June 17,2014(ISN) – Ottawa – Diving Plongeon Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) today
confirmed the athletes and coaches to be named to Team Canada for the XXth
Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.
Amongst the Canadian diving team in Glasgow will be three 2012 Olympic
medalists, in Jennifer Abel (22, Laval, QC), Meaghan Benfeito (25, Montreal,
QC) and Roseline Filion (26, Laval,QC). Bolstering the team is 2013 World
Championship double bronze medalist, Pamela Ware (22, Beloeil, QC).
Canadian divers just wrapped up their most successful FINA World Series
season ever with Roseline Filion, Meaghan Benfeito, Jennifer Abel, and
Pamela Ware bringing home sixteen total medals from the five competitions
they attended. The consistency displayed by Canada’s top divers in reaching
the podium on the international level is very encouraging at this point in
the Olympic quadrennial. With the road to Rio running through Glasgow,
Canada’s best will test themselves against the world-class divers from
Australia, England, and Malaysia.
“I believe that Canada’s diving team is heading to Glasgow as the team to
beat”, said Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission for Canada’s Team in
Glasgow. “With the four medals won by Canada at the final FINA World Series
event just held in Mexico, including Meaghan Benfeito’s gold on the 10-metre
tower, this team is showing that it is ready to take on the best in the
Mitch Geller, chief technical officer at Diving Plongeon Canada also
believes the Canadian diving team is well positioned to impress in Glasgow.
“With this being a major games, our obligation to Commonwealth Games Canada
and to all Canadians is to maximize our medal return”, said Geller. “The
selection process we used has enabled us to nominate the strongest possible
team we could have sent”, added Geller. “We are encouraged by our recent
international results and feel confident we can contend for a gold medal in
every women’s event at the Games”, said Geller.
Athletes and coaches nominated by Diving Plongeon Canada to Team Canada for
the 2014 Commonwealth Games were chosen based on results and scoring
standards from a series of selected events throughout the 2014 diving
season. They are:
JENNIFER ABEL, 22, Laval, QC. 1-metre; 3-metre; 3-metre synchro (P. Ware)
A bronze medalist in 3-metre synchro at both the 2012 London Olympic Games
and at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Jennifer Abel has
established herself as one of the world’s premiere springboard divers.
Paired on 3-meter synchro with Pamela Ware, she won two silver medals and a
bronze medal along the 2014 FINA World Series. The pair is currently ranked
3rd in the world by FINA, while Abel is ranked 5th individually. Abel
narrowly missed the golden sweep of springboard events at the 2010 games in
Delhi, finishing with gold on 1-metre and 3-metre synchro (w/ Emilie
Heymans) and silver on 3-metre.
MEAGHAN BENFEITO, 25, Montreal, QC. 10-metre;10-metre synchro (Filion).
Fresh off two breakthrough gold medal performances at the 2014 FINA World
Series on 10-metre in Mexico and 10-metre synchro in Windsor, Benfeito is a
strong challenger for gold in both tower events in Scotland. This year, she
and her 10-metre synchro partner Roseline Filion have won 6 medals at the 6
FINA sanctioned international events they entered. The pair has not missed
an international podium all season and is working to extend that streak to
include the 2014 FINA Diving World Cup in Shanghai and the Commonwealth
Games in Glasgow. This will be Meaghan’s second Commonwealth Games
(competing in 2006, while missing 2010 due to injury).
MAXIM BOUCHARD, 23, Saint-Constant, QC. 10-metre; 10-metre synchro
(Riendeau); 3-metre synchro (McCormick).
After a near fatal accident in 2010 while working as a show diver in the
Philippines, Bouchard returned to the sport a year later with a renewed
passion and has quickly risen to the upper echelon of Canadian diving.
Bouchard has gone on to win back-to- back national titles on 10-metre at the
Canadian Championships and has qualified for his very first Commonwealth
Games. Bouchard is the only Canadian diver to be competing on both the
3-metre springboard and 10-metre tower in Glasgow.
ROSELINE FILION, 26, Laval, QC. 10-metre/10-metre synchro (Benfeito)
Roseline Filion is in her 11th season with the Canadian National diving
team, and is proof that you can still improve with age. In partnership with
her long time teammate (Meaghan Benfeito), Filion is currently ranked 2nd in
the world in 10-metre synchro by FINA. The pair won a bronze medal on
10-metre synchro at the 2012 Olympic Games, and a silver medal in the same
event at the 2013 World Championships. This year, they have won a medal at
each leg of the World Series they attended; gold in Windsor, silver in
Beijing, and bronze in Dubai, London, and Monterrey. Filion also competes
individually on 10-metre and won two bronze medals in Dubai and Windsor at
the FINA World Series, placing her 4th overall in FINA’s world rankings.
EMMA FRIESEN, 25, North Vancouver, BC. 1-metre; 3-metre
A former NCAA diving champion at the University of Hawaii, Emma Friesen has
gone on to compete for Canada extensively over the last four years on the
FINA Diving Grand Prix circuit. Over the last two seasons, she has won 3
medals at FINA sanctioned international events, and another 4 at Canadian
national championships. For the Friesen family, diving is in their blood as
Emma’s mother (Christine Loock) is a US national diving champion, and her
father (Ron Friesen) represented Canada in diving at the 1972 Olympic Games.
FRANÇOIS IMBEAU-DULAC, 23, Saint-Lazare, QC. 3-metre
François made his first Olympic appearance in 2012 at the London Games.
Placing 13th on 3-metre, he narrowly missed a spot in the final. Known for
his ability to perform very difficult twisting dives, he is one of a few
divers in the world that can execute an extremely challenging triple
twisting dive worth 3.9 DD. This off-season, Imbeau-Dulac made a significant
change to his diving technique. After battling hip flexor injuries for a
number of years, he decided to switch his take-off leg and spent countless
hours readapting his body to the sport. At the end of the 2013 season he was
named Male Athlete of the Year by Diving Plongeon Canada.
RILEY MCCORMICK, 23, Victoria, BC. 3-metre; 3-metre synchro (Bouchard)
A two-time Olympian on 10-metre tower (2008 and 2012), McCormick made the
transition to 3-metre springboard in 2013. At just 23 years of age, he is a
10-year veteran of the Canadian national diving team, having won 8 national
titles. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will mark his first participation at a
major games on springboard. He is a recent graduate from Arizona State
University and has plans to further his education by enrolling in law
VINCENT RIENDEAU, 17, Pointe-Clare, QC. 10-metre;10-metre synchro
rising star to watch in Canadian diving, this will be Vincent Riendeau’s
first Commonwealth Games experience. Riendeau has put together a dominant
junior career, winning gold medals at every age level at the Canadian Junior
Championships. He has shown some consistency in the senior ranks by
capturing two consecutive silver medals on 10-metre at the Canadian Winter
and Summer Championships in 2014.
CAROL-ANN WARE 23, Beloeil, QC. 10-metre
The elder of the Ware sisters, Carol-Ann has enjoyed multiple podium
finishes on the FINA Grand Prix circuit throughout her career. In Glasgow,
Carol-Ann is competing in the 10-metre individual event. This is her second
Commonwealth Games and she will be looking to improve on her 5th place
performance in Delhi. Away from the pool she studies studio art and has a
passion for photography.
PAMELA WARE, 21, Beloeil, QC. 1-metre; 3-metre; 3-metre synchro (Abel)
2013 was a break out year for Pamela Ware in which she established her place
amongst the world’s best springboard divers. She earned two bronze medals at
the 2013 FINA World Aquatic Championships on 3-metre, and 3-metre synchro
(Abel). The 2014 season has seen her continue with the same intensity and
drive for the podium. Throughout the 2014 FINA World Series, Pamela won two
bronze medals on 3-metre and also captured two silver medals and a bronze
medal in the 3-metre synchro event alongside Jennifer Abel. She is
currently ranked 4th in the world by FINA on 3-metre, and 3rd in the world
on 3-metre synchro (with Abel).
CODY YANO, 23, Edmonton, AB. 3-metre
Cody Yano is the reigning Canadian champion on 3-metre, which he won
recently in Winnipeg at the 2014 Canadian Summer Championships. Yano is a
veteran competitor for Canada on the FINA Diving Grand Prix circuit and also
represented the country at the 2013 FISU Games. Yano currently studies
Marketing and Business at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
(NAIT). Standing 6 feet tall and weighing 90 kg, Yano is known for the raw
strength and power he possesses on the board. This will be his first
Commonwealth Games experience.
ARTURO MIRANDA (Montreal, QC)
A national diving champion in his native Cuba, Miranda moved to Canada in
the mid-90s and later earned a place on the Canadian national diving team.
In 2008 he competed at the Beijing Olympics as partner to Alex Despatie in
men’s 3 metre synchro, and following his post-games retirement, he began
coaching fulltime. He currently coaches Meaghan Benfeito, Roseline Filion,
and Jennifer Abel.
AARON DZIVER (Terrebonne, QC)
Originally from Winnipeg, Dziver has been the co-Head Coach of the
Montreal-based CAMO Diving Club since 2008. He has coached Pamela Ware,
Carol-Ann Ware, and Francois Imbeau-Dulac for the majority of their diving
careers. Dziver has coached at all major games including the 2012 Olympic
Games, 2011 Pan Am Games and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
IHUA LI (Pointe-Claire, QC)
While representing China, Yihua Li was once the world’s top-ranked diver.
After retiring from competition, she moved to Canada and has been coaching
in Pointe-Claire for over 20 years. She helped guide Emilie Heymans to
Olympic medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. In Glasgow she is
coaching Canada’s youngest diver, Vincent Riendeau.
CÉSAR HENDERSON (Montreal, QC)
Originally from the Dominican Republic, César Henderson has coached in
Montréal since 1986. As a diver, he participated at the 1980 and 1984
Olympic Games and in 2000 was named Athlete of the Century in aquatics for
the Dominican Republic. He is the co-Head Coach of Montreal’s CAMO diving
club and will be coaching Maxim Bouchard in Glasgow.
“Congratulations to the divers named today to Canada’s 2014 Commonwealth
Games Team,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).
“You’ve been training hard and devoting all your time and energy to qualify
for this high level of sport competition, and today your efforts have been
rewarded. You honour us by being members of our Canadian team. Bravo!”
A team of 265 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in
Glasgow, Canada’s largest team ever fielded for a non-home Games. The
entire Canadian Team, as well as the team’s flag bearer, will be officially
announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in July 2014.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 23rd to August
3rd, 2014, and will be the largest ever multi-sport event held on Scottish