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Jennifer Abel, Emilie Heymans reach three-metre springboard diving semis

TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

Canadian three-metre springboard divers Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans are through to the semi-finals of qualifying in the individual event at the London Olympics.

Abel finished the five-dive preliminary round in fourth place, trailing only China's Wu Minxia, the prohibitive gold medal favourite, teammate He Zi, and Italian Tania Cagnotto.

Heymans qualified two spots lower in sixth, although the main point of Friday's diving was to ensure passage from the 30-woman preliminary field to the 18-member semi.

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Both will be diving again Saturday, it would be a monumental upset if one or the other were to miss the finals.

Abel, 20, won the bronze at the most recent world championships, Heymans, 30, won a silver in the event at the worlds in 2009.

Abel and Heymans already have one medal in the synchro - which Wu and He won - and are looking for more in Sunday's individual event.

"I am really happy. A year ago I was 17th in the semifinals. This is my first competition in five months so it feels good to break the ice with fourth place," said Abel. "I have a lot more experience now. At the moment I am not thinking about a place on the podium. I am thinking more about my performance."

Heymans said "I felt pretty good out there. It's been a really tough day so I'm really happy with the score."

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