toward the World Championships, which begin on June 18.
“I know I can compete with the best in the world. I wanted to do well here in Calgary because it was one of the first major competitions in a very long time. My results this weekend have made me feel 100% confident in myself for the Worlds.”
Pamela Ware (Montréal, QC) finished just behind Vallée in the 3m springboard event, earning the bronze medal with 315.55 points. Although the result fell short of her expectations, she feels she is on the right track.
“It’s not the result I was hoping for. I’ve gone through some tough times in the past few months, so I’m happy to know that I can still be consistent and achieve pretty good results. I’ll keep working hard, and I’m confident that I’ll keep improving,” declared Ware.
Photo credits: Dave Holland
Silver for Rylan Wiens
On Friday, Rylan Wiens (Saskatoon, SK) performed brilliantly in the men’s individual 10-metre platform semi-final. And the Saskatchewan native delivered again on Sunday in the final, finishing second with 472.60 points, just behind Joshua Hedberg of the USA, with 477.95.
“I’m really happy with my performance. There are a few elements I’ll focus on, but overall, I’m very satisfied with my work. Joshua Hedberg was excellent in the final. I’m happy to see him achieving so much success at only 15 years old,” noted Wiens, after the final.
Australia’s Cassiel Rousseau, who had been the only diver to edge out Wiens in the semi-final, finished third in the final, with 465.75 points.
The weekend was rich in emotion for Wiens, who won the gold medal in synchronized diving with his teammate Nathan Zsombor-Murray (Montréal, QC) on Saturday, before snapping up the silver medal on Sunday. The 20-year-old is now ready to take on the World Championships, which are coming up quickly.
“It was a great weekend. The chemistry between Nathan and me was great, even though it was our first competition together. I was also able to work on some new jumps. I feel more than ready for the Worlds. I’d like to make the top six in the individual events and win a medal in synchronized diving,” he concluded.
Matt Cullen (Blainville, QC) also competed in the men’s 10m final today. He finished the day in fourth place with 450.75 points, having performed very well on certain dives. In fact, he earned 91.20 points on his first dive of the day.
Earlier, Cullen and his teammate Katelyn Fung (London, ON) had competed in the mixed 10-metre synchronized event. They earned a total of 243.03 points, which was good for second place, behind Brazil’s Ingrid Oliveira and Kawan Pereira, with 281.76.
For more information about the event, or to view the results, click here.
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