McKay and Benfeito hug in celebration

McKay and Benfeito win gold to qualify for Tokyo 2020

Caeli McKay and Meaghan Benfeito earned an Olympic qualification for Canada in the women’s 10m synchro event after winning gold at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday.


The Canadians finished in first with 305.94 points, just edging out Great Britain’s Lois Toulson and Eden Cheng who put up 302.88. Tina Punzel and Christina Wassen of Germany scored 292.86 to win the bronze.

Benfeito was part of the women’s 10m synchro team that won a bronze for Canada at Rio 2016. She’ll have a good chance to reach the podium once again at Tokyo 2020 with her new partner, McKay.

The men’s 3m synchro event did not go as swimmingly on Sunday as Philippe Gagné was forced to withdraw due to a reaggravated shoulder injury and other non-COVID related health issues. Gagné and his partner, Thomas Ciprick, would have earned an Olympic spot with a top-four finish among non-qualified nations.

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Canada’s golden Sunday comes on the heels of a successful Saturday which saw Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu earn a silver in the women’s 3m synchro springboard event, while Vincent Riendeau and Nathan Zsombor-Murray won bronze in the men’s 10m synchro platform event to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

READ: Riendeau and Zsombor-Murray plunge to Tokyo 2020 qualification

Zsombor-Murray and Ryan Wiens will compete individually on Sunday night in preliminaries for the men’s 10m platform event with the semifinals taking place on Monday. Pamela Ware and Jennifer Abel will also compete individually in the women’s 3m springboard on Sunday night with their semifinals on Monday. McKay and Benfeito will round out Monday’s action as they compete individually in the women’s 10m platform event.