Remarkable Performances on Opening Day of Junior National Festival
Montréal, July 13, 2022 – The Junior National Diving Festival, being held at Montréal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau, was the site of several outstanding performances on Wednesday. One of the day’s stars was Keira Lu, who won the Group A 3-metre springboard event, earning her first-ever national gold medal.
“It’s been a difficult year and I’ve worked really hard. I’m glad that my efforts paid off,” said Lu, a member of the Boardworks Diving Club, as the day came to a close.
The British Columbian, who has been disappointed with her results as of late, hoped to get back on track on Wednesday. The battle for first place was hotly contested during the first two rounds, but Lu saved her best jumps for last, emerging with a total of 492.75 points after her final two dives.
“I felt really relaxed. I didn’t want to worry about how the other competitors were doing. I just wanted to concentrate on what I had to do,” she added.
National junior team member Julianne Boisvert, of the Envol Club, came in second. Ranked sixth after the qualifiers, she finished with an overall score of 467.10 to reach the podium. Sarah Carruthers (TDA) finished third with 451.65 points.
Successful return for Alexa Fung
Comeback kid Alexa Fung of the TDA made waves as she won the gold medal in the Group B 1-metre springboard event. The national junior team member was back in competition for the first time since injuring her ankle and foot last December. Although her training regimen had been cut short, she put in an excellent performance, earning a total of 374.75 points.
“I rested a lot over the past few months, and I’m really proud of how I dove now that I’m back. One of my dives in the final didn’t go so well, but my final two jumps were much better,” explained the Ontarian.
Fung, who returned to the diving tanks around two months ago, quickly got herself back in shape to be ready for this week’s competition at Parc Jean-Drapeau. “I definitely wasn’t expecting this! I just wanted to do my best, but I didn’t think I’d do this well. I’m also proud of having recovered after my second dive.”
Maisy Woloszyn (Windsor) and Lila Stewart (Regina) finished with 354.15 and 347.70 points, respectively, claiming their spots on the podium alongside Fung.
Two gold medallists share the podium
Several unexpected performances were delivered on Wednesday, particularly in the girls’ Group C 1-metre springboard event. Two divers won gold medals in the same final.
Lila Gokiert of Calgary had the second-best score in the final, with 271.05 points. And yet, she walked away with the Canadian title. The only diver to surpass her was Amelie Bayol, who finished with 279.60 points. Bayol, who hails from Orlando, Florida, moved to Montréal with her family just before the pandemic hit and began training at the Camo Club.
According to the regulations, an international athlete may not unseat a Canadian at a national competition. Therefore, Bayol took the top spot on the podium as winner of the competition, while Gokiert claimed it as Canadian champion. Both were awarded gold medals.
Alexandra Wood (Idive) earned silver with 269.60 points, followed by bronze medal winner Hannah Clancy (White Rock) with 267.55.
“It went really well! The beginning was a bit rough, but things got better as we went along. It was a bit stressful, but I’m happy with the result,” said Bayol.
“It was a good day. Some of my early dives were a bit shaky, but I calmed myself down and tried to fix my errors for the final,” said Gokiert, who led the preliminary rounds with 265.35 points. “After winning the preliminaries, I was just hoping for a spot on the podium. I was a bit nervous, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself either.”
Lisé-Coderre surprises himself
After leading the qualifiers with 292.80 points, Camo Club member Claude-Olivier Lisé-Coderre held onto the top spot in the Group C 3-metre springboard final. He earned 321.05 points to clinch the gold medal, to his great surprise. Kash Tarasoff (Saskatoon, 299.80 points) and Nikos Tzanetakis (Boardworks, 288.80 points) rounded out the podium.
“I really wasn’t expecting to win a medal! My goal was just to do my best and build my confidence,” said Lisé-Coderre, following his jumps.
Although his early-round dives left him wanting, the Québécois pulled himself together for the final.
“I knew that dwelling on my poor dives would not help at all. I managed to come back with dives that were worth a lot of points, and I’m really proud of myself! When things weren’t going well, I just moved on to the next dive, and I did the same thing when my dives were good. That helped me manage both my energy and my mental state,” he explained.
This is the first Junior National Diving Festival to be organized by Diving Canada. The event replaces the Junior, Elite and Development National Championships. No less than 168 divers will be in action at Parc Jean-Drapeau until July 18.
Three finals will be held on Thursday, beginning with the girls’ Group C 3-metre event, followed closely by the boys’ C 1m final and the girls’ B platform final.
For the complete schedule or to view the competition, click here
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