Weekend Roundup: Jennifer Abel leads Canada to 10 FINA Grand Prix medals
Jennifer Abel dove to success at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Calgary after winning three gold medals to lead Team Canada to a grand total of ten medals, including four gold, four silver and two bronze.
François Imbeau-Dulac saw two gold medals at the Grand Prix. First, Imbeau-Dulac picked up a gold alongside Philippe Gagné in the men’s 3m synchro with a score of 398.73. Britain took home silver with a score of 384.39 and Malaysia claimed bronze with a 364.23.
Later in the competition, Imbeau-Dulac dove to a gold medal with Jennifer Abel in the mixed 3m synchro diving finals with 304.59 points. Britain scored a 275.10 and Ireland landed a 269.04 for third.
Abel won gold in the women’s 3m event with a score of 334.55, and Pamela Ware saw bronze (321.90) behind Australia’s Esther Win (325.95). Then, alongside Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu, Abel won her third gold during the women’s 3m synchro final for a total of 288.69. Australia earned a 270.00 for the silver medal and Britain trailed with a 268.50.
Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay successfully claimed a gold medal in the women’s 10m synchro event. Their score of 305.85 placed them ahead of Mexico (281.01) and Britain (240.54). Benfeito and Nathan Zsombor-Murray received the silver medal in the mixed 10m synchro final with a score of 313.86. China took the event with a 321.54 and Cuba trailed in third place with a 290.34. McKay also won her first individual FINA Grand Prix medal by scoring a 341.25 in the women’s 10m. China took gold at 345.45 and Australia claimed third place (332.90).
In the men’s 10m synchro, Canada earned a double podium. Vincent Riendeau and Zsombor-Murray took home silver with a 392.04, and the duo of Ethan Pitman and Laurent Gosselin-Paradis finished in third with a score of 368.76. Mexico earned gold with 423.06 points.
Corey Conners won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Conners celebrates a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a $1.3 million USD payday, and an invite to the Masters.
The golfer from Listowel, Ontario, is one of the chosen 87 to attend the Augusta National. He will join Mike Weir, who won the Masters in 2003.
Conners won a 6-for-1 playoff during the Monday qualifier to earn a pair of weekend 66s to win by two over America’s Charley Hoffman. As a result, Conners became the fifth Monday Qualifier ever on a PGA Tour to go on to a win a title and the first since 2010.
Team Kevin Koe won a silver medal at the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta on Sunday.
In their first season together, Koe, Ben Hebert, Colton Flasch and B.J Neufeld went undefeated throughout the qualifiers and the semi-finals. The Canadians battled to stay on track, but fell 7-2 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the final.
Sydney Pickrem broke the women’s 200m individual medley record with a time of 2:08:71 at the Canadian swimming trials on Sunday. She broke her former record of 2:09.07, which earned her a silver medal during last year’s Pan Pacific Championship.
Pickrem is now fourth in the world rankings. The 21-year old also earned first-place in the women’s 400m individual medley and set another new Canadian record in the 200-metre breaststroke to qualify her for the World Championship team. She will also be joined by Kelsey Wog in the 200m individual medley.
Kylie Masse also broke a Canadian record in the 200m backstroke. Her time of 2:05.94 at the Canadian Swimming Trials is currently the fastest in the world so far this year.
Markus Thormeyer conquered the men’s 200m freestyle with a new personal best of 1:47.60. He also won the 100m freestyle and the 100m and 200m backstroke, all with personal best times. This is the first time a swimmer has won all four races.
Mackenzie Paddington from Campbell River, British Columbia will also be at World’s after winning the 800m freestyle in a time of 8:36.38 seconds.
Quadruple Olympic medallist, Penny Oleksiak, won the women’s 200m freestyle in 1:56:92 after edging out teammate Taylor Ruck (1:56.97) in a race to the finish. Kayla Noelle Sanchez and Rebecca Smith also ensured their spot on the world championship 4×200 relay team with a third and fourth finish in the 200m freestyle.
Other athletes such as, Faith Knelson and Alexander Milanovich won the 50m breaststroke in their respective events. Mary-Sophie Harvey and Mack Darragh captured the 200m butterfly titles.
Overall, Canada will send a total of 25 swimmers to the world championships with 13 men and 12 women out of the 600 swimmers that competed for their chance to represent Canada.
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Raphael Gagné won the elite Men’s title at the Pan Am Mountain Bike Championship on Saturday in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He previously won a silver medal in 2013 and a bronze medal in 2014.
The event offers valued UCI ranking points to help with Olympic qualifications. At 2000 metres altitude, all six Canadians competing finished in the top-10 of their respective races: Catharine Pendrel finished fourth in the elite women’s race. Emily Batty finished sixth and Sandra Walter was ninth. Leandre Bouchard finished seventh in elite men and Quinton Disera earned sixth place.
Ellie Black acquired a silver medal at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Tokyo on Sunday.
Black performed four solid routines for a score of 55.032, just behind America’s Morgan Hurd (55.099). Asuko Termamoto of Japan scored a 54.799 for third place. The two-time Olympian saw the top score on the beam with a 13.733. During the other events, Black was second-best to secure her silver medal.
Black will compete at the Canadian Championships at Carleton University from May 23-26.
Jacqueline Simoneau brought home three medals from the World Series of Artistic Swimming in Greece. She earned a gold in best technical solo, a silver for technical team and a bronze in technical duet.
It was an all-Canadian dual for the bronze medal at the Antalya Grand Prix where Antoine Valois-Fortier defeated teammate, Étienne Briand. Last weekend, Valois Fortier also claimed bronze at the Tbilisi Grand Prix.