June 8, 2014(ISN) – MONTERREY, Mexico – Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal ended China’s reign on the women’s
10-metre tower on the FINA World Series diving circuit on Sunday as she won the gold
medal in the final event of the season.
Benfeito tabulated a personal best international score of 398.20 points for her
first career victory in her six years on the circuit. Huixia Liu of China was
second at 395.30 and Alejandra Estrella of Mexico third at 369.20. Roseline Filion
of Laval, Que., just fell short in her bid for a third bronze medal this season with
364.50 points for fourth place.
”I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” said Benfeito, minutes after her win. ”I showed
that I have the ability to beat the Chinese. The hard work is paying off.”
The victory comes just one week after Benfeito didn’t qualify for the 10-metre final
at the previous World Series stop in Windsor, Ont.
”I was confident I could correct my errors from last week,” she said. ”I had a
great week of training going into this meet. But to get 398 points and the win,
that was unexpected.”
The 26-year-old Benfeito notche her best score on her third dive, a back three and
half, which is also the most difficult on her list, earning four 9.0’s and three
8.5’s from the judges. Traditionally it is one she struggles with and she actually
flubbed it in the preliminaries.
”Obviously that’s the dive that I work the hardest on in practice these days,” she
said. ”In the preliminaries, I knew what went wrong and I was determined to get it
right in the final.”
In the same third round, Liu, a three-time winner this season, saw her golden hopes
in peril when she made a noticeable mistake on her armstand dive. Chinese women
have won 28 of 32 women’s 10-metre events with Mexico’s Paola Espinosa winning the
”I’m always looking at the scoreboard throughout the competition,” said Benfeito.
”It just motivates me even more.”
In the World Series women’s 10-metre final standings, Liu took the crown with 98
points, Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia was second at 78, Filion third at 62 and
Benfeito fourth at 60.
Filion averaged 8.0’s on four of her five dives in the final. The only one she
would want back was the same backward dive that was so successful for Benfeito.
”I’m really proud of my season on the World Series,” said Filion. ”I made a lot
of progress going into the summer portion of the season.
The top Canadian divers will now prepare over the next month for the FINA World Cup
July 15-20 in Shanghai and the Commonwealth Games July 23-August 3 in Glasgow,