Fuji Diving World Series – Day 1
Diving Plongeon Canada – For a second-straight week, Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu won a FINA Diving World Series bronze in women’s 3m synchro springboard, this time in Fuji, Japan on Thursday.
And they were forced to fight back to a medal position after a rocky start.
“Today I made a big mistake on my first dive, which is a compulsory,” said Citrini-Beaulieu, “It’s the first time it happened to me.”
The Canadians were in sixth-place out of six teams in the final, after that opening mistake.
“Bad things happen but I think it was good for my learning in competition and today I was proud of us because after we fought, and we were confident even though I missed my first dive,” said Citrini-Beaulieu.
She and Abel scored 287.43 points, behind Australian silver medallists Georgia Sheehan and Esther Qin who tallied 294.60 points.
China’s Yani Chang and Tingmao Shi won the event with 319.80 points.
The Canadians battled back to third-place by their third dive, and hung on despite a miss by Abel on their fifth and final dive.
“It was a tough competition for Mélissa and I,” said Abel, from Laval, Que., “But we didn’t lose our focus, we fought until the end, unfortunately we made some pretty major mistakes that cost us the silver but we are learning, it’s still the beginning of the year, and we are still happy about our performance.”
Abel, 26, and Citrini-Beaulieu, 22, were also third last week at Diving World Series #1 in Beijing, China.
They are preparing for the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, to be held in April.
“Commonwealth Games is going to be really hard for us because the Australian team, they are really good, and also it’s going to be in Australia so they are going to be at home,” said Abel, “Here [Fuji] it’s really important for us to see where we are at in the competition and what we need to improve so we can adjust ourselves for Commonwealth Games.”
And Citrini-Beaulieu is hopeful for Commonwealth Games, “I think Jennifer and I can win this event, we’re good enough,” said the native of St. Constant, Que., “It’s not going to be easy but I think we can do it.”
Meaghan Benfeito, from Montreal, and Caeli McKay, from Calgary, were also in action on Thursday. They finished sixth out of of seven teams in the women’s 10m synchro platform.
Day two of competition will include Benfeito and McKay on women’s 10m platform and François Imbeau-Dulac, of Saint-Lazare, Que., in the men’s 3m springboard.
Of note, Olympians Philippe Gagné and Vincent Riendeau will not compete at either of the first two FINA Diving World Series of the season (Beijing, and Fuji, Japan).
Gagné and Riendeau are maximizing their training time in preparation for a congested spring competition season that includes Commonwealth Games, two more Diving World Series events, Canada Cup, and the FINA Diving World Cup.
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