Road To The Olympic Games

Olympics Summer

Benfeito, Filion earn Olympic berth in syncro diving

The duo of Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., earned an Olympic berth in women's synchronized diving by winning the event at the national trials on Saturday in Saanich, B.C.

The duo of Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., earned an Olympic berth in women's synchronized diving by winning the event at the national trials on Saturday in Saanich, B.C

Benfeito and Filion were one of only two teams competing in the women's 10-metre platform and entered the trials with the same amount of international points as the pairing of Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., and Marie-Eve Marleau of Laval, Que.

That set up a thrilling showdown between the two pairs, with the winners moving on to Beijing.

Each team had only five dives in the preliminaries and five in the finals, making any missed dive in the syncro extremely costly.

Benfeito and Filion, the bronze medallists in the event at the 2005 world championship, held the lead after the preliminary round with 346.23 points.

Heymans and Marleau, the gold medallists at last year's Pan Am Games, ended the preliminaries with a score of 329.43.

In the final, Benfeito and Filion earned a pair of perfect 10 scores on their second dive to help maintain their lead and finish with 686.280 points.

"We dove the best we've dove in awhile," Filion said. "It's wonderful that we're going to live the Olympic dream together. We're really good friends and it's going to be so much fun."

Heymans and Marleau earned a score of 674.97 to finish second but even though they may not be competing in Beijing as a team they're already going to the Olympics.

They finished one-two respectively in the individual platform event on Friday evening.

The Olympic diving trials wrap up Sunday with the women's springboard and men's platform events.

Blythe Hartley of North Vancouver, B.C., heads into women's springboard with a comfortable lead based on points accumulated in her international results this winter. But competition for the second Olympic berth in the event is expected to be very tight.

The field is considered wide open in the men's platform, with two Olympic spots up for grabs.

With files from the Canadian Press