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Bronze winning teammates Heymans and Abel compete for individual spot on the podium

Canada's Jennifer Abel, left, and Emilie Heymans react to final results during the 3 Meter Synchronized Springboard final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Canada won the bronze medal

Mark J. Terrill/AP

They won a bronze medal together last time they were in the diving pool, now it's time to be selfish.

The field for the women's three-metre individual springboard final is set, and it will pit a pair of Canadian teammates against one another.

Emilie Heymans of St. Lambert, Que., and Jennifer Abel of Montreal easily progressed from a semi-final Saturday that was dominated by triple gold medalist Wu Mingxia of China.

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Heymans, 30, and Abel, 20, won a bronze in the synchro springboard event, and both would dearly love to add another to their collection on Sunday evening.

Abel, who missed out on qualifying for the final as a 16-year-old at the Beijing Games, seems the more likely of the two to end up on the podium, having cruised to fourth in the semi.

"It's my first individual Olympic final, I'm very satisfied, I've accomplished my objectives here . . . I'm just that more confident going into tomorrow," said Abel, who increased her point total relative to the preliminary round on Friday, which she also closed out in fourth.

The high-energy Abel's main focus ahead of the individual event was to dash out of the venue so she could have dinner with her parents.

The veteran Heymans had to work a little harder for her qualification, a disastrous second dive – on a 3.5 forward somersault – briefly left her 18th and last in the session.

She quickly recovered on her next one, nailing a 2.5 forward somersault with one twist to climb back into a qualifying position (she finished a comfortable eighth).

"The important thing in that situation is not to panic, besides the dive is gone, there's nothing that can be done about it, you have to carry on," said Heymans. "I figured I'd probably among the last girls after that one, but it wasn't even the halfway point of the competition."

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Heymans said her hurdle – the one-legged jump that generates a diver's power and height – is exactly where she wants it to be.

"To me, that's what's important, the hurdle was good, the semis are a chance to just get the job done and get through to the final," she said.

Italy's Tania Cagnotta qualified second behind Wu, China's He Zi was third.

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More


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