First World Championships Medal
Montréal, July 19, 2023 – After a full day in the pool on Tuesday, Caeli McKay appeared to have run out of fuel following the qualifiers and semi-finals of the 10-metre platform event at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. However, there were still some reserves in the tank. The 24-year-old diver placed third in the final on Wednesday, earning the first World Championships medal of her career.
“I’m really proud of myself. It’s been a lot of emotional ups and downs. But when I woke up this morning (Wednesday), I knew I had what it took to succeed. I felt like I had nothing to lose, so I just gave it my all,” she said.
McKay, who came out of yesterday’s qualifiers and semi-finals in fifth place, dazzled the spectators with her first dive of the day today, scoring 76.50 points to move up to provisional fourth place. Her next two dives were equally impressive, and she found herself in provisional third place after the first three rounds.
Things went slightly downhill for McKay on her fourth dive, which only earned her 44.55 points. However, thanks to her first three attempts, she was still in the running for a medal.
“I knew I was up against some excellent competitors, so I had no choice but to give it my all. Even though I had had some trouble with my fourth dive, which was my hardest of the day, I just focused on doing well on my final dive.”
With her last dive of the day, the Calgarian secured her spot on the podium by earning 76.80 points, her best score of the final, bringing her grand total to 340.25 points.
“I’ve worked really hard over the past two years to get to the top in my sport. My ankle injury was a really difficult time. Once I was on the podium, I had trouble holding back my tears,” she added.
In the same event, China’s Yuxi Chen (457.85 points) and Hongchan Quan (445.60 points) were simply unstoppable, finishing first and second, respectively.
By finishing in the top twelve in the individual platform event, McKay has secured a spot for Canada in the qualifiers for the Paris Olympics, which kick off in July 2024.
In Tuesday’s platform semi-finals, Elaena Dick of Ontario (271.50 points) finished 17th. Only the top twelve advance to the finals.
Bryden Hattie competed in the 3-metre springboard qualifications on Tuesday, but did not advance to the next round.
On Thursday, Mia Vallée and Pamela Ware will be back on the springboards for the women’s synchronized 3-metre event. The two Québécoises won the bronze medal at the Montréal World Cup last May in their first-ever competition as a team.
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