Matt Cullen wins gold on 10 m platform and Canada tops the rankings at World Junior Championships
December 4, 2022 – Just barely a month ago, Matt Cullen wasn’t sure if he’d be taking part in the FINA Junior World Championships in Montreal due to an injury sustained earlier in the season. Not only did he participate, but he won the 10 m event, allowing Canada to finish first overall in the rankings with four gold medals and four silver medals.
Cullen scored a total 542.00 points, besting Brazil’s Diogo Silva (520.95) and Britain’s Robbie Lee (509.10).
“I have no words! I can’t believe it! There were some really good divers competing against me. I’m really surprised, but I’m happy. I’m also really happy I was able to stay consistent all throughout the competition,” said the L’Envol club diver.
“I had a bit less practice than the others because of my injury, but I had really great training sessions and a ton of support from my coaches as well! It’s incredible to have won here in front of my friends and family,” added the 16 year-old athlete.
He knew his parents would be watching, but they surprised him by coming with the rest of his family in two.
“They took up a whole section. I saw them for the first time when I was standing on the platform. I was really happy,” he exclaimed.
Canada notches four medals at inaugural junior international high diving competition
For the first time ever, the high dive was on the schedule at the FINA Junior World Championships. Canada put on a great performance with four medals. In the girls Group A, Simone Leathead was crowned Junior International Champion on the 15 m platform. The Quebec-native scored a total 265.00 points and largely dominated the competition. The 19 year-old athlete from CAMO Diving Club beat out Mexico’s Alejandra Aguilar Tovar (228.90) and USA’s Sydney Kowalski (221.65) for the gold medal.
“I really came here without expectations. I haven’t been doing the high dive for very long, so I wanted to have fun above all else. It’s not a surprise to have won because we worked hard, but it’s really the cherry on top. It was a great competition weekend,” said Leathead.
On the boys’ side, Carter Baker carved himself a place on the third step of the podium. The White Rock, British Columbia diver scored a total 274.45.
Adam Cohen (257.00) and Alex Tiaglei (231.00), of Revolution Diving, finished fifth and eighth respectively.
A dream come true for Charles-Antoine Labadie
In the Boys’ Group B, Charles-Antoine Labadie was last up on the platform. He knew that the race for first place was tight, but he was confident in his dive.
The Quebec-native emerged from the water and the results were in: a first place finish! He could not have asked for more out of his first international competition appearance. To add to the excitement, his family was right there in the stands cheering him on. The word on the street is that a few tears were shed.
“I’m super happy to have put in the work needed to get the results I wanted. At first it was more of a dream, but it became reality! I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet, but it’s good to see that all of the work I’ve put in over the last few years has paid off,” said the CAMO diver who scored a total 288.05 points. He finished ahead of Great Britain’s Archie Biggin (279.00) and Spain’s Hugo Rodriguez Gozalbes (261.20).
Also in action, Ontario’s Noland Lazary finished seventh overall with a total score of 196.75.
On the girls’ side, Anna Wylie also stood out with a second place finish and a total 245.10 points. The Revolution Diving athlete fell just short of first place, which was claimed by Ukraine’s Nelli Chukanivska with a score of 247.30.
Also in action, Caitlyn Padgett (Toronto Diving Academy) finished fourth with 228.45 points. Kelly-Ann Tessir (L’Envol) finished fifth with a score of 219.00 and Laurie-Anne Savard took seventh place with a total 187.50 points.
For all the results : https://diving.ca/montreal2022fr/
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Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC) was established in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization to promote the growth and awareness of the sport in this country. As a member of FINA, the world’s governing body of aquatic sports, DPC contributes to the development of globally accepted standards of excellence in diving and supports the rules and regulations of international competition. DPC shares a national commitment to advance the art and sport of diving and to position Canada as the number one diving nation of the world. For information, visit www.diving.ca.
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