Canadian diver Imbeau-Dulac aims high at 2013 Gillette Canada Cup

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Louis Daignault (ISN)

May 4, 2013, Gatineau, Que (ISN) – François Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., rebounded from a tough preliminary round to reach the men’s three-metre final at the 2013 Canada Cup Grand Prix diving competition being held this week at the Centre sportif.

The competition is the third stop on the FINA Grand Prix circuit. Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal also qualified for the women’s 10-metre final.

In the men’s three-metre, Imbeau-Dulac struggled on two dives and was 12th in the morning preliminaries gaining the last available spot for the afternoon semifinals. However he roared back with a superb semis to qualify third in his heat with 429.30 points. Rommel Pacheco of Mexico was first at 433.90 and Sun Zhiyi of China second at 430.75. They were the third through fifth best scores overall on the day.

The top-three in each of the two semi heats advance to Sunday’s final.

”I came to this competition to gain confidence and that certainly didn’t happen in the prelims,” said Imbeau-Dulac, a 2012 Olympian, who is also coming back from a back injury. ”I just viewed the semis as another opportunity. I didn’t want the performance of the century just to be consistent and not make any major mistakes.”

The big dive on his list is his last one, a forward two and half somersault with three twists in pike position. It is known as the triple twister and was made famous by 2008 Olympic champion He Chong. About a half dozen divers currently execute it on the international scene.

”It’s a risky dive but it can be such a big pay off when you do it well,” said Imbeau-Dulac. ”I’m a strong twister so it’s easier for me to learn that one that some of the other big dives. And I’m looking at developing two or three new harder dives in my list over the next couple of years.”

On women’s 10-metre, Benfeito sparkled placing second in her semi heat at 356.05 just behind China’s Lian Jie at 361.05. Diana Pineda of Colombia was third at 276.05.

”I made some little errors but I’m confident I can correct them,” said Benfeito, 24, who already has a national title and two FINA World Series silver medals to her credit this year. ”I feel I’m saving my best for the final and the goal today was just make the top-three. I feel a gold here is possible but everyone is going to raise their level and I have to make zero mistakes.”

Roseline Filion of Laval was fifth in the other semifinal heat and did not advance.

Competition continues Saturday with four finals starting at noon including Olympic bronze medallists on Filion and Benfeito on 10-m synchro, Jennifer Abel and Pam Ware on women’s three-metre and Maxin Bouchard on men’s tower.

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