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Diving Canada – The expectation to perform well on home soil, for Canada, one of the best diving nations in the world, is high, especially at the Canada Cup FINA Diving Grand Prix.

And the first day of finals in Calgary provided three gold medals in front of the Repsol Sport Centre crowd. 

To open the day, Olympic veteran Meaghan Benfeito and 15 year-old Nathan Zsombor-Murray scored a silver medal in the mixed 10m synchro final with 313.86 points. 

Immediately after it was Olympians François Imbeau-Dulac, 28, and his teammate Philippe Gagné, 21, winning Canada’s first gold medal of the day, with a score of 398.73 points in the men’s 3m synchro. 

“I think that it was good enough for today but it’s not what we really wanted,” said Imbeau-Dulac, from Terrebonne, Que., “There were some small mistakes here and there, we started very strong with our two compulsories and after that there were some dives that were not as good as we know we can do.”

Imbeau-Dulac also commented that having 12 teams in the final, compared to six at the elite FINA Diving World Series, gave the Canadians some practice at the format used at world championships, “I think it was good to get that and see how we would react to such a long event in synchro,” said Imbeau-Dulac. 

The first individual final of the competition saw Olympian Jennifer Abel win the women’s 3m springboard with 334.55 points, with Montreal’s Pamela Ware, 26, picking up the bronze medal with 321.90 points. 

“I am pretty satisfied with my performance today. Unfortunately I missed my third dive, I overreacted on a little mistake that I made in my take-off and I was fine, but by the time I was thinking, it was already too late,” said the 27 year-old.

“I was really happy with how I was mentally, I’m working hard on that,” said Abel.

The podium streak continued in the women’s 10m synchro, when Benfeito, and Calgary’s Caeli McKay took the gold medal with 305.85 points. 

“Meg and I were really happy, we put a little bit on the line, we were trying something new today, we put in a back three-and-a-half instead of our front three-and-a-half that we’re usually very comfortable with, which meant we had to change out one of our compulsories from a back dive to a front dive so I mean considering that we’re really happy,” said McKay.

The Canadians now have the dive list with the highest degree-of-difficulty in the world. They are hoping to use it when the Diving World Series continues in Montreal later this month. 

In the meantime, it was another chance for McKay to perform at the pool where she learned how to dive, “It’s nice to have my family here, it’s nice to have my friends be able to watch and it’s also a little bit weird to compete in my home pool that I trained in for 13 years, but it’s a great crowd, there’s a lot of memories, it’s always unique to compete in Calgary,” said the 19 year-old. 

Vincent Riendeau was the last Canadian to dive on Saturday, finishing fourth in the men’s 10m platform with a score of 406.30 points. 

The Canada Cup finishes up on Sunday with finals in the mixed 3m synchro, men’s 10m synchro, women’s 3m synchro, men’s 3m, and women’s 10m.

Full results can be found here: http://www.issmembership.com/diving/live/schedule.aspx

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For more information:

 

Maëlle Dancause

Manager, Public Relations

Diving Plongeon Canada

C: 514-475-4540 | maelle@diving.ca