Fri, September 20, 2013

Canadians in mix for diving bronze

Heymans, Abel both well back of dominant Chinese

By LOUIS BUTCHER, QMI Agency


Canada's Emilie Heymans performs a dive during the women's 3m springboard preliminary round at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 3, 2012. (MICHAEL DALDER/Reuters)



LONDON - Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans successfully passed the preliminary round of the individual three-metre springboard.

The Quebec divers, who won a synchronized diving bronze medal together last Sunday, ranked fourth and sixth after the five mandatory dives.

This first day was once again dominated by the Chinese, gold medalists a few days earlier in the synchro events.

Minxia Wu brushed the competition aside with an impressive total of 387.95 points, 24.10 more than her fellow countrywoman Zi He.

Italian Tania Cagnotto took the third rank with a score of 349.80 points, better than Abel’s 344.15. Australian Sharleen Stratton (342.70) took the fourth place, between the two Canadians.

“I am very satisfied with my performance,” said Abel, who wishes to participate in her first Olympic final in individual diving.

She was only 16 when she ranked 13th in the 2008 Beijing Games.

“It goes to show that gained a lot of experience in four years,” she follows. “I dived well, but I’m saving the best for the end.”

The individual competition is spread over three days. Only 18 of the 30 competitors qualified for the semifinal, scheduled Saturday (9:30 ET). The 12 best will then compete in the final, Sunday.

Friday’s results do not mean anything now. Everything’s erased.

“Of course, I wish the competition would have ended after two days, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Heymans (337.20 points). “Still, I’m happy about my performance. My dives were carried out well.”

Still, she was only 10th after her two first dives, before her comeback on the third dive.

Heymans admitted she gave everything during this first round.

“When you hold back, you make mistakes. And I especially wanted to avoid mistakes,” Heymans adds.

Tomorrow, she will try to add a fifth and last Olympic medal to her collection.

“Right now, I do not think about the medals,” she replied.

Heymans, Abel and a few other divers will probably have to fight for third place, considering how far ahead the two Chinese are.