April 27 2014 ISN – LONDON – Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal beat one Chinese star and nearly reeled in another en route to a silver medal on women’s 10-metre tower on Sunday to conclude the third stop on the FINA World Series diving circuit.
Two-time Olympic tower champion Ruolin Chen of China took the gold medal with 400.55 points followed by Benfeito at 394.75, the second highest score of her career. Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia was third at 380.70. World Series leader Huixia Liu of China took fourth at 368.75 and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., was fifth at 364.70.
”I showed today the Chinese are beatable,” said Benfeito, 25, a two-time Olympian. ”I am extremely proud of my performance. I felt great going into the competition, practice had been going well but I never expected to dive this well.”
Benfeito is one of the few divers that follows the progress of the competition and watches the other divers perform. She knew exactly the situation when she stepped on the board for her final dive of the day. She ended in spectacular fashion with 8.5’s and 9.0’s on her twisting diving. She had the top score in three of the five rounds in the final.
”I really thrive on the pressure and the stress of the situation,” she said. ”It doesn’t bother me to follow the competition. When I landed my reverse dive in the second round, that’s what gave me a lot of confidence for the other dives.”
Filion also produced a solid performance earning 7.5’s or 8.0’s on her dives in the final.
”This was an extremely powerful field and I showed I was in the game,” said Filion. ”My technique is very strong right now and I’m particularly working hard on improving my entries to get those extra half points that can get me into the medals.”
In the World Series women’s 10-metre standings, Liu still leads at 48 points followed by Pamg at 46, Benfeito at 38 and Filion at 36. Chen was making her season debut on the circuit this season.
It was a second medal this weekend for Benfeito and Filion who were third on 10-m synchro on Friday. On Saturday, Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., was third on three-metre.
Benfeito, Filion, Ware, Jennifer Abel and the other Canadian diving stars will be in action at the Centre Sportif in Gatineau, Que., against a strong international field at the Gillette Canada Cup May 1-4.