Three-time Olympic medal winner Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., and Pamela Ware of Otterburn Park, Que., won their respective semi-finals on women’s three-metre on Thursday to open the Canada Cup Grand Prix diving competition at the Olympic pool in Montreal.
The competition is one of the last opportunities for Canadians to earn qualifying points before the Olympic trials at the end of the month in Montreal.
On women’s three metre, Heymans placed first in semi-final A with 333.10 points finishing ahead of Anna Lindberg of Sweden and Katja Dieckow of Germany. In semi-final B, Ware earned 327.75 points with Sharleen Stratton of Australia second and Cheong Jun Hoon of Malaysia third.
The top three in both semis advance to Saturday’s final. Ware and Heymans are expected to battle it out for Canada’s second Olympic spot on three-metre in three weeks. Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., has a stranglehold on the first spot.
Both Canadians fell short of the 340 points mark which they must beat to earn Olympic qualifying points.
“I was only seven points off, those would have been valuable points, so I’m a bit disappointed about that’’ said Heymans, 31. “It’s going to play out at the Olympic trials. I’m trying to focus on my own performance.’’
Ware, who put herself in the Olympic mix after a fourth place finish at the FINA World Cup in February, was delighted with her showing as she landed two dives which had been problematic.
“My forward and reverse dive have given me trouble recently and I did them both well today,’’ said Ware, 19, the leader after the prelims. ‘’It was my best score at a Grand Prix competition.’’
On men’s 10-metre tower, Riley McCormick of Victoria took third spot in his semi-final group to advance to Saturday’s final. Jose Guerra and Jenkler Aguirre, both of Cuba, were 1-2.
“It was very important for me to step up today and have a good performance after a disappointing World Cup [in February]’’ said McCormick. “I was feeling a lot of pressure and I want to gain some momentum heading into the trials.’’
Kevin Geryson of Winnipeg was fifth in the other semi. Geyson, McCormick and Eric Sehn of Edmonton are expected to battle for the one Olympic spot currently available for Canada on men’s 10-metre. A second spot though could be added in June.
Competition continues Friday with prelims and semis on women’s 10-metre and men’s three-metre.