Filion finds World Series individual gold in London
Photo: Aaron Dziver
For the second straight FINA Diving World Series event, a Canadian has finished atop the women’s 10m platform podium, this time Roseline Filion in London, England.
Following up with Meaghan Benfeito’s upset over Chen Ruolin of China last week in Kazan, Russia, it was Filion this time finishing ahead of the pack beating another Chinese competitor, Liu Huixia, by 0.45 points.
Filion had finished fifth a week earlier in Kazan, but in London on Sunday, both Chen and Benfeito were knocked out in the semis. While the final competition was heating up, so were Filion’s returns.
A timid opening score in the final from Filion saw her in fourth place after the first round of dives. But on her fourth, Filion found a breakthrough scoring 84.15. Liu responded meekly with 56.10 – her worst of the final – and suddenly the Canadian was in the lead. The all-important final dive saw Filion and Liu attain an identical 78.40 from the judges, leaving the Canadian in front 379.15 to 378.70 for her first individual gold of the season after three consecutive fifth place finishes.
Aided by the home crowd, Tonia Couch of Great Britain won bronze (357.80) and remains second in the 10m World Series standings behind Chen. Liu is third in the overall table with Filion and Benfeito fourth and fifth respectively. Sunday was the first time Chen missed a 10m individual World Series podium this season from four outings.
Canada suffered an upset in the mixed synchro (10m) where Benfeito and male compatriot Vincent Riendeau finished fifth on Sunday. This was the first time this season Canada finished below second place in either the 3m or 10m mixed synchro events.
Filion’s triumph Sunday brought Canada’s World Series total from London to four. Their next stop is in home waters on the weekend of May 22 in Windsor, Ontario.
At the fourth FINA Diving World Series event of the season, Canada is up to three medals over two days in London, England with a pair from Saturday.
In a rare dive-off, Pamela Ware beat Nadezhda Bazhina of Russia in the individual women’s 3m for the bronze medal. China’s dominant diver Shi Tingmao continued her World Series sweep this season winning gold with 374.35 points ahead of teammate Wang Han (366.90). That left Ware and Bazhina tied with 366.90 each in third. In the dive-off the Canadian beat her Russian counterpart 75 to 66 to reach the podium.
Canada second medal from Saturday – and third overall – arrived in the 3m mixed synchro, where Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac (309.60) finished behind China (336.90) but ahead of the host nation Great Britain (299.76).
Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware eked out a podium place despite a British duo making up nearly 11 points on the Canadians in the last two dives. When the splash settled, Abel and Ware had beaten Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg of Great Britain 295.68 to 295.44.
The gold went to Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao of China (331.50) and Italians Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape (314.40) took silver. Shi and Wu have won every 3m synchro World Series event this season, while Abel and Ware have been on the podium in three of four competitions, taking silver in the last two outings.
Earlier on Friday, another British team of Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow beat Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion for bronze in the women’s 10m synchro, shutting the Canadians out of a second medal in London.