It was a big opportunity for Calgary divers Erlam and McCool, and they had a great day.
CALGARY – It was a big opportunity for Calgary divers Margo Erlam, 15, and Ashley McCool, 18, and they had a great day.
The Canadian teenagers took the silver medal in the women’s 3m synchro springboard on the final day of competition at the Canada Cup FINA Diving Grand Prix, at Calgary’s Repsol Sport Centre.
“It feels great. Just having the home pool advantage is amazing,” said Erlam, “We don’t have to learn our dives on new boards and stuff so I think just having that advantage was good.”
The pair were filling in for world silver medallists Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu, with the veterans not entered because of an injury to Citrini-Beaulieu.
“I think it’s really incredible, especially with Margo, we get to showcase our stuff instead of Jenn and Mélissa. It’s really important for us that we were on the podium today,” said McCool.
Erlam and McCool scored 272.58 points for the silver, behind China’s Yiwen Chen and Chunting Wu, who collected 306.96 points for the gold medal. Anne Fowler and Carolina Sculti, of the USA, were third-place with 255.27 points.
The Canadians won gold together last year at Canada Games, and while this is their first year as a team they don’t get regular practice because McCool attends Arizona State University.
“For the last two weeks we’ve been training together and it’s incredible that we actually got a medal here,” said McCool.
“It’s a team event so we need to work together. We can’t just have one person working one-on-one because then we won’t perform well.”
In the men’s 3m springboard, Olympian François Imbeau-Dulac, 27, picked up the silver, his second medal of the weekend, counting his gold from the 3m synchro springboard with Philippe Gagné, who was fifth in the individual final.
Imbeau-Dulac secured the podium in large part due to an excellent fourth dive, his forward two-and-a-half twist.
“My coach and I, we thought about a little strategy to not do that dive in preliminaries or the semi-finals because it’s a very demanding dive, physically and mentally,” said the native of Saint-Lazare, Que.
“The goal was just to get into the finals. Then after that, let’s spice things up, put that dive in and see what’s going to happen. And you see, it was one of the best dives of the competition,” said Imbeau-Dulac, who collected 91.65 out of his 451.50 points for nailing the high degree-of-difficulty dive.
China’s Jianfeng Peng won the event with 492.45 points. Ken Terauchi, of Japan, won the bronze medal with 442.55 points.
Canada’s third medal of the day was secured by Ethan Pitman, of Edmonton, and Laurent Gosselin-Paradis, of Montreal, bronze in the men’s 10m synchro platform.
Rylan Wiens, of Saskatoon, and Bryden Hattie, of Victoria, were fourth.
In the women’s 10m platform final, Calgary’s Caeli McKay was sixth.
The host nation ends the Canada Cup with eight medals (two gold, four silver, two bronze).
The Canadian senior national diving team will now set their energy toward the season-ending FINA Diving World Cup in Wuhan, China, June 5 to 10.
Full results can be found here: https://www.canadacupdiving.com/
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