Lima: successful Sunday for Canada at Pan Am Games
Laval, Que.’s Meaghan Benfeito calmed her nerves while Calgary’s Caeli McKay quelled sickness and the pair combined for a gold medal performance in the women’s 10m synchronized platform, adding to a bronze medal for Ville Mont-Royal, Que.’s Philippe Gagné on 3m springboard during a successful Sunday for Canada at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“To leave here with two gold is what I wanted obviously, it’s what I’ve been working for, it was hard, I’m not going to lie, both events I did were very stressful, a lot of pressure, diving last is not fun at all, they tried to distract us in the stands but I think we got the best of it,” said Benfeito, 30, who also won individual gold on Saturday in the women’s 10m event.
The Canadians scored 320.64 points, beating Mexico’s silver medallists Alejandra Orozco Loza and Gabriela Belem Agundez Garcia who collected 307.38 points.
Amelia Magana and Delaney Schnell of the United States came in third-place with 281.10 points.
McKay, 20, has been battling illness for the past 24 hours, “I tried to sleep a little bit today and didn’t eat much at all, I had some cereal and that’s about it, I think in the event my brain goes somewhere else, I mean the adrenaline just takes over and pain lasts only for a minute, when you can have a gold medal in your pocket, so I mean, we can deal with the pain now,” said McKay.
“This medal is really special to me, it’s the only Pan Am Games I’m going to be doing with Meaghan and to have a gold medal is really sweet,” added McKay.
Philippe Gagné was the only Canadian in the men’s 3m springboard final, and his 448.65 points put him in third-place, “That was a really, really tough event, really good competition, everybody was diving well, well from what I saw and there’s a lot of good scores in the top six maybe even the top eight so it was very stressful but it was also a lot of fun,” said the 21 year-old.
Colombia’s Daniel Restrepo won the event with 468.10 points while Juan Manuel Celaya Hernandez, of Mexico, took the silver medal with 454.30 points.
Gagné is fighting a mental battle after landing on the board in the 3m synchro springboard at last month’s world championships in Korea. His injuries were superficial, but he said his mind is scarred, “These Games were just to get my confidence back up after Gwangju, after what happened over there, I’m going to say it was terrible, so coming back here and being able to get a silver with Frankie (François Imbeau-Dulac in the 3m synchro) and a bronze in individual I’m very, very happy,” said Gagné.
In the women’s 3m springboard preliminary, Canada’s Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware qualified first and second for Monday’s final. The last day of diving competition in Peru will also feature Canada’s Vincent Riendeau and Nathan Zsombor-Murray in the men’s 10m platform.
Full results can be found here:
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