May 18 2014 ISN – WINNIPEG – Maxim Bouchard of St-Constant, Que., nailed his six dives in the final to
produce a personal best score and win the gold medal on men’s 10-metre tower on
Sunday to conclude the Winter Nationals diving competition.
Bouchard scored more than 80 points on four of his six dives in the final to finish
with 488.50. He is the fifth Canadian diver in history to surpass the 480 point
total. Vincent Riendeau of Pointe-Claire, Que., fell behind with subpar scores on
his first two dives and totalled 447.10. Ethan Pitman of Edmonton took a surprise
bronze with 416.60.
Even though he was the defending champion, Bouchard’s prospects for a victory seemed
bleak heading into Sunday’s final. On Friday, he scored a disastrous 295 points in
the preliminaries and 405 points in the semis.
”I stopped worrying about my competition and what scores I needed,” said Bouchard,
who needed 460 points on Sunday to be eligible for nomination to the Commonwealth
Games and FINA World Cup teams. The competition was also the final selection meet
for those two events.
The highlight for Bouchard was landing his most difficult dive, a back three and
half somersault in tuck position. He earned four 9.0’s and three 8.5’s from the
judges for 87.45 points.
“It’s a dive I struggled with in prelims and semis,” he said. “It’s an important
dive for me if I want to have success. And today to land it and get on our national
team is very satisfying.”
On women’s 10-metre tower, Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal also successfully defended
her Canadian title with a personal best 414.30 points to crack the 400-point
barrier for the first time in her career. Only four-time Olympic medallist Emilie
Heymans has scored higher for Canada.
“I’ve worked a lot on my entries,” said Benfeito. “The objective is to make as
little splash as possible like the Chinese. Today all my dives were solid in the
final. My last one could have been better but I’ll take that score for now.”
Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., was second at 364.25 and Carol-Ann Ware of Beloeil,
Que., third at 325.10.