Gwangju : Abel & Citrini-Beaulieu secure Olympic qualification on 3m synchro
Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu have qualified for Tokyo 2020 after winning the silver medal in the women’s 3m synchro springboard on Monday at the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
Furthermore, the medal makes Abel, 28, the most decorated Canadian at the FINA World Championships, with nine medals over the course of her career.
The Laval, Que. native passes Olympic medallist diver Alexandre Despatie and Olympic medal winning swimmer Ryan Cochrane.
Foremost in Abel’s mind was the Olympic spot, “So much was on the line today. We wanted to qualify the country for the Olympics and there was also the possibility for me to become Canada’s most decorated athlete at the World Championships,” said Abel, “I’m also very proud that I managed to win a medal at the last five World Championships in this event.”
The Canadians scored 311.10 points in the final to land in second place, while China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han won the gold medal with 342.00 points.
Paola Espinosa Sanchez and Melany Hernandez Torres, of Mexico, were third-place with 294.90 points.
Abel and Citrini-Beaulieu were second all-throughout the final.
“I feel relieved to know that we’re officially qualified for the Olympics and I’m proud that I managed to stay focused and not let myself get distracted,” said Abel, “Mélissa and I felt very confident going into the event and we didn’t leave any room for doubts or hesitations.”
Tokyo will be the first Olympic Games for Citrini-Beaulieu, 24, who became Abel’s teammate after Rio 2016.
“Everything feels like a dream right now. I can’t believe it finally happened. We put so much work into this and I’m so proud of us. We knew what was on the line, we knew exactly what we had to do and I’m impressed by the way we approached the competition today,” said Citrini-Beaulieu, from Saint-Constant, Que.
“I’ve been dreaming about the Olympic Games since I was a kid, it feels unreal…someone needs to pinch me!”
In the men’s 10m synchro platform, Beaconsfield, Que.’s Vincent Riendeau joined with Pointe-Claire, Que.’s Nathan Zsombor-Murray to finish 11th in the final with 368.19 points.
Zsombor-Murray, 16, evaluated his performance, “I think I was very ambitious, maybe a little too ambitious, trying too hard and getting tense but we did great compulsories.”
The Canadians were 4th after the preliminaries.
“I think this morning we proved what we’re capable of in the future and I hope we can deliver,” said Zsombor-Murray.
On Tuesday, Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay will compete in the women’s 10m platform.
Full results can be found here:
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