Pan Am Games – Day 3
Diving Canada – At what she has said is her final Pan American Games, veteran Meaghan Benfeito captured the gold medal in the women’s 10m platform on Saturday in Lima, Peru, while Calgary’s Caeli McKay won the silver medal in a 1-2 finish for Canada.
Benfeito, from Laval, Que., put together 375.05 points to win, while McKay collected 365.70 points for second place.
Mexico’s Alejandra Orozco Loza was third with 356.10 points.
“It was a strong event, the top three scores are very high, they would have been in the top six at worlds a couple weeks ago so it’s really nice to see that we have good divers in Pan Ams and it kind of makes you work harder and push through the event like that,” said Benfeito.
The 30 year-old has been dealing with a left elbow injury that has hampered her results this season. It stops her from locking her elbow which makes her entries less clean.
“It’s nice to finally be on top, I knew I was able, yes I was injured the last couple months but it’s been going a lot better, obviously it’s still not where I want to be but just to leave on top is amazing,” said Benfeito.
It is Benfeito’s first Pan Am gold in the individual event, following two bronze medals (2011, 2015).
McKay, 20, finished strong to get on the podium, “I wasn’t expecting this, there was a lot of pressure, this event was very, very strong, everybody was diving to their best so on the fourth dive I don’t usually look at the scoreboard, I knew where I was standing and that put a lot of pressure on me, I knew I had to put my dive down but I mean overall I’m really, really proud of myself,” said McKay.
Later in the evening, Ville Mont-Royal, Que.’s Philippe Gagné and St-Lazare, Que.’s François Imbeau-Dulac won silver in the men’s 3m synchronized springboard with 414.21 points.
Yahel Castillo Huerta and Juan Manuel Celaya Hernandez, of Mexico, took gold with 429.81 points while the American team of Michael Hixon and Andrew Capobianco came in third-place by amassing 404.13 points.
“It’s our first competition since our accident at the world championships in Gwangju where I landed back on the board so it was a bit nerve-wracking but I think we went through it like champions,” said Gagné, referencing the recent FINA World Championships, when the 2016 Olympian hit the board on the way down in the synchro event but suffered only superficial injuries.
“Today silver feels like gold mostly because of what happened a month ago, the plan was just to prove that we could bounce back and we did it,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
“We didn’t just do six dives we did six great dives which was very important for us just to build our confidence again,” said Imbeau-Dulac.
The silver medal matches Gagné and Imbeau-Dulac’s performance from four years ago at Toronto 2015.
Earlier in the day Gagné qualified for the men’s 3m springboard final to be held on Sunday, while Imbeau-Dulac did not advance out of the preliminary.
Also coming up on Day 4, Benfeito and McKay will team up in the women’s 10m synchro platform.
Full results can be found here:
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