The Stage is Set for Caeli McKay
Montréal, February 4, 2024 – The World Aquatics Championships have been in full swing in Doha, Qatar, since February 2, and Sunday saw Canadian divers Caeli McKay and Kate Miller take to the stage in the 10m platform qualifying event.
An impressive total of 46 divers took part in the qualifier, with McKay earning a spot in the semi-finals thanks to her fifth-place finish, with 318.40 points.
The competition got off to a slow start for the 24-year-old, who earned scores of 60.00 and 53.20 on her first two dives, putting her in provisional 15th place. However, she picked up the pace on her third dive, earning 70.40 points, her best score of the day.
The athlete from Calgary then earned scores of 66.00 and 68.80 on her two final jumps to secure her spot in the semi-finals.
“It was a very, very long competition. Once it started, half an hour went by before I did my first dive. I got more into the swing of things on my third dive. I’m proud of my last three dives. It was an okay day. Not my best ever, but not my worst, either. Now I’m looking forward to the semi-finals,” explained McKay.
Yuxi Chen (435.20 points) and Hongchan Quan (399.30 points), both of China, as well as Andrea Spendolini Sireix of Britain (344.00 points) and Sarah Jodoin Di Maria of Italy (319.45 points), were the only athletes to best McKay in the qualifiers.
The 10m platform semi-finals and finals will take place on Monday. McKay will attempt to replicate her feat from last summer, when she stood on the third step of the podium at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
For Kate Miller, it was the first individual event of her career at the Senior World Championships. The 18-year-old diver finished the competition in 25th place, with 248.80 points.
She will therefore not be among the 18 divers to advance to Monday’s semi-finals, but her job is not done in Doha, as she will compete in the synchronized event with McKay on Tuesday, February 6.
Earlier this week in Doha, Mia Vallée and Cédric Fofana competed in the 1m springboard events to prepare for the 3m competitions, which will count toward the Olympic qualification process for the Paris Games.
Vallée finished 15th in the women’s event with 229.35 points, only 1.60 points away from 12th place, which was the cut-off to advance to the final. Fofana finished 32nd on the men’s side, with 255.55 points.
The men’s 3m preliminaries will take place on Tuesday. Vallée will be back in individual action on Wednesday for the women’s event. Pamela Ware will compete in the same event.
Ware and Vallée will also team up on Wednesday, while Nathan Zsombor-Murray and Rylan Wiens make their debut in Doha on Thursday in the men’s 10m synchronized event. They will also compete in the men’s individual 10m event the following day.