Sagamihara: Meaghan Benfeito takes silver in the women’s 10m platform
Every Canadian makes final on Day 2!
Meaghan Benfeito now has international diving medals in three decades of her life, and on her 30th birthday added a silver medal to the collection in the women’s 10m platform at the FINA Diving World Series in Sagamihara, Japan.
“Just seeing that I can still be on the podium at the age of 30 is something that’s very exciting,” said the three-time Olympic medallist, “I’ve been in the best shape I’ve been in for a while and that’s something that I’m working very hard on.”
A podium threat since she was a teenager, Benfeito scored 385.10 points to finish second behind Jiaqi Zhang of China who turned in 393.30 points. China’s Qian Ren had 371.40 points for third.
“I was very confident, training has been going well the past couple of months so I was ready to see what I was at the beginning of the season, happy to come away with a silver medal, now I want more,” said Benfeito.
The veteran later teamed up with 15 year-old Nathan Zsombor-Murray and pulled in 305.64 points in the mixed 10m synchro platform to land sixth in the final.
Benfeito said partnerships with younger athletes is helping, “It’s very motivating to see the younger ones push and I’m glad to have Nathan and Caeli as synchro partners to help me do that and to motivate me to be better every day.”
Calgary’s Caeli McKay, 19, finished fifth in the final with 328.05 points.
Two Canadians appeared in the final of the men’s 3m springboard.
François Imbeau-Dulac, of St-Lazare, Que., was just off the podium in fourth-place with 433.60 points.
The 28 year-old Olympian was surprised to make the final after a preliminary performance he considered underwhelming, “I was happy to have a second chance because I thought it was not as good as what I can show,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
“For the first international competition of the year I think it’s very positive, now I know that getting into the final is possible and being able to fight for a good score in the final is possible as well and I just need to make sure that I adjust small little details for the next competition,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
Indeed, the Canadians will be in Beijing, China March 7 to 9 for the second FINA Diving World Series.
Imbeau-Dulac said this was beneficial, “Having two competitions in a row is very good to see where we stand, especially going into the Grand Prix in Calgary in a month, that’s one of the main competitions of the year for the qualification for World Championships and Pan Ams so having two competitions a month before that even is very important to see where we’re at.”
Rio 2016 Olympian Philippe Gagné, of Ville Mont-Royal, Que., was sixth in the final with 424.95 points. China’s Siyi Xie won the event by scoring an impressive 548.80 points.
The final day in Sagamihara will feature Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware in the women’s 3m springboard, while Abel and Imbeau-Dulac will partner up for the mixed 3m synchro springboard.
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