Historic bronze medal for Rylan Wiens and Nathan Zsombor-Murray in the 10m synchro
Rylan Wiens and Nathan Zsombor-Murray made history on Tuesday by winning bronze in the men’s 10m synchro at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. It was the first time that the Canadian men finished on the podium in this event.
Wiens and Zsombor-Murray scored 417.12 points for their six dives, finishing roughly 10 points behind silver medalists Matthew Lee and Noah Williams (427.71) from Great Britain.
Yang Hao and Lian Junjie, from China, took gold with 467.79 points.
“I am really happy with how we dove. Our goal was to win a medal here and we’ve achieved it. This is a really special moment for us!”, exclaimed Saskatchewan native Wiens.
After their first three dives, the Canadians were sitting in fourth place. They climbed to third after their fourth dive and protected their podium spot for the remaining two dives.
“Our last two dives were really solid. In the last round, we knew we needed to execute a good dive to maintain our position. We wanted to stay calm and nail it. We did it – and when we got out of the water, we looked at each other and said: ‘Oh, I think that’s a medal!’ And we were right! We made history”, shared Zsombor-Murray from Pointe-Claire, Quebec.
In the preliminary round, the Canadian pair showed the field that they were ready to compete when they finished fourth, posting a cumulative score of 377.88, just two points shy of third.
“Even before prelims, we knew we had a chance to compete for a medal in the final. We were only aiming to qualify. We were saving energy for the final and we did it. Everything went exactly according to plan”, explained Wiens.
The two divers only began their synchro partnership this year but quickly developed a great synergy. Already in training, the compatibility of their styles suggested a very bright future for 19-year-old Zsombor-Murray and 20-year-old Wiens. They proved it today by securing a spot on the podium.
“We haven’t been diving together very long. This was only our second international competition but we’ve been friends since we were twelve. We have traveled together ever since we were juniors, and now at the senior level. We’ve been teammates at major events like the Tokyo Olympics. We both spin very fast and have a similar style. I feel as if we’ve been diving together for much longer”, stated Wiens.
The World Championships are far from over for these two young athletes. They will return to the platform on Saturday for the men’s individual 10m event.
Both divers are taking a level-headed approach to this event. They both hope to qualify for the semi-finals, then the finals, without putting undue pressure on themselves with respect to the final result. Their main objective is to dive as well as they can, hoping it could lead to a second podium this week in Budapest.
Wednesday, Margo Erlam and Mia Vallée will be in action in the women’s 1m springboard event.
A detailed schedule of events is also available on the FINA website
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