Canada’s Benfeito, Riendeau win bronze in 10-metre mixed synchro at World Series

Canada wins bronze at diving World Series

BEIJING — Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Vincent Riendeau closed out the season-opening diving World Series with a bronze medal in mixed synchro 10-metre platform on Sunday.

Benfeito and Riendeau scored 302.34 points in the synchro event behind Russia’s Iuliia Timoshinina and Viktor Minibaev (305.64 points) and the gold-medal Chinese team of Jian Lian and Junjie Lian (329.28 points).

Both Canadian divers had finished off the podium in individual events earlier in the day.

Montreal’s Benfeito finished fourth in the women’s platform event, scoring 337.75 points, while the 20-year-old Riendeau finished sixth in the men’s platform final with 459.85 points.

“I’m a little upset,” said the 28-year-old Benfeito. “I know that I could have been on the podium but I made a mistake on my third and fifth dive.”

Benfeito, struggling with a sore triceps, was running in third-place until her miss on the third dive.

Benfeito won back-to-back Olympic bronze medals in the women’s 10-metre synchro — at London 2012 and Rio 2016 — with recently retired partner Roseline Filion.

Riendeau, the upstart from Pointe-Claire, Que., showcased three new dives on the men’s platform en route to his sixth-place finish.

“I’m excited because they are dives that you definitely need to be on the international scene at a higher level,” said Riendeau, a 2016 Olympian. “I’m nervous at the same time, to do those new dives, because it takes a while to get used to them, and do them consistently in competition.”

Olympic champion Aisen Chen, from China, won the event with a score of 556.25 points.

Riendeau’s final comes a day after springboard specialist Philippe Gagne, from Ville Mont-Royal, Que., finished sixth in the 3-metre event.

“These are young boys competing against some divers that have a lot of years behind them,” said national team coach Aaron Dziver. “They were able to make the final and that I think in itself is a huge accomplishment.”

The dominant host country won nine out of 10 events at the Beijing diving World Series.

The Canadians captured a total of two medals, both in mixed synchro events, including a springboard bronze for Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac on Saturday.

“We use this first leg of the World Series as a measuring stick,” said Dziver.

The Canadian Press

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