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Gagné & Riendeau make 10m synchro final; Filion & Toth earn 2nd women’s 10m Olympic berth

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, Feb. 20, 2016 – Jennifer Abel (Montreal, QC) and Pamela Ware (Greenfield Park, QC) gained a feel for what Rio 2016 will be like, while earned silver in women’s three-metre synchro at the FINA Diving World Cup 2016 on Saturday.

At the Olympic test event at Maria Lank Aquatic Center, Abel and Ware were part of a podium repeat from the 2015 worlds. China’s Tingmao Shi and Minxia Wu won with 339.60 points, with Abel and Ware amassing 312.27 while Australia’s Samantha Mills and Esther Qin tallied 307.50.

“We had a rough start with our two compulsory dives, but we pulled it all together in the end,” Ware, 23, said. “This was really, really important for the Olympics. It’s going to be a little colder at the Olympics and tonight there was a lot of wind and it was little bit chilly. To see that we’re still second in the world after a year is really amazing. It will be Jennifer and I’s first time together at the Olympics in synchro, so this was big.”

The silver capped a big day for Diving Plongeon Canada. Celina Toth (St. Thomas, ON) and Roseline Filion (Laval, QC) assured Canada of a second Rio 2016 berth in women’s 10m. Philippe Gagné (Montreal, QC) and Vincent Riendeau (Montreal, QC) advanced to the men’s 10m synchro final.

Abel and Ware got in podium position through their third and fourth dives, receiving 75.60 on their back 2½ somersaults and 73.47 for a forward 3½ somersaults. Their back 2½ was vastly better than it was at the FINA Grand Prix Rostock on Jan. 31.

“We really weren’t happy with how that competition in Rostock [where they earned a bronze medal] went,” Ware said. “We did a lot of training work, timing work and individual work. That is what it took to have the success that we did today.”

Toth and Filion were 16th and 18th in the women’s 10m preliminary. Toth finished with 292.85 points by virtue of earning 70.40 points on her final dive, an inward 3½ somersaults. Filion, who is working her way back from a foot injury, tallied 291.85.


“I had no pain at all in my foot today and my mental [approach] was very strong,” Filion said. “I feel extremely relieved, the fact that I was able to come top-18 even though I didn’t dive much in the past few weeks and haven’t competed since the World Championships make me feel very proud of what I accomplished.”

The women’s 10m semifinal and final are on Sunday, with CBC / ICI Radio-Canada providing a live stream at 5 p.m. ET.

Gagné and Riendeau were eighth in Saturday’s men’s 10m synchro preliminary. The teenage talents were solid on their last three dives – 81.18 for a back 3½ somersaults, 76.50 for a reverse 3½ (307C) and 75.84 for a back 2½ somersaults with 1½ twists. It was a bounce-back performance for the men’s team, coming one night after Gagné and François Imbeau-Dulac (St-Lazare, QC) came fewer than 0.5 points from getting Canada into the Olympic men’s 3-m synchro event.

Their final will be streamed by CBC Sports / ICI Radio-Canada at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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