They’re brand new, and now, they’re World Cup medallists.
WUHAN, China – Calgary’s Caeli McKay and Vincent Riendeau, of Pointe-Claire, Que., captured the silver medal in the mixed 10m synchro platform, only three weeks after deciding to team up, to begin the FINA Diving World Cup, Monday in Wuhan, China.
“We’re really excited,” said McKay, 19, “We haven’t trained that much together, we just put everything together around three weeks ago, and considering we are such close people it was really cool competing beside each other.”
The Canadians scored 301.20 points, topped by China’s Yajie Si and Junjie Lian, who registered 353.31 points.
Russia’s Valeriia Belova and Sergey Nazin won the bronze medal with 299.88 points.
“We had a little bit of a rough start with our compulsory dives,” said Riendeau, 21, of the first two dives out of five, after which the Canadians were eighth overall.
“We really caught up after the compulsory,” said Riendeau.
And it’s true, the pair advanced from fifth-place, to third, and finally, to second, over the final three dives.
Riendeau believes one of McKay’s unique abilities made the difference.
“Caeli is an extremely powerful diver,” said Riendeau.
“She is one of the women who jumps the highest, so for me doing synchro with her it makes the task a little easier to time, because she’s able to match my height in the dives.”
Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Nathan Zsombor-Murray, FINA Diving World Series gold medallists from earlier in the season, weren’t able to pair up in Wuhan because Zsombor-Murray was at Junior Elite Nationals.
McKay enjoyed filling in.
“It was a very special experience for both of us,” said McKay, who also said she’d love to team up with Riendeau again in the future.
“I think it would be beneficial for both of us, but we’ll just have to see where it takes us.”
The FINA Diving World Cup is the ultimate, and most world-class competition this season.
Day 2 will feature Benfeito, Celina Toth, of Victoria, in the women’s 10m platform, plus Montreal’s Philippe Gagné, and François Imbeau-Dulac, of Saint-Lazare, Que., in the men’s 3m synchro springboard.
Full results can be found here:
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