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March 3, 2013, Winnipeg (ISN) – Olympic medallist Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., launched her 2013 season with a victory on women’s three-metre springboard on Sunday to conclude the Winter Nationals diving competition.

Abel was just a bit better on four of the five dives than her chief rival Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., to finish first with 341.40 points. Ware, also on the 2012 London team, followed at 338.30 while Emma Friesen of Victoria took the bronze at 303.75.

“It was a nice win considering it was such a close competition,” said Abel, 22, an Olympic bronze medallist on three-metre synchro with Emilie Heymans. “I made a few errors today but I’ve made some technical changes to my diving this year and I’m pleased with how it is progressing.”

On men’s 10-metre tower, Maxim Bouchard of St-Constant, Que., notched his first national senior crown with 411.00 points. Philippe Gagné of Montreal was second at 386.05 and Vincent Riendeau of Pointe-Claire, Que., third at 378.60.

”I was very consistent all day,” said Bouchard. ”It’s very exciting to get a first title especially that the guys were strong in this event. It’s going to be battle to see who makes the world championship team this year.”

In addition to national championship medals, the athletes were competing for inclusion on national teams that will represent Canada at various events on the 2013 FINA Grand Prix circuit, including the Canada Cup, May 2nd to May 5th 2013, in Gatineau, Quebec.

Other national champions crowned this week were for the women: Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal on 10-metre; Pamela Ware and Carol-Anne Ware on 10-metre synchro and Abel and Pamela Ware on three-metre synchro.

For the men the other winners were Cody Yano of Edmonton on three-metre, François Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., and Marc Sabourin-Germain of Mascouche, Que., on three-metre synchro and Bouchard and Gagné on 10-m synchro.

Full results: http://www.issmembership.com/diving/live/schedule.aspx