July 14, 2019
2019 FINA World Championships – Day 1
Diving Canada – Canada’s Philippe Gagné came through a scary situation relatively unscathed during the men’s 3m synchronized springboard on Day 2 of the diving competition at the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea on Saturday.
In the preliminaries, Gagné, from Ville Mont-Royal, Que., missed his hurdle, another word for a diver’s lift-off, and hit the board on his fourth synchro dive with teammate and fellow Olympian François Imbeau-Dulac, from St-Lazare, Que.
Fortunately, Gagné calmly exited the pool with his own strength and suffered only superficial injuries with a skin abrasion from his hip to his scapula.
Gagné, 21, plans to compete in the individual 3m event on Wednesday, July 17th.
“I’m still in shock, it’s never happened to me that I hit the board like that so I just don’t know how to take it all in and how to move forward, but I think my coach and Frankie are going to be able to help me, I’m pretty confident for the rest,” said Gagné.
Naturally, the pair of Canadians did not finish the remainder of the preliminary competition after the incident, and placed 25th overall in the event.
“I think it was one of my worst hurdles ever in a competition and because we are in synchro and we have to do the dive in synchro I decided that I still wanted to try to do the dive,” explained Gagné, “I wasn’t able to go out of the board enough and I hit all the side of my back on the board but I think it’s only scratches, it’s superficial, I think I’ll be able to still perform in the individual event in a couple of days.”
Gagné and Imbeau-Dulac, 28, will have to wait to book their ticket to Tokyo 2020, which was the goal according to Gagné, “It would have been a medal to open up a spot for Canada, but we still have a chance at the next World Cup in 2020 so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that.”
On Sunday in Korea, Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay will compete in the women’s 10m synchronized springboard.
Full results can be found here: