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Diving – Coming off second synchro bronze, Canadians deliver consistent program


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, August 17, 2016 – Meaghan Benfeito (Montreal, QC) and Roseline Filion (Laval, QC) earned good spots in the dive order for the Olympic women’s 10-metre semifinal after encouraging preliminaries performances.

At Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, Benfeito was seventh with 329.15 points. Filion was ninth with 323.55 points. Consequently, Filion will be 10th and Benfeito will go 12th in the 18-woman semifinal at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday. The tight-knit teammates from the Pointe-Claire Diving Club were each fairly consistent on a day when notables such as world champion Kim Kuk-hyang of North Korea and former European champion Sarah Barrow of Great Britain were each eliminated.

The top 12 semifinalists on Thursday morning will advance to the 3 p.m. final.

I’m very satisfied – obviously the last dive was not the one,” said Benfeito, who was in competition for the first time since she and Filion won their second Olympic 10m synchro bronze medal on Aug. 9. “When we’ve diving for 2½ hours [due to the 28-competitor field], it’s always very hard. The goal was just to get to semis tomorrow. It wasn’t to put down the perfect five dives. It was about getting used to competing against these girls.”

Benfeito had the highest-scoring first dive, earning 76.80 for her back 2½ somersaults 1½ twists. 5235D The 27-year-old was in third place after the fourth round before receiving only a 51.20 score on her closing inward 3½ somersaults. 407C

Benfeito also produced a 70.95-scoring back 3½. 207C She scored 67.20 for her armstand back double somersault 1½ twists, 6243D which is her highest degree-of-difficulty dive.

Filion saved for her best score for last, finalizing her card with a back 2½ somersaults 1½ twists 5253B that netted a 76.80 score. The 29-year-old, who’s come back this year from a fractured ankle, demonstrated her resiliency on her last dive. On her previous attempt, an over-rotation on her armstand back triple somersault, 626C led to setback with a 54.45 score.

Prelims are always the hardest event of the competition,” Filion said. “I’m really glad I went through it. I really wanted to be calm, stay focused. I was overthinking a little too much on the fourth dive. I didn’t let go. It really gave me a wake-up call to come back strong on my last to make sure I was in semifinals.”

In their Olympic debuts in London in 2012, Filion placed 10th and Benfeito placed 11.

Canada has had two women’s 10m finalists in four consecutive Olympics. The most recent medal was Émilie Heymans‘ silver in 2008.

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