Canadian Despatie third at diving World Series event

Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que., earned a bronze medal in the men's three-metre platform Friday in Mexico City at the second stop of the FINA World Series diving circuit.

Alexandre Despatie of Laval, Que., battled an arm injury to win the bronze medal on the men's three-metre platform Friday in Mexico City,at the second stop of the inaugural $300,000 US FINA World Series diving circuit.

Kai Qin of China gained a stranglehold for the event's overall title, winning for the second straight weekend with 486.75 points. His compatriot, Chong He, was second at 483.75.

Despatie followed at 459.80. Last weekend at the circuit opener in Sheffield, England, the Canadian diving star was second.

The three-stop circuit event is offering cash prizes for the top performers at each venue as well as for the overall champions. The series is reserved for the cream of the crop in the sport: the top eight from the world championships in the individual events and the top six in the synchro events.

The medallists receive $5,000, $4,000 and $3,000 respectively.

"I had a much better preliminary round than final," said Despatie. "In the preliminaries, I was super consistent, but in the final, I made some small errors that cost me a lot of points in the end.

"The quality of my dives was still very good and I wasn't that far off from the Chinese."

Last Sunday in warm-up, Despatie pulled a muscle in his left arm and it continued to hamper his performance on Friday. He has withdrawn from the 10-metre tower event for the series but will continue to compete in thethree-metre synchro with Arturo Miranda of Pointe-Claire, Que.

"I think it's a wise decision at this point to withdraw from the tower event," Despatie said. "Especially that the arm is affecting my three-metre. It's not a serious injury but I'm in a current situation where there is no time for rest."

Émilie Heymans of Greenfield Park, Que., failed to advance to the final of the 10-metre tower event.