Windsor: Peter Thach Mai & Meaghan Benfeito crowned champions
Peter Thach Mai, of CAMO, delivered a stellar performance to win the Canadian title on 3m at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre. First after the preliminary round, the Montreal-based athlete remained consistent throughout the final to earn the victory and a new personal best of 469.20 points.
“I’m going through a lot of emotions right now, I have no words to express how I feel,” he said a few minutes after his event. “Before coming here, my dream was to qualify for FISU Games. I had this goal without knowing if it was actually within my reach. So, today’s results is really motivating for me.”
According to the 20-year-old athlete, the key to success for him in final was to try a different approach with more explosive take offs. “I was feeling stressed during the final, so I started my dives fasters so there wouldn’t be time for random my thoughts to break my concentration”
Cedric Fofana (Quebec City, QC), from ARO, kept pace with Mai throughout the final, scoring a new personal best with 452.40 points. Olympian François Imbeau-Dulac (Terrebonne, QC), of CAMO, was third at 440.45.
In a dramatic finish to these national championships, three divers in particular put on outstanding performances while vying for national supremacy on the 10m tower. In the end, it was the veteran Meaghan Benfeito (Laval, QC) that rose to the occasion, edging out her synchro partner Caeli Mckay (Calgary, AB), and Celina Toth (St. Thomas, ON) for her second national title of 2019.
Benfeito finished with a score of 387.80 to claim top spot, McKay placed second with 366.80, and Toth took the bronze with 358.50.
Before these championships, Benfeito was admittedly navigating a rough patch where her diving was not up to her expectations. Over the last few weeks, she dedicated herself to refocusing so that she could at her best here in Windsor.
“The last month I have been really struggling, but through that, I learned a lot about myself. I think that is was helped me nail my last dive,” said Benfeito.
“Caeli and Celina really pushed me pretty close to my limit, which made me rely on the mental side of things a lot more. I didn’t know I was as strong as I showed today.”
All three showed tremendous consistency throughout both the preliminaries and the finals, but it all came down the final dive of the competition.
“The way the girls were diving, I knew I couldn’t hold back, I had to give everything I had,” added Benfeito.
“I’m shocked I pulled it off, but I’m really happy”.
The results from Windsor will be used to select the Canadian teams that will compete at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships, the 2019 Pan American, and the 2019 FISU Games.
Full results: http://www.issmembership.com/diving/live/schedule.aspx
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