It was their first FINA Diving World Cup together, and they made it count
WUHAN, China – Montreal’s Meaghan Benfeito and Calgary’s Caeli McKay captured the bronze medal in the women’s 10m synchro platform on Thursday, as the season’s ultimate event continued in Wuhan, China.
“We’re really happy, it was our personal best and I think we did a good job of enjoying ourselves while we dove well,” said 18 year-old McKay, “It was my first world cup, our first world cup together, so I think it was a very good experience.”
The pair began diving together at the start of last season.
The Canadians collected 324.42 points, just behind the silver medallists from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mi Hwa Kim and Kwang Hui Kim, who scored 328.98 points.
China’s Jiaqi Zhang and Minjie Zhang won the gold medal with 366.12 points.
“The fact that we enjoyed ourselves, which makes our performance even better, we finally showed what we’re capable of doing,” said the 29 year-old Benfeito, “The score that we did was what we’re looking for, and I think it’s just the beginning of what we can do.”
By being Top 6, Benfeito and McKay have qualified for next season’s FINA Diving World Series, the world’s most elite diving tour.
It was also a first for François Imbeau-Dulac, as he qualified for his first-ever FINA Diving World Cup final in the morning, and then finished 10th in the men’s 3m springboard later on Thursday.
“That was my first-ever finals in a world cup competition on three-metre individual so I was incredibly nervous,” said Imbeau-Dulac, from Saint-Lazare, Que.
“I think I overthink a little bit too much about everything that happened to me in the past and it really got in my head,” said the 27 year-old Canadian Olympian.
Imbeau-Dulac registered 398.10 points in the final, while China’s Siyi Xie recorded 557.60 points for the gold medal.
“Overall I cannot say that I’m disappointed because I managed to do six dives, yes there was one major mistake, but I think for a first-ever world cup final I should be happy with what I showed today,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
He was the only Canadian man in the final. Montreal’s Philippe Gagné, 20, was 14th (390.20 points) in the semifinal and did not advance to the final.
“I was really tired and I think that showed in a lot of my dives,” said Gagné, “All of my dives weren’t as they can be, so that was a bit disappointing, but I think I can learn from this event and I’m still really happy with our synchro performance, and my preliminaries performance yesterday.”
On Friday, Victoria’s Bryden Hattie and Rylan Wiens, from Saskatoon, Sask., will take on the men’s 10m synchro platform.
Meanwhile, Olympians Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware will get their chance in the women’s 3m springboard.
Full results can be found here: https://bit.ly/2LpLBsT
GET ON BOARD
Have you ever wondered what diving feels like? We fly, and so can you!