Rostock: Ethan Pitman wins silver at FINA Grand Prix
The Olympic dream just got more intense for Edmonton tower divers Ethan Pitman and Tyler Henschel after strong performances at the FINA Grand Prix diving event on Sunday.
Pitman earned his first career individual medal on the circuit with a silver on men’s 10-metre to conclude the season’s second stop while Henschel took fourth spot.
Ruslan Ternovoi of Russia, who received one perfect 10 for his armstand dive, won the gold with 477.85 points followed by Pitman at 465.90, a personal best international score. Matthew Dixon of Britain was third at 420.95. Henschel fought hard for the bronze and took fourth at 412.15.
The highlights for Pitman was nailing his final twisting dive for 8.0’s and 8.5’s and earning 9.0’s from all seven judges for his backward dive in the third round.
‘’I was struggling with the twister last week in Madrid so it was great to find it again,’’ said Pitman, 22. ‘’The backward dive is now becoming more and more my bread and butter dive after struggling with it for many years. The big difference is I’m able to spot the water a lot better now when I execute the dive.’’
For Henschel he wasn’t too heartbroken about the fourth.
‘’It was a tight race,’’ said the 27-year-old. ‘’My semis score would have got me on the podium. I missed my front dive in the final which is usually consistent for me but today it cost me about 35 points.’’
Right now Canada has one Olympic spot available for men’s tower. A second one could be added with a strong result at the FINA World Cup April 21-26 at the Olympic venue in Tokyo. The Olympic trials, May 21-24 in Windsor, Ont., will finalize the Olympic team.
Pitman and Henschel, who have been diving together since they were young teenagers, are vying for a first career Games appearance.
‘’I certainly feel I’m in contention for an Olympic spot,’’ said Pitman. ‘’I plan to go for it, this is what it’s all about.’’
‘’It will come down to who can execute six strong dives consistently at the trials,’’ added Henschel.
Canada ends the competition with two medals. On Friday, Celina Toth of St. Thomas, Ont., won the silver on women’s tower.
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