Gwangju: McKay & Benfeito secure two Olympic quota spots for Canada
Laval, Que.’s Meaghan Benfeito and Calgary’s Caeli McKay powered through Tuesday’s semifinal in the women’s 10m platform at FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, earning two spots for Canada at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Out of the 18-diver semifinal field, the Top 12 finishers grab an Olympic berth.
McKay, 20, finished in third-place with 356.70 points while the three-time Olympian Benfeito, now 30 years-old, was fourth with 340.60 points.
“Today was a very positive day for me. One of my main goals was to show my strength as an individual diver,” said McKay, who teamed up with Benfeito for this past Sunday’s 10m synchro platform event.
The pair were fourth-place and missed qualifying an Olympic spot by 0.81 points because in synchro events, only the Top 3 finishers are accepted for Tokyo 2020.
“After my synchro event I wanted to come back strong and open a spot for my country at the Olympics. I am very proud to have done that. I am pleased with my performance and I know what I need to improve for tomorrow’s final,” said McKay.
Benfeito has been through plenty of FINA Worlds, and pointed out that because of the Olympic possibilities, semifinals can be stressful.
She confessed that Tuesday wasn’t her best outing, “Semis were a little bit rough, the last dives weren’t exactly how I wanted them to be but the goal was to make the final to open the spot for the Olympics and that’s what we did, obviously we’re going to take it up a notch tomorrow for the final,” said Benfeito.
The Canadians will go up against two Chinese divers, Chen Yuxi and Lu Wei, who were first and second after Tuesday’s semi.
Benfeito said that shedding the stress of Olympic qualification makes an impact, “It also allows us to go into the final with nothing to lose anymore, we really have to give it all we have.”
The final of the women’s 10m platform is Wednesday night at 20:45 local time in Gwangju.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ville Mont-Royal, Que.’s Philippe Gagné, and St-Lazare, Que.’s François Imbeau-Dulac will take on the preliminaries of the men’s 3m springboard.
Full results can be found here:
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