Canada wins gold and silver at the Futures Cup team diving event
Canada dominated the team event at the Future Cup in Plymouth on Saturday. The two teams, Canada A and Canada B, took home gold and silver, respectively, pulling far ahead of the other countries represented at the invitational held in the United Kingdom.
The competition was tight between the two Canadian teams. Rylan Wiens, Margo Erlam, Benjamin Tessier and Kate Miller (Canada A) grabbed hold of the top spot on the podium with a score of 418.35.
“It was a first for me. It’s so fun to experience this as a team. Normally we don’t do this. We cheer each other on and support each other, so it’s been really fun for me. Our scores were higher than the other countries because we went with dives that were much more difficult. That’s what made the difference for Canada,” explained Benjamin Tessier of Blainville, Quebec.
Their compatriots Cédric Fofana, Mia Vallée, Matt Cullen and Katelyn Fung took second place with a score of 414.75.
The bronze medal was awarded to one of the United States two teams, USA A, who scored a total 367.20.
In the men’s 10 m event, Benjamin Tessier took part in his first ever international competition at the senior level. He secured third place headed out of the semi-final with a total score of 838.05, qualifying for the final, which is scheduled to take place Sunday.
For the individual events, the standings are determined by the total scores from the preliminary rounds and the semifinals. The results account for the scores from the 12 dives from the men and the 10 from the women.
“I’m a little prouder of my performance in the preliminaries than in the semifinal. I would have liked to have been just a step above in the semifinal, but I did make it to the final. I’m happy, and I’ll try to be better tomorrow. I’m here to gain experience, see what it’s like. I’m not quite used to the schedule and how everything plays out,” explained the 17-year-old.
Matt Cullen, of Rosemère, finished fourth with 818.30 points. He will also appear in the medal round on Sunday. Rylan Wiens’ (771.20) fifth-place finish was not enough to secure him a place alongside his two teammates in the final. Only the top four were to advance to the next round.
On the 3 m platform, Cédric Fofana and Bjorn Markentin stamped their ticket to the final, with second- and third-place finishes in the semifinal. Fofana, of Montreal, scored a total 763.55 points for his 12 dives. Markentin, of Regina, scored a total 718.15 points.
Second- and third-place finishers in the semi-final of the women’s 3 m event, Quebec’s Mia Vallée (623.85) and Alberta’s Margo Erlam (580.50) qualified for Sunday’s final. Ontario’s Katelyn Fung saw her journey come to an end in the semi-final, where she finished fifth with a score of 491.10. Like it was the case on the men’s side, only the top four athletes moved on to the following round.
For Mia Vallée, it was a first international competition since 2019, mainly due to the pandemic. The young diver was thrilled to represent her country once more.
“I’m really excited to be back,” said Vallée. “In the preliminaries, I missed my reverse dive and my back dive. But in the semi-final, I didn’t miss a single dive. I think it’s one of the biggest lists that I’ve performed in my career, and I was able to execute. I’m really proud of myself and happy to have been able to succeed this way in an environment that’s not familiar to me.”
In the 10 m event, Kate Miller accrued a trial 529.55 points in the semi-final, good for third place. The Ottawa native will also be competing for a medal in this event on Sunday.
Just one athlete was on hand to represent Canada at the junior level. British Columbia’s Carson Paul largely dominated in the prelims, with a score of 397.75. The Victoria native bested his closest opponent, Britain’s Jorden Fisher-Eames (337.70) but just over 60 points.
Paul will participate in the semi-final on Sunday morning.
For full results, visit: https://www.diverecorder.co.uk/live/meet4/prog.php
Canada’s divers will be in action once more at this summer’s Senior National Championships scheduled to take place in Victoria, B.C., May 27-29. This competition will be the final qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games which will take place in Birmingham, United Kingdom, at the end of July, and for the 2022 World Championships set to take place in Budapest, Hungary, at the end of June. Several members of the Canadian national team will also compete in Calgary, AB, for the FINA Grand Prix – Canada Cup, scheduled to take place June 9-12, 2022.
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