Silver start to Windsor Diving World Series

WINDSOR - Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu helped Canada open the Windsor Diving World Series on the podium, with a silver medal in the women’s synchro 3-metre springboard on Friday.

The Canadian pair scored 305.52 points while the Chinese team of Tingmao Shi and Yani Chang finished just ahead with 310.80 points.

Abel, 25, and Citrini-Beaulieu, 21, were leading the Chinese, and in first place, after four out of five dives.

Citrini-Beaulieu, from St. Constant, Que., says she wasn’t aware of the exact placing but knew they were close.

“We didn’t overreact, that was good, we did our job and didn’t get distracted by that,” said Citrini-Beaulieu.

The Chinese divers won an astounding 29 out of 30 events at the first three Diving World Series stops. Today, Shi and Chang would prevail on the final dive.

Australia’s Esther Qin and Anabelle Smith placed third with 299.70 points.

“Mélissa and I had really good practices this week,” said Abel, from Laval, Que., “We really focused on doing the same thing, we didn’t want any distractions.”

This is Abel and Citrini-Beaulieu’s second synchro medal of the Diving World Series season, the Canadians won a bronze in Guangzhou, China in March.

“It’s really successful,” said Abel on going two-for-four, “We have to know that everybody here knows each other, the teams are not new, we’re competing against the best in the world, so it’s really good what we did here.”

The pair were newly assembled for the 2017 season since Abel’s Olympic partner from 2016, Pamela Ware, was battling an injury she has since overcome.

In the men’s synchro 3-metre Canada’s François Imbeau-Dulac, 26, and Philippe Gagné, 19, were forced to pull out due to injury after three of six dives.

Gagné, from Ville Mont-Royal, Que., has been suffering from a lower back ailment leading up to the competition.

His older teammate acknowledged the necessity to withdraw, “It was the best thing to do,” said Imbeau-Dulac, from St. Lazare, Que., “I’m very proud of him to try and do all the dives, unfortunately it didn’t happen but that’s OK.”

Russia’s Ilia Zakharov and Evgenii Kuznetsov won the event with 422.88 points.

In the women’s synchro 10-metre platform Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay finished in fourth place with 293.82 points.

Yajie Si and Qian Ren of China were the gold medallists with 336.66 points.

Four Canadians will compete on Saturday in Windsor.

Montreal’s Benfeito and Celina Toth, of St. Thomas, Ont., will take on the women’s platform, with Imbeau-Dulac in the men’s springboard. To end the day Benfeito will team up with Pointe-Claire, Que.’s Vincent Riendeau in the mixed synchro 10-metre platform.

Detailed results are available through: