The Kazan leg of the FINA Diving World Series will bring together 71 athletes and 51 team officials representing 13 nations. 10 of them are from Russia. This leg’s lineup of divers is expected to be the strongest. 16 diving officials (10 internationally certified judges and 6 national ones) will oversee the tournament. The competition will take place at the Aquatics Palace on April 24-26.
Canadian divers are in Kazan, Russia, this weekend at the final FINA World Series event of the season – which also doubles as the final competition of Olympic qualification.
While divers like Jennifer Abel, Pamela Ware, and Meaghan Benfeito have solidified their individual qualifications, many more spots remain in the balance at this weekend’s event.
Roseline Filion makes some noise in Kazan
Roseline Filion has made some of the biggest noise with a win in the 10-metre platform at the Gatineau Grand Prix followed by a silver medal performance at the Windsor World Series.
Those performances have occurred in the absence of Celina Toth, with whom Filion is battling with for the final individual 10m platform Olympic qualifying spot. Toth will not be competing in Kazan.
Vincent Riendeau, 19, didn’t earn a medal in last weekend’s event but he was able to attain the highest point total by a Canadian in the past 10 years. His semifinal score of 508.45 was the best round of his career and gives more incentive for his selection to an individual 10m platform spot on the Olympic team. Maxim Bouchard will have one last chance to show that he is deserving of that final spot.
Three-metre synchro partners Francois Imbeau-Dulac, of Saint-Lazare, Que., and Montreal’s Philippe Gagne were fourth and sixth in their semifinals respectively in Windsor. They remain neck-and-neck for the final 3m springboard spot.
Top scores too close to decipher for a qualifying spot will be decided at the Olympic trials on June 11-12 in Scarborough, Ont.
Canada’s divers weren’t able to make the podium on Day 2 of the FINA World Series event in Kazan, Russia.
Roseline Filion started the day off in the 10-metre platform final. The Laval, Que., native scored 343.75 points which gave her a fourth-place finish.
Chinese divers took two spots on the podium with Quian Ren winning gold at 367.35 points and Yajie Si claiming bronze with a score of 353.70. Great Britain’s Tonia Couch won silver with 365.90.
Filion’s synchro teammate Meaghan Benfeito did not make it to the finals and finished 9th.
The pair won silver in yesterday’s 10m synchro final.
Montreal’s Philippe Gagné’s 469 points put him in sixth place in the men’s 3m springboard final.
Yuan Cao of China claimed the gold medal with a score of 521.90 while teammate Chao He’s 520.15 won him bronze. Russia’s Ilia Zakharov finished with 520.70 on home soil, giving him the silver medal.
The points Gagné gained from this event will go towards his battle with teammate and synchro partner Francois Imbeau-Dulac of Saint-Lazare, Que., for the last men’s 3m spot in the Rio Olympics.
Another fourth place finish in mixed 10m synchro
The last event of the day was the mixed 10m synchro platform. Canadian duo Meaghan Benfeito and Vincent Riendeau lost the bronze medal; their 315.18 points put them five behind the Russians. The Canadians finished 40 points behind the gold medallists, China’s Yani Chang and Xiahu Tai who scored 355.38. Australia won silver.
Olympic diving team yet to be announced
Diving Plongeon Canada will look at the points garnered by its athletes to determine who will represent Canada in Rio. If the scores are too close there will be an Olympic trial held in Scarborough, Ont., from June 11-12.