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Diving – Abel, third-time Olympian, tops 70 points on all five dives

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, August 12, 2016 – Jennifer Abel (Laval, QC) had a thoroughly strong card during the Olympic women’s three-metre preliminaries, finishing first with 373.00 points to breeze into the semifinal.

At the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, Pamela Ware (Greenfield Park, QC) built up over the course of her five dives to qualify seventh with 329.10 points. Each member of the springboard half of Canada’s ‘Fab IV’ of female diving will compete in the semifinal at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

Abel, 24, topped 70 points on all five of her dives. Abel was second in the dive order, between the Chinese gold-medal contenders of Tingmao Shi (357.55) and Zi He (367.05), but stayed focused on what was in her control.

“I trained hard since Sunday and today it paid off,” said Abel, alluding to her and Ware’s close fourth-place finish in women’s 3m synchro. “I’ll keep the same game plan for [Saturday’s] semifinal.”

Some personal time has helped Abel refresh mentally since coming within one point of making the synchro medal podium with Ware.

“Sunday was hard, but I was able to quickly turn the page and move on. I know exactly what I want to accomplish here and today was the first step towards achieving that goal.

“I saw my parents [Jacques-André Abel and Sylvie Danis] last night and spending time with them really helped me to turn the switch off and be ready for my individual event.”

Abel earned 76.50 on both her second and fourth dives, the reverse 2½ somersaults and the challenging forward 2½ somersaults double twist. The third-time Olympian earned 77.50 on her forward 2½ somersaults.

Ware, competing in her first individual Olympic event, had 7.0 marks on her first optional dive, an inward 2½. The former world championships bronze medallist was nonplussed by the 63.00 score, resetting to notch matching 72.00 scores for her reverse 2½ and forward 2½ somersaults single twist.

“We still have to go through semifinal and final, but today’s result gives me more confidence for my upcoming events,” Ware said.

The top 12 semifinalists on Saturday advance to the final, which is on Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT.

Ware and Abel finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Canada has two medals in women’s 3m: gold by Sylvie Bernier in 1984 and bronze by Annie Pelletier in 1996.

Complete results: