Canadian divers win nine medals at Futures Cup
For some, this weekend’s Futures Cup held in Plymouth, in the United Kingdom, was a return to international competition after a long break, for others, a first experience. One thing is for sure, Canada made its mark, adding nine medals to this weekend’s haul. These honours combine with Canada’s two podium finishes in the team event, which took place on Saturday.
The Canadians swept the podium in the men’s 10 m event. Blainville’s Benjamin Tessier earned himself the gold with a score of 500.35. Rylan Wiens, of Saskatoon, finished second overall with 453.54, just ahead of Matt Cullen (439.30), of Rosemere.
“I’m really pleased. I hit all my dives like I wanted to. I wasn’t expecting to win. Having made it to the final, my goal was just to have fun and try to do the best I can,” said Tessier.
“Also, this time around, I didn’t focus on my entries like I had in the previous rounds. I just focused on one thing: my starts. From there, I let things go. I think that helped a lot,” he added.
Matt Cullen and Benjamin Tessier then earned silver in the synchronized event, thanks to a score of 406.92. Representing England, Ben Cutmore and Kyle Kothari triumphed with 424.17 points, while Britons Matty Lee and Noah Williams (390.75) left with the bronze.
Two Canadians were in the final for the 3 m springboard event. Bjorn Markentin, making his first international appearance at the senior level, grabbed hold of silver with 365.25 points. He finished just behind Jamaican Yona Knight-Wisdom (481.05) and ahead of Ireland’s Jake Passmore (355.75 points).
“There are a lot of things I’m proud of. I messed up a few dives, which is a bit frustrating, but overall, my performance was very good. I couldn’t ask for more from my first international experience. I’ve participated in some big national competitions and some NCAA events, but this isn’t the same. I was here to gain experience and mission accomplished,” said Bjorn Markentin, of Regina.
Montreal’s Cédric Fofana finished in fourth place with a score of 348.90.
A personal record for Mia Vallée
Quebec’s Mia Vallée triumphed in the women’s 3 m event. The Kirkland native totalled 345.80 points, a personal record, to overcome Scotland’s Grace Reid. Alberta’s Margo Erlam, the defending Canadian champion in this event, took home bronze with 309.40 points.
For Vallée, it was a return to international competition. Her last experience was the summer of 2019, before the pandemic put a pause on competition. Since then, the University of Miami student has participated in the ACC and NCAA championships.
Vallée and Erlam also teamed up for the 10 m synchro event, where they won gold with a score of 305.70. Britons Desharne Bent-Ashmeil and Amy Rollinson finished second with 280.80 points and England’s representatives, Callie Eaglestone and May Kutty (244.62) finished third.
In the 10 m platform event, Ontario’s Kate Miller took third with a score of 283.30. She was just 50 hundredths of a point from second place, held by Britain’s Eden Cheng (283.80). Also representing the home team, Royn Birch (318.75) finished at the top of the podium.
“I’m pretty happy. In general, I’m more satisfied with my performance in the preliminaries and the semi-final, but there are certain dives I did better in the final, so I’m holding on to the positives,” said the Ottawa native.
“We’ve had virtual international competitions, but it’s been a long time since I’ve done one in person. It definitely makes me more nervous. But I think that I dive better when I’m nervous, so in some ways it’s a good thing,” she added.
The only junior athlete in action, British Columbia’s Carson Paul finished at the foot of the podium in the 10 m platform event with a score of 358.95.
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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