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Despatie wins silver in men's diving for Canada

Alexandre Despatie won Canada's third medal on Day 11, finishing second in the men's three-metre springboard diving competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Alexandre Despatie won Canada's third medal on Day 11, finishing second in the men's three-metre springboard diving competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Despatie, a 23-year-old native of Laval, Que., finished with a total score of 536.65 points from six dives to claim the silver medal Tuesday.

He also took the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games.

"My silver medal is gold to me because of all the bad things that happened to me this year," said Despatie. "I was able to get it together."

He Chong of China won the gold (572.90 points) and countryman Qin Kai, the reigning world champion, took the bronze (530.10).

It was sweet redemption for Despatie, who was bothered by back problems in the months leading up to the Games. He also fractrured his foot while playing soccer in April.

"The hardest part of coming back from that injury was mentally," Despatie said. "Physically we always do the training. Mentally it was very hard for me to stay  positive and believe I was going to pull this off, believe that I was going to be able to come in, put six dives together, and perform."

Despatie advanced to the final by finishing second behind He in the semifinals earlier in the day. Reuben Ross, a 22-year-old native of Regina, placed 18th overall with a six-dive score of 395.85 and did not make the final.

China's He earned 11 perfect marks of 10.0 in the six-round final to take the gold.

China has won all six diving competitions at the Beijing Games with two events remaining.

"It is extremely hard to come into China and compete against them," said Despatie. "They are so strong already. Being home just makes them that much stronger."

With files from Canadian Press