Santiago: it’s raining medals for Canadian divers
It’s raining medals for Canadian divers at Junior Pan Am Championships
Jordane Legault of St-Eustache, Que., won the gold medal in the girls 12-13 age group platform while Tatiana Conn of Markham, Ont., and Katelyn Fung of London, Ont., triumphed on platform synchro to highlight a seven-medal performance for Canada on Friday at the Pan Am Junior Diving Championships.
After two days of competition the Canadians have collected 13 medals (three gold – six silver and four bronze). Mexico leads with eight gold, three silver and two bronze followed by Canada and the U.S is third (3-4-4).
Legault took the title with 262.00 points to win a close battle with Ivanna Leal Lucio of Mexico in second at 259.40. Tifany Brawn Lozada of Colombia was third at 245.70. Renee Batalla of Victoria, BC, was also in the medal hunt and took fifth at 241.85.
‘’It was a tough competition,’’ said Legault, 13. ‘’There were a lot of strong entries from Mexico and Colombia. ‘’My first five dives were very good but I missed my last one a little bit. I think the win here will make me less stressed for the one and three-metre events.’’
In the women’s platform synchro, Conn and Fung tabulated 278.16 with the U.S. second at 268.32 and Mexico third at 239.34.
‘’We learned about two months ago we would do this event,’’ said Fung. ‘’The work we put into it was all worth it.’’
‘’We didn’t feel fully prepared,’’ added Conn. ‘’I’m really happy to have won the gold. We have a long way to go in this event but with a lot of hard work maybe we could make it happen.’’
In the girls 14-15 one-metre final, Maria Jose Sanchez Moreno of Mexico took the gold with 350.40. Katelyn Fung of London, Ont., earned her second medal in two days with silver at 325.75 edging Marie-Laurence Forest of Quebec City in third at 324.95.
Fung has been battling knee problems.
‘’I was quite surprised with my result today,’’ said Fung, in her international debut. ‘’The injury is on my hurdle leg but I was able to pull through with a solid performance. My one-metre has been stronger this year.’’
Forest was also pleased with her performance.
‘’Apart from two average compulsory dives, it was still good and I’m happy,’’ she said. ‘’I was hoping to get on the podium but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to do so.’’
Thomas Ciprik of Pointe-Claire notched a second silver in two day placing second in the men’s 16-18 one-metre with 491.85. Jordan Rzepka of the U.S was first at 499.60 and his compatriot Tyler Downs third at 486.90. Victor Povzner of Maple, Ont., was fourth at 474.25.
‘’This competition standard was a lot higher than my three-metre one yesterday,’’ said Ciprik. ‘’Everyone was diving very well and doing their best which made it more exciting. The two Americans are very good competitors and it was great to challenge them once again.’’
Not to be outdone, Benjamin Tessier of Blainville, Que., took the silver in the boys 14-15 platform with 457.50. Osmar Olvera Ibarra of Mexico won the gold with 467.95, his compatriot Gael Jimenez Mestas was third at 423.00 and Matt Cullen of Rosemère, Que., fourth at 412.40.
‘’I kept my concentration,’’ said Tessier. ‘’ I felt that if I stuck to my game plan I would have success. This sets me up well for my upcoming events.’’
Mexico was 1-2 in the boys 11 and under three-metre followed by Dean Calfacacos of Pointe-Claire, Que., in third with 242.65. He was less than nine points from the silver.
‘’I was excited and nervous at the same time,’’ said Calfacacos. ‘’There were divers with more difficult dives but I realized I still has a shot at a medal. I just took it one dive at a time and forgot about the previous dive whether it was good or bad.’’
In the women’s 16-18 three-metre, Mélodie Leclerc of Montreal was seventh and Margo Erlam of Saskatoon 10th.
Competition continues through to Sunday.
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