Two Medals in Women’s 10 m, Fofana Wins Bronze
February 24, 2023 – Canada concluded the first day of the 2023 Pan American Qualifying Championships with a total of three medals on Friday in Mexico. Éloïse Bélanger, Renée Batalla and Cédric Fofana reached the podium of the competition held in Leon.
In the women’s 10 m, Quebec’s Éloïse Bélanger (CAMO) won the gold medal with a total of 275.70 points. Her compatriot, British Columbia’s Renee Batalla (Boardworks), won the bronze medal with 265.15 points. Cuban Anisley Garcia Navaro took third place with a score of 261.50.
By winning the gold medal, Belanger also qualified a quota spot for the country at the Pan American Games to be held in Santiago, Chile, this October. Quotas went to the top three finishers whose country had not already earned the maximum of two spots allocated per nation. Canada already had a ticket in the women’s 10m since the last World Championships.
“I think I have accomplished my main mission in coming here, to qualify the country for the Pan Am Games. I’m really happy to have won,” said Belanger, 29.
“I’m not 100% satisfied with my score and the quality of my dives in the final. I still made some mistakes but it’s the beginning of the season. I’m taking this week and putting it in my little baggage to continue the year,” she added.
On a personal level, she also accomplished her goal for the week. “Before a competition, my teammates and I always give ourselves a goal for the week. For me, it was to dive with energy and confidence. I was able to do that so it’s another small victory,” said Belanger.
She will now be in the stands cheering on the rest of the Canadian team in action until Sunday.
Rising Up and on the Podium
In the 1 m event, Cédric Fofana won the bronze medal with a score of 337.95. He also secured a quota spot for Canada to compete at the Pan American Games in Santiago.
As in the women’s event, the top three finishers earned a spot for their country if the quota was not previously met.
“I’m really happy! I was still really stressed. I knew there were other opportunities to qualify the country for the Pan Am Games, but I guess I wanted it to happen here,” he said.
The 19-year-old didn’t have the performance he was hoping for in the preliminaries, but he was able to regain his focus and come back in the final.
“The stress definitely affected me. It wasn’t the result I wanted,” commented the eighth place finisher in the preliminary round.
“I called some friends and my mom to go over my performance and get it out of my system. I gave myself a time limit to get rid of the disappointment and move on. I think it worked. In the final, I was really feeling better. I was ready to perform,” he explained.
Mexico’s Kein Alexander Munoz (379.40) took the top step of the podium in front of his fans. He beat his compatriot Yolotl Martinez Cabral (356.15).
Fofana will return on Saturday to compete in the men’s 3 m. Margo Erlam will be in action in the women’s 1 m.
For the complete schedule and to watch the events live: https://guanajuato2023.panamaquaticsevents.com/en/.
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