Gwangju: heartbreaking 4th place finish for Canada’s Benfeito & McKay
It is in challenging moments like this that Olympic veteran Meaghan Benfeito draws on her experience.
Benfeito, 30, and Calgary’s Caeli McKay, 20, finished in fourth-place in the women’s 10m synchro platform final on Day 3 of the diving competition at the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
It means they will have to wait until next April’s World Cup to secure an Olympic spot for Canada in the event.
In synchro events, only a Top 3 finish guarantees a ticket to Tokyo 2020, unless host Japan should finish on the podium, in which case Top 4 would be accepted.
“I think we got nervous because we knew what was on the line,” said Benfeito, from Laval, Que., “I think we started off really well, our first dives were probably better than we’ve ever done, obviously round four and round five were not the best.”
The Canadians ranked second in the preliminary round, and were sitting in the same spot after three dives of the final.
They sank to fourth after missing their final two dives to finish with 304.05 points, a mere 0.81 points behind the USA’s Samantha Bromberg and Katrina Young, who finished with the bronze medal.
China’s Lu Wei and Zhang Jiaqi were first with 345.24 points.
According to her, this is where Benfeito’s long career as an Olympic diver comes in, “It’s a learning process, I told Caeli not to worry about it, it’s happened to me that we didn’t qualify the spot right away and sometimes it’s better like that because you can learn from it and go back home and make sure not to make those same mistakes again and work harder and get to the World Cup and give everything that you have,” said Benfeito.
Despite the two mistakes, Benfeito and McKay still managed to post over 300-points, their season-long target.
“We have to turn the page and focus on our individual, I told Caeli not to worry about it and that we’re going to come back stronger,” said Benfeito.
Both Canadians will compete in the individual 10m platform on Tuesday.
On Monday it will be Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu’s turn to splash at worlds, in the women’s 3m synchro springboard.
Vincent Riendeau and Nathan Zsombor-Murray will take on the men’s 10m synchro platform.
Full results can be found here:
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