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May 30,2014(ISN) – WINDSOR, Ont. – Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que.,
earned their first gold medal on the FINA World Series diving circuit on Friday
placing first on women’s 10-metre tower.

Meanwhile Jennifer Abel of Laval and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., came within 0.15
points of a powerful Chinese pair in a thrilling three-metre synchro final for the
silver.

The competition is the fifth of six stops on the tour reserved for the top-eight
divers in the world in each event. It is the first time Canada hosts a World Series
competition.

On women’s 10-metre synchro, Benfeito and Filion, the Olympic bronze medallists and
currently ranked second in the world, totalled 330.75 points. Sarah Barrow and
Tonia Couch of Britain followed for silver at 311.10 and Emily Boyd and Lara Tarvit
of Australia were third at 308.58.

”It’s really incredible to win an international gold medal at home” said Benfeito,
a regular on the circuit with her partner since 2009. ”It’s something we don’t
experience very often. Everything we worked on in practice showed in our
performance today. It’s very motivating for our big events coming up this summer.
We know what we need to improve and we are going to focus on that.”

Xiaohui Huang and Jie Lian of China withdrew after their first dive due to an injury.

”They are a team that generally scores in the 330 point area so we are pleased to
be around that score as well,” said Benfeito. ”It shows we are closing in on the
Chinese.”

It went down to the final dive on women’s three-metre. Han Wang and He Zi of China
took the gold at 326.40, Abel and Ware followed with a personal best 326.25 and
Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape of Italy were third at 308.10.

”Every dive went very well and we feel great to get a points record,” said Ware in
her second-year diving with Abel, an Olympic medallist in 2012. ”We’ve never been
this close to a top Chinese team before.”

Zi won the Olympic gold medal on three-metre synchro with Wu Minxia in 2012 and Wang
was a double medallist at last year’s world championships.

The Chinese led after the first three rounds but the Canadians pulled ahead in the
fourth when they nailed their forward two and half, the most difficult on their
list, for 8.5’s and 9.0’s to pull ahead and set up a dramatic finish.

”I was glad to do that dive well when it counted,” said Ware. ”It’s been very
stable for Jen but I had been inconsistent in practice.”

Both the Chinese and Canadians made small mistakes on their respective last dives
which left everyone holding their breath for the final result when Wang and Zi
concluded the event.

”Obviously we thought the win was possible and we were a bit disappointed when they
showed the scores,” said Ware. ”Still, we took another big step.”

Yue Lin and Yuan Cao of China won both the men’s three-metre and 10-metre synchro
events. No Canadians were entered.

Competition continues through to Sunday at the Windsor International Aquatic and
Training Centre.

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