Diver Despatie golden again
Last Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 | 9:35 AM ET
By Jesse Campigotto, CBC Sports
Alexandre Despatie captured his second gold medal in as many days at the Commonwealth Games, winning the men's three-metre springboard title Monday for the third consecutive time to lead a 1-2 Canadian finish.
The Laval, Que., diver, who also three-peated in the one-metre springboard on Sunday in Delhi, now owns eight Commonwealth Games gold medals.
He'll try for a ninth on Tuesday when he competes in the three-metre synchronized event with teammate Reuben Ross of Regina, who took the silver medal behind Despatie in Monday's three-metre individual competition.
Edmonton's Eric Sehn nearly completed a Canadian sweep of the podium, finishing fourth behind bronze medallist Grant Nel of Australia.
Despatie won his first Commonwealth title in 1998, when he burst on the scene as a 13-year-old to take the 10-metre platform in Kuala Lumpur. He went on to win gold in both the one-metre and three-metre springboard events in 2002 in Manchester, then repeated as champion in both events in 2006 in Melbourne while adding another gold in the three-metre synchro.
"We’ve been training very hard for two months for this competition and I knew the preparation was there," said Despatie. "There’s always more pressure at the Games and to do well here augurs well for the next two years.”
Despatie also won bronze in the 10-metre platform in 2002 and 2006. He took Olympic silver in the individual three-metre in both 2004 and 2008.
While he's well acquainted with Commonwealth success, it was the first such medal for Ross.
"It feels incredible,”said Ross. "It gives me some confidence. There are international judges here and this really gets your name out a couple of years before the Olympics. It’s great to have a diver of Alex’s calibre to train with. He pushes me everyday so I can strive to be better."
Just missed the medals
Monday's gold was the third by the Canadian diving team in Delhi. In addition to Despatie's one-metre win on Sunday, Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans captured the women's three-metre springboard synchro event.
Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., nearly added another medal to the Canadian tally Monday in the 10-metre platform. Filion finished fourth, losing out on the bronze medal by just a couple of points to Australia's Alexandra Croak.
Malaysia's Pandelela Pamg won gold, and Australia's Melissa Wu got the silver as each of the three women on the podium earned her second medal of the Delhi Games.
Wu and Croak teamed up to win gold in the platform synchro event on Sunday, with Pamg and partner Mun Yee Leong getting the silver.
Montreal's Meaghan Benfeito, the top-ranked Commonwealth diver in the individual platform, did not make the trip to Delhi because of a back injury.