Canadians score three World Series diving medals in Kazan
Jennifer Abel helped Canada to two more medals on the final day of the FINA Diving World Series stop in Kazan, Russia.
Three-time Olympian Abel cliched bronze in the women’s 3m springboard event, scoring a total of 347.51, to finish behind a pair of Chinese divers. Han Wang secured silver with 363.85 points, while Tingmao Shi landed gold with 381.90.
However, the Canadian didn’t stop after her first individual World Series medal of the season, she teamed up with Francois Imbeau-Dulac for the mixed synchro event. The duo claimed silver after scoring 320.76 points, giving them a medal on each stop of the World Series circuit thus far, after a bronze in Beijing and silver in Guangzhou.
China’s mixed 3m synchro pair of Zheng Li and Hanwon Wang won the event with a score of 322.50. Great Britain’s Thomas Daley and Grace Reid completed the podium with bronze (299.82).
Meaghan Benfeito and her new 10m synchro partner Caeli McKay had their first big breakthrough on Friday, winning FINA World Series silver.
Benfeito and McKay, who is ten years younger than the three-time Olympic bronze medallist, scored a total of 291.06 points to finish ahead of Russia’s Julia Timoshinina and Valeria Belova, who totalled 284.76. The Chinese duo of Qian Ren and Yajie Si captured the gold medal with a score of 328.20.
The Canadian duo finished with a back 2 ½ somersault with 1 ½ twist for their fifth and final dive, which earned 66.24 points for their single highest scoring dive of the competition.
Prior to teaming with McKay, Benfeito competed with Roseline Filion for over a decade. The duo won two Olympic bronze medals, one at London 2012 and one at Rio 2016. As a synchro tandem, Benfeito and Filion also captured three world championship medals.
Needless to say, when Filion retired in January, McKay had some pretty big shoes to fill. Without a wealth of international experience to draw on, she’s been holding her own with the help of her veteran partner. This is her debut season on the World Series, diving’s most elite international circuit. But they got warmed up by winning silver at the FINA Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany at the end of February. They followed up with fourth place finishes at the first two World Series stops in China.
Next up for the Canadian duo is the second stop of the FINA Grand Prix, which takes place April 6-9 in Gatineau, Quebec.
The fourth and final World Series meet will take place at the end of April in Windsor, Ontario where the duo will no doubt be looking to stand on the podium once again. They’re looking to continue their momentum all the way to the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary from July 14 to 30.