CANADIAN DIVING TEAM ON ITS WAY TO BRAZIL FOR OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
Diving Plongeon Canada – The FINA Diving World Cup will run February 19-24 at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre in Rio and will be the final opportunity for countries to qualify spots for the Olympics
Ottawa, Wednesday February 10th, 2016 – The Canadian Diving Team has just left for Brazil in anticipation of next week’s 2016 FINA Diving World Cup in Rio, which doubles as the Olympic test event. Eight talented athletes and five experienced coaches have been nominated to represent the country in Rio de Janeiro, where the world’s greatest divers will meet for an Olympic preview.
FAB IV’s Jennifer Abel (24, Laval, QC | 3m, 3mS), Meaghan Benfeito (26, Montréal, QC | 10m) and Pamela Ware (23, Montreal, QC | 3m, 3mS), have already qualified Olympic berths for Canada in their individual and synchro events, but the World Cup remains a crucial step in their Olympic preparation.
“This event will allow me to get closer to my main objective, which of course is to be on the podium, but mainly to close the gap with the Chinese,” Abel said. “It’s going to be about fine tuning and seeing what I still need to improve on before the Games”.
For the five other team members, fine tuning won’t be their priority. Their aim will be to unlock Canada’s remaining spots so they can continue their Olympic journey. Fortunately, each athlete has recently shown they are up to the task and have the ability to compete at this level.
Celina Toth (23, St-Thomas, ON | 10m) is one of the divers who will face that challenge. The 2015 FISU Games champion and two-time medallist on the 2015 FINA Grand Prix circuit, will be vying for Canada’s last quota place in the Women’s 10-metre event.
Six-time national champion Maxim Bouchard (25, St-Constant, QC | 10m) and 2014 Commonwealth Games medallist Vincent Riendeau (19, Pointe-Claire, QC | 10m, 10mS) will be focusing on the very same objective in the Men’s event.
Philippe Gagné (18, Ville Mont-Royal, QC | 3m, 3mS, 10mS) and François Imbeau-Dulac (25, St-Lazare, QC | 3m, 3mS), both medallists from the 2015 Pan American Games, will be leading the way for Canada on the 3-metre springboard.
According to coach Aaron Dziver (Terrebonne, QC), the coaching staff is very excited about what they’ve just seen at the German Grand Prix, where the men’s team combined to win four medals in four Olympic disciplines. “We’re very optimistic. The boys have been working hard to get their dives to the level where they can achieve the big objective, which is to secure those (Olympic) spots,” says Dziver.
Cesar Henderson (Brossard, QC), Arturo Miranda (Montreal, QC) Yihua Li (Pointe-Claire, QC), and Tommy McLeod (Victoria, BC) are the four other coaches travelling with the team to Brazil, while Hélène Morneau (Lac-Beauport, QC) has been appointed to judge by FINA.
Roseline Filion (27, Montreal, QC), who just made an encouraging return to diving after breaking her ankle this past December, is also traveling with the team to Rio. Having already secured the Women’s 10-metre synchro spot, Filion will be focusing on training and familiarizing herself with the Olympic environment.
About Diving Plongeon Canada
Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC) was established in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization to promote the growth and awareness of the sport in this country. As a member of FINA, the world’s governing body of aquatic sports, DPC contributes to the development of globally accepted standards of excellence in diving and supports the rules and regulations of international competition. Representing nine provincial diving associations, 67 local diving clubs and close to 4,000 high performance athletes, DPC shares a national commitment to advance the art and sport of diving and to position Canada as the number one diving nation of the world.
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