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Jennifer Abel, left, and Pamela Ware qualified for the women’s three-metre springboard final.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Canada’s diving team earned another two spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Pamela Ware and Jennifer Abel qualified for the final of the women’s three-metre springboard on Thursday at the FINA world aquatics championships.

Abel, 27, from Laval, Que., finished fourth in the semi-final with 339.90 points, while Montreal’s Ware, 26, was sixth with 308.00 points.

“The goal coming here was to be top 12 to qualify [for] an Olympic spot,” Ware said. “Now its really to compete in the final and do the best I can, hopefully top eight to qualify for the World Series [tour].”

Abel, a three-time Olympian, described Thursday’s morning preliminary round as “tough.”

“I was diving towards the end and, during the last round of dives, I was seeing the other girls getting changed and packing their bags while I still had to dive,” she said.

Abel said the afternoon semi-final was much easier.

“Most of the girls that were diving towards the end are the same ones that I’m used to competing with at the World Series. It really helped me to stay focused, and I think it showed in the quality of the dives we saw,” she said.

Meaghan Benfeito, also from Laval, and Calgary’s Caeli McKay qualified Olympic spots for Canada in the women’s 10-metre platform on Tuesday.

Abel also secured Olympic nomination along with Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu by winning the silver medal in the women’s three-metre synchro springboard.

Also on Thursday, defending champion Xie Siyi of China won the men’s three-metre springboard final after Jack Laugher of Britain faltered in his last dive.

It extended China’s perfect run at the championships to 10 gold medals in 10 diving events.

Laugher led all the way until he only scored 30.6 points on his sixth dive, and had to settle for bronze with 504.55 points. Xie scored 102.60 points in his last dive for a total of 545.45. Cao Yuan of China finished second with 517.85 points.

“I looked at the scoreboard after the third round and then I focused on myself,” Xie said. “I did not watch Jack’s last dive, but I comforted him before the awarding ceremony.”

Laugher said he simply made a mistake in his last dive.

“I hit the wall with my right fist after I saw the results,” Laugher said. “When you could potentially make history and do such a good performance and then you make the mistake, I was really angry.”

Alexandre Despatie is the last non-Chinese diver to win gold in the three-metre springboard event, finishing first at the 2005 worlds in his hometown of Montreal.

With reports from The Associated Press

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