May 5, 2013
Meaghan Benfeito beats the Chinese for gold at 2013 Gillette Canada Cup
GATINEAU, Que - Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal earned her second career international victory on Sunday finishing ahead of two Chinese divers for first place on women’s 10-metre tower at the 2013 Gillette Canada Cup.
Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., added a silver on women’s three-metre synchro. Canada ended the meet with five medals. On Saturday, Abel and Ware were 1-2 on individual three-metre and Benfeito and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., were second on 10-metre synchro.
On tower, Benfeito highlighted a steady performance in the final with big marks for her forward, inward, backward and twisting dives accumulating 393.70. Lian Jie of China followed at 387.40 and her compatriot Huang Xiachui was third at 316.95.
‘’I knew Jie would be my top rival for the gold but I tried not took think about that too much during the competition,’’ said Benfeito. ‘’But to beat both them and get the win here is very satisfying. The Chinese are the best in the world in this sport and they are the ones we are trying to catch.’’
On women’s three-metre synchro, Liu Jiao and Lin Qu of Chin won the gold medal with 317.70. Abel and Ware followed with a season’s best 307.95 and Samantha Mills and Qin Fan of Australia were third at 279.60. The Canadians, in their first year as a partnership, didn’t have much opportunity to practice over the last month with Ware on the FINA World Series circuit.
‘’It was pretty good,’’ said Ware. ‘’The biggest challenge for us was getting our hurdles right but it improved with every dive. On the third dive I didn’t do my arm circle before the dive so I landed a bit short. We showed again today that we adapt well to each other, we excel on the same dives and have a similar style.’’
‘’To come back with a performance like this is very encouraging for the future,’’ said Abel. ‘’It’s great to reach our objectives and win a medal in front of our home crowd.’’
In the men’s three-metre final, François Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare,Que., was in the hunt for at least a bronze medal but wound up sixth after he missed his last dive, the very difficult forward two and half somersault with three twists in pike position.
‘’I slipped on the take-off and I knew right away I was in trouble,’’ said Imbeau-Dulac, a 2012 Olympian, about his last dive. ‘’It’s disappointing. I was happy with my five previous dives but at this level I need to be solid on all six.’’
He Chao of China won the gold medal.
On men’s 10-metre synchro, Philippe Gagné of Mascouche, Que., and Maxim Bouchard of St-Constant, Que., were fifth.
The next stop on the Grand Prix goes later this week in Fort Lauderdale.
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