Jennifer Abel makes her dream come to life in Gold Coast
GOLD COAST – Jennifer Abel got what she came for.
The Canadian won gold in the women’s 3m springboard on Saturday night, and Vincent Riendeau added a bronze in the men’s 10m platform, to punctuate the diving competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“I’m very happy about this medal, I really wanted to have this gold, it was the only one that I was missing,” said Abel, from Laval, Que., who was second on 3m at the last two Commonwealth Games.
It was also the only colour of medal Canada was missing from these Games, having won four silver earlier in the week.
Saturday’s gold is Abel’s seventh Commonwealth Games medal, adding to gold on 1m springboard (2010, 2014), her two silvers on 3m springboard (2010, 2014), plus a gold (2010, Heymans), and a silver (2014, Ware) in 3m synchro springboard.
“It means a lot to me because it will probably be my last Commonwealth Games, and finishing with a gold medal ends the chapter perfectly,” said Abel.
It was an extremely narrow victory for the 26 year-old. Her 366.95 points were only 0.4 points more than silver medallist Maddison Keeney, of Australia. Anabelle Smith, also of Australia, was third-place with 336.90 points.
Montreal’s Pamela Ware finished fourth with 330.60 points.
Abel held the top spot from her second dive until the end, but Keeney repeatedly slashed down the margin, from 21 points to under one point over her final three plunges.
“Coming here to Australia and diving against the Australians, they are very strong, so being able to face the crowd and the pressure that the girls were giving me, it was a tough competition,” said Abel.
“I couldn’t step out of my zone, I had to stay focused until the end.”
Vincent Riendeau, from Pointe-Claire, Que., earned his bronze medal in the men’s 10m platform with 425.40 points.
Australia’s Domonic Bedggood won the event with 451.15 points, while Matthew Dixon, of England, took the silver with 449.55 points.
“After the prelims, I was a little bit shaky, so I was a little bit unsure but I tried to come in with all the confidence that I had and do every correction that my coach gave me,” said Riendeau, who was eighth after the preliminary.
“My diving hasn’t been as consistent as it used to be, or as it can be, so tonight I was trying to give it my all, trying to do all the corrections we’ve been working on for the past few weeks,” said the 21 year-old, who skipped the first two Diving World Series events in March to prepare for a busy spring competition season.
Rylan Wiens, of Saskatoon, Sask., finished eighth with 370.30 points, while Sherwood Park, Alb.’s Tyler Henschel was 12th with 320.85 points.
Canadian divers leave Australia with six medals (1 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze) and now head home to prepare for FINA Diving World Series #3, April 27 to 29 in Montreal. More information about Montreal’s Diving World Series: www.divingmtl.com
GET ON BOARD
Have you ever wondered what diving feels like? We fly, and so can you!