Mission accomplished for Team Canada on day one in Calgary
CALGARY – Three Canadian Olympians qualified for the final of their event, making it a cheerful start to the Canada Cup FINA Diving Grand Prix on Thursday.
With one preliminary and two semifinals for each of the the women’s 3m springboard, and men’s 10m platform, there were a total of six events sprinkled from the morning to late afternoon at the Repsol Sport Centre.
Olympic medallist Jennifer Abel, 26, moved through the preliminary (339.55 points) and semifinal B (318.15 points), and finished first each time.
“I think the goal today was to not do anything too crazy, and make it to the final, and I’m really happy how it went,” said Abel.
The native of Laval, Que. will dive last on Saturday, the spot reserved for the final’s top qualifier.
“I’m very happy to maintain what I was doing since the first competition, at world series, and technique-wise today I did it,” said Abel, referencing the FINA Diving World Series, which in addition to the Diving Grand Prix, is an elite diving world tour.
“I’m going to do the same thing in finals, I’m going to stick to the technique and do my dives like I know,” said Abel.
Abel will be joined by her teammate, Pamela Ware, who managed 309.75 points in the preliminary, and then was second behind Abel in semifinal B with 302.10 points.
Ware, from Montreal, will dive fourth in the rotation during Saturday’s final.
“The goal of today was just to get into the final, which I did, in the prelims I had a couple dives that were below what I usually do,” said Ware.
The 25 year-old Rio 2016 Olympian had one awkward entry in her semifinal, “My reverse two-and-a-half, my fourth one, I did a really bad take-off so I landed on my back, but I still made it in [to the final] so that’s what counts,” said Ware.
“I’m really happy because even though I did that I was in good spirits all day, I was happy and I just really enjoyed myself.”
It is Ware’s first trip to Calgary since 2009, and the first major diving competition in Calgary in some time.
Ware was clear about the goal, “This competition is to show Canada who we are and what we can do.”
Olympian Vincent Riendeau, of Pointe-Claire, Que., was the other Canadian to get through, as he moved on to the final of the men’s 10m platform.
Riendeau, 21, registered 399.75 points in the preliminary, then incredibly, accumulated the exact same score in semifinal B. He will dive fourth in Saturday’s 10m final.
On day two of the Canada Cup, Canada’s Peter Thach Mai, François Imbeau-Dulac, and Philippe Gagné will contest the preliminary, and if they advance, the semifinals of the men’s 3m springboard.
Calgarian Caeli McKay, and her teammates Elaena Dick, Celina Toth, and Olivia Chamandy are entered in the women’s 10m platform preliminary for Friday.
Full schedule and other Canadian results can be found here: https://www.canadacupdiving.com/
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