The Canadian team wins five medals to close out the Canada Cup
Diving Canada – On Sunday, Canada’s divers collected two gold medals, two silvers, and one bronze as the Canada Cup FINA Diving Grand Prix concluded at the Repsol Sport Centre in Calgary.
World-class veterans Jennifer Abel, 27, and François Imbeau-Dulac, 28, stormed the field in the mixed 3m synchro final, winning with a score of 304.59 points to begin the day.
“Frankie and I could have done much better individual dives that’s for sure but it was really weird for us to compete in the morning,” said Abel, a native of Laval, Que., “We are used to competing at night after my individual event so that was a first for us but we are pretty happy with how it went.”
A double podium followed for Canada, with Olympian Vincent Riendeau, 22, and Nathan Zsombor-Murray, 15, taking the silver medal in the men’s 10m synchro with 392.04 points, while Laurent Gosselin-Paradis, 18, and Ethan Pitman, 21, picked up the bronze by scoring 368.76 points.
Mexico’s Diego Balleza and Randal Willars won the event with 423.06 points.
Riendeau and Zsombor-Murray, both from Pointe-Claire, Que., are looking to be Canada’s top duo in 10m synchro for years to come.
“For Nathan and I it’s really a confidence booster because it’s the second event internationally for us, so it really gives us an idea of where we stand and what we’re capable of,” said Riendeau, “We know that even in this event where we came second we could have made a few adjustments to better our performance on two dives in particular, we’re definitely happy and it shows us where we stand.”
Abel kicked off the afternoon session with partner Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu and a gold medal in the women’s 3m synchro. The pair combined for 288.69 points.
“It was a pretty tough event, it was long and it was a good moment to learn because it’s pretty much the same for worlds, so it was a good preparation for us,” said the Olympic medallist Abel.
Up to 12 teams compete in the final at a Diving Grand Prix, similar to the size of field at a world championships.
Olympians Philippe Gagné and Imbeau-Dulac were held off the podium in the men’s 3m final. Gagne, 21, was fifth-place with 439.55 points and Terrebonne, Que.’s Imbeau-Dulac collected 427.30 points for sixth.
Finally, in the women’s 10m final, Calgary’s Caeli McKay delighted the home crowd with 341.25 points and a silver medal performance.
“I wasn’t necessarily expecting to medal, it’s my first international individual medal on the senior level so it’s a big step for me and I’m really glad that I was able to put my dives down in front of a home crowd and under pressure,” said the 19 year-old.
Xu Yijin of China took the gold medal with 345.45 points.
Canada finishes the home Diving Grand Prix with five gold, three silver, and two bronze medals.
The senior national team will now prepare for the next FINA Diving World Series, to be held in Montreal April 26 to 28.
Full results can be found here: http://www.issmembership.com/diving/live/schedule.aspx
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