Canadians Benefeito, Filion win diving gold
Meaghan Benfeito, right, and Roseline Filion, of Canada bite their silver medals after finishing second in the women's 10-meter synchro platform final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 30, 2014 9:16PM EDT
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., earned their first gold medal on the FINA World Series diving circuit Friday in women's 10-metre tower.
Benfeito and Filion, the Olympic bronze medallists and currently ranked second in the world, totalled 330.75 points. Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch of Britain followed for silver at 311.10 and Emily Boyd and Lara Tarvit of Australia were third at 308.58.
"It's really incredible to win an international gold medal at home," said Benfeito. "It's something we don't experience very often. Everything we worked on in practice showed in our performance today. It's very motivating for our big events coming up this summer. We know what we need to improve and we are going to focus on that."
Xiaohui Huang and Jie Lian of China withdrew after their first dive due to an injury.
"They are a team that generally scores in the 330 point area so we are pleased to be around that score as well," said Benfeito. "It shows we are closing in on the Chinese."
Jennifer Abel of Laval and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., meanwhile came within 0.15 points of a powerful Chinese pair in a thrilling three-metre synchro final for the silver.
It went down to the final dive. Han Wang and He Zi of China took the gold at 326.40, Abel and Ware followed with a personal best 326.25 and Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape of Italy were third at 308.10.
"Every dive went very well and we feel great to get a points record," said Ware in her second-year diving with Abel, an Olympic medallist in 2012. "We've never been this close to a top Chinese team before."
Zi won the Olympic gold medal on three-metre synchro with Wu Minxia in 2012 and Wang was a double medallist at last year's world championships.
The Chinese led after the first three rounds but the Canadians pulled ahead in the fourth when they nailed their forward two and half, the most difficult on their list, for 8.5's and 9.0's to pull ahead and set up a dramatic finish.
"I was glad to do that dive well when it counted," said Ware. "It's been very stable for Jen but I had been inconsistent in practice."
Yue Lin and Yuan Cao of China won both the men's three-metre and 10-metre synchro events. No Canadians were entered.
Competition continues through to Sunday at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre. It is the first time Canada hosts a World Series competition.