Success for the hometown star
CALGARY – On Friday, Calgary’s Caeli McKay advanced to the final of the women’s 10m platform in front of her parents, two brothers, extended family, and club team, at the Canada Cup FINA Diving Grand Prix.
And she did it in her home pool, the Repsol Sport Centre.
“It was kind of weird because I’ve only ever done provincials in Calgary,” said McKay, “It’s quite a different environment to have to change my mindset, but it was really exciting and I mean, it puts a lot of pressure on me, but I think it helped me dive better because I dive well with pressure.”
The 19 year-old finished second in semifinal A, with 306.15 points, after advancing through the preliminary round. She met her objective of making the top six bound for Sunday’s final, in front of her friends and family.
“My family rarely gets to see me in home competitions that are as big as this one, so it was really, really special for all of us,” said McKay.
Victoria’s Celina Toth was fourth in semifinal A and did not advance to the final.
Canada’s springboard men were also successful on Friday, as Olympians Philippe Gagné, 20, and François Imbeau-Dulac, 27, both moved through to the final of the 3m event.
Imbeau-Dulac, of Saint-Lazare, Que, collected 424.55 points to finish second in semifinal A, while Montreal’s Gagné was third-place in semifinal B with 401.95 points.
“The goal was to make it through to semifinals, then in the semifinal, I’m not happy about the score but I’m happy to have made it to the final,” said Gagné, who said the three-hour preliminary was a physical and mental challenge.
The pure science major also has a lot on his mind, “I’m studying for my final exams coming up so I had a lot of trouble focusing on my dives,” said Gagné, a 2016 Olympian, “I think I need to rest up a bit before the finals, not necessarily train as I would want to.”
Imbeau-Dulac also improved from the morning to the afternoon.
“In semifinals, I had a really shaky start with my first dive then after that everything went really well, so I know I can do much better,” said the veteran national team member, “I’m very pleased to have another opportunity to show that I can do six dives really well.”
The men’s 3m springboard final is also on Sunday.
But first, here are Canada’s entries for each Saturday final:
Women’s 10m synchro platform final (11:20 am MT)
Olympian Meaghan Benfeito and Calgary’s Caeli McKay
Men’s 10m platform final (12:35 pm MT)
Olympian Vincent Riendeau
Women’s 3m springboard final (2:10 pm MT)
Olympians Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware
Men’s 3m synchro springboard final (3:15 pm MT)
Olympians Philippe Gagné and François Imbeau-Dulac
Victor Povzner and Henry McKay
Mixed 10m synchro platform final (5:00 pm MT)
Diving World Series champions Meaghan Benfeito and Nathan Zsombor-Murray
Full schedule and other Canadian results can be found here: https://www.canadacupdiving.com/
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