Canadian divers are ready to take the plunge in Budapest at the 17th FINA World Championships.
The biennial global championship – which also features swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo – diving will take place during the first week, from July 14 to 22.
On the women’s side, expect to see some partner changes in the 3m and 10m synchro events from the duos that competed at Rio 2016.
Competing in the 3m synchro will be three-time Olympian Jennifer Abel and newcomer Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu. Abel has an impressive track record in this event at worlds, taking home silver in 2011 with Émilie Heymans before winning bronze in 2013 and silver in 2015 with Pamela Ware. It was also with Ware that she took home silver from last year’s FINA World Cup and finished fourth at Rio 2016.
But the successful duo was forced to stop competing together in December after Ware underwent surgery for a stress fracture in her foot. During her absence, Abel teamed up with Citrini-Beaulieu. Together they reached the podium at the elite FINA World Series stops in Guangzhou, China (bronze) and Windsor, Ontario (silver). They posted a victory at the FINA Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany.
Ware returned to competition this past April at the second stop of the FINA Grand Prix in Gatineau, Quebec, winning individual 3m bronze before capturing Grand Prix gold in Madrid. She and Abel will be Canada’s entries in the individual 3m springboard. This season Abel won bronze at the third World Series stop in Kazan, Russia. Both women are former world medallists in the individual event, with Abel taking bronze in 2011 before Ware won her own bronze two years later.
In the 10m synchro, Meaghan Benfeito will be competing at worlds for the first time without longtime partner Roseline Filion, who announced her retirement in January. The pair made their world championship debuts in 2005, winning bronze. They added silvers in 2013 and 2015 to go with Olympic bronze together at Rio 2016 and London 2012.
Taking Filion’s place alongside Benfeito will be world championship rookie Caeli McKay. In their first competition together, they won silver at the Rostock Grand Prix. They went on to also win silver at the Kazan World Series event.
Benfeito will also compete individually in the 10m platform. She took home bronze in this event at Rio 2016 and finished fourth at the first three World Series stops. Joining her will be sixteen-year-old Olivia Chamandy who won silver at the Madrid Grand Prix.
On the men’s side, François Imbeau-Dulac and Philippe Gagné will be competing in both 3m events, individual and synchro. As a duo, they won silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games and finished fifth at the last world championships. This season they won Grand Prix gold in Madrid. Individually, London 2012 Olympian Imbeau-Dulac finished second at the Madrid Grand Prix. The 19-year-old Gagné made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016.
On the 10m platform, Canadian men are only entered in the individual event. Rio 2016 Olympian Vincent Riendeau, who won Grand Prix silver this season in Gatineau, will be joined by 20-year-old Ethan Pitman making his world championship debut.
Check out the full Team Canada roster below:
Jennifer Abel, Pamela Ware
Women’s 3m Synchro
Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu
Meaghan Benfeito, Olivia Chamandy
Women’s 10m Synchro
Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay
François Imbeau-Dulac, Philippe Gagné
Men’s 3m Synchro
François Imbeau-Dulac and Philippe Gagné
Vincent Riendeau, Ethan Pitman
Mixed 3m Synchro (non-Olympic)
Jennifer Abel and François Imbeau-Dulac
Mixed 10m Synchro (non-Olympic)
Meaghan Benfeito and Nathan Zsombor-Murray