Canadian women dominate podium
Montréal, November 29, 2022 – Sonya Palkhivala (PCDC) and Katelyn Fung (Forest City) were the stars of the Group A girls’ 3-metre springboard final on Tuesday at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships, being held at the Montréal Olympic Park Sports Centre.
Palkhivala performed flawlessly in this morning’s qualification rounds, where she came out in first place. In the afternoon, the Québécoise maintained her lead throughout the finals, finishing the day with a score of 427.10 points and the title of Junior World Champion.
“I’ve dreamed of being junior world champion for a long time, but I didn’t know if it was really possible. After finishing first in the qualifiers, I started to believe there was a good chance, but I knew I still had a lot of work to do,” explained Palkhivala. “I wasn’t too nervous before the final. I was in my comfort zone. This win gives me a lot of confidence for the future. I just won gold at the Junior World Championships! Now I know I can take it even further.”
Palkhivala is the first Canadian to win a gold medal at the Junior World Championships since 2002, when a certain Alexandre Despatie accomplished the feat.
In this morning’s qualifications, Palkhivala’s teammate Katelyn Fung finished eighth, but she knew she had what it took to move up in the finals. Demonstrating incredible consistency, Fung earned three identical scores of 54.00 on her first three dives in the finals, before displaying the depth of her talent on her final jump by scoring 64.50.
Her total of 420.35 points earned her the second spot on the podium, right behind her countrymate.
“I’m really happy with my medal. It was an incredible experience, and it allowed me to participate in the World Championships right here at home. I wanted to be consistent, and with the dives I had planned, I knew I could get onto the podium today,” said Fung, adding that she was inspired by Palkhivala’s performance.
“It’s amazing to be able to share this with Katelyn. We’ve been training together since the beginning of the year, and this was the best possible way to end the season,” added Palkhivala.
Lily Witte of the USA won bronze with 414.00 points.
In the Group A boys’ one-metre event, one Canadian made it to the big final. Noah Bernard (TDA) finished eighth, with 418.90 points.
“It was so stressful! There were a lot of great divers here today, and I’m really proud of my result at my first international competition,” he stated. “I always want to finish first, of course. The competition was heavy, so I wanted to give it my all. I focused on what I could control, and I think that served me well today. I learned a lot. It was a positive day.”
Matteo Santoro of Italy won gold with a score of 469.70 points, followed by Jake Passmore of Ireland with 453.60 and Max Fowler of the USA with 451.15.
Emmitt Reesor, also of Toronto, finished 15th in this morning’s qualifying rounds.
The FINA World Junior Diving Championships will continue until Sunday. Four finals are scheduled for Wednesday: the boy’s synchronized platform, the Group B girls’ 3-metre springboard, the Group B boys’ 1-metre springboard and the girls’ synchronized 3-metre.
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