Mixed synchro gold highlights final World Series weekend in diving

Feature photo: Abel and Imbeau-Dulac via FINA

A mixed synchro breakthrough on Saturday was the major Canadian highlight of the final FINA Diving World Series event in Merida, Mexico.

Olympians Jennifer Abel with partner Francois Imbeau-Dulac upset China by ending their five-competition winning streak in the 3m mixed-gender event, which made its series debut this year.

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Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac (centre) after being presented with their gold medals in mixed 3m synchro (Photo: FINA).

Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac (centre) after being presented with their gold medals in mixed 3m synchro (Photo: FINA).

The Canadian pair inched up the standing in the five-team competition, going up a place from fourth to first in their first four consecutive dives. On their final dive they held on with the highest score of the round and extended their lead over Yang Hao and Wang Han of China. Canada outscored China 331.53 to 317.10, while Great Britain, with Alicia Blagg and Tom Daley, were third with 314.82.

The win for Canada stops China from sweeping the 3m synchro and gives Canada its first win in a mixed-gender diving World Series event.

At the final event of the 2015 World Series, Canada grabbed a silver in the 10m mixed synchro on Sunday, with Meaghan Benfeito and Vincent Riendeau scoring 325.38. China’s Tai Xiaohu and Lian jie (344.94) won the day, completing a World Series season sweep in the event.

In total, Canada leaves Mexico with four medals, two from Friday’s competition – all in synchro events.


The sixth and final FINA Diving World Series competition of the year is underway in Merida, Mexico, where Canada got in on the medals twice on the first day.

Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion grabbed the silver medal in the women’s 10m synchro, just 5.31 points behind gold, which went to Si Yajie and Lian Jie with a score of 333.72. The two teams battled throughout, with the Canadians taking the lead on the fourth dive, but Si and Lian had a monstrous final leg to retain the top spot for good. Mun Yee Leong and Jun Hoong Cheong of Malaysia were third.

This was the third time this season that Benfeito and Filion won silver. They also won a bronze medal in the current World Series season, totaling 132 points to put Canada second overall the team rankings for the 10m synchro.

Later in the women’s 3m synchro, Canada nabbed the bronze medal with Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware earning a score of 305.64. A clutch fifth and final dive from the Canadian duo vaulted them to the podium from fourth place after low marks on their previous attempt. China’s He Ze and Wang Han (325.80) and Esther Qin with Samantha Mills from Australia (314.70) made the top two.

As with the 10m synchro, Canada finishes second in the 3m equivalent with 126 World Series points that includes two silver and three bronze medals. China swept the 3m synchro with a perfect 162 points over the six World Series competitions.