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Diving Canada sending mix of veterans, youth to Pan Am Games

Canada will be sending a team packed with potential to the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Diving Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee nominated eight divers to Team Canada, including Meaghan Benfeito, who will defend her women's 10m synchro title with new partner — and Pan Am rookie — Caeli McKay.

Meaghan Benfeito, Caeli McKay among team of 8 nominated for Lima

Canada's Meaghan Benfeito, bottom, and Caeli McKay, shown in this April 2018 file photo, will team up at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, in August. The two combined for a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. (File/The Associated Press)

Canada will be sending a team packed with potential to the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

Diving Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee nominated eight divers to Team Canada based on their performances at three events, the 2019 Winter National Championships, the 2019 FINA Diving Grand Prix – Canada Cup, and the 2019 Summer National Championships.

Meaghan Benfeito will be back to defend her Pan Am 10-metre synchro title, although it will be with new partner — and Pan Am rookie — Caeli McKay.

"Winning the gold medal at Toronto 2015 is one of the most memorable moments of my entire career," Benfeito said. "I will be vying for the top of the podium once again in Lima and cannot wait to represent Team Canada for a third time at the Pan American Games."

Rounding out the women's team are Jennifer Abel, a Pan American champion at Toronto 2015, and 2018 World Cup medallist Pamela Ware.

The men's diving team also boasts an experienced lineup, including multi-Pan Am medallist Philippe Gagné.

"The Pan Am Games in 2015 were incredible for me," he said. "I medalled in each event that I entered and will be looking to repeat that performance again this year. Representing Canada at a multi-sport event a year before the Olympic Games is a great opportunity to sharpen our focus and build our confidence."

In Lima, Gagné will be joined by Olympians François Imbeau-Dulac, 28, Vincent Riendeau, 22, and rising star Nathan Zsombor-Murray, 16.

The event also serves as a direct qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as winners from each individual event in Lima will secure an Olympic berth for their country.

The Pan Am diving events begin on Aug. 1 in Lima. The full Canadian team nominated is as follows:

  • Jennifer Abel (Laval, Que.) – Women's 3m and 3m synchro
  • Meaghan Benfeito (Laval, Que.) – Women's 10m and 10m synchro
  • Philippe Gagné (Mont Royal, Que.) – Men's 3m and 3m synchro
  • François Imbeau-Dulac (St-Lazare, Que.) – Men's 3m and 3m synchro
  • Caeli McKay (Calgary) – Women's 10m and 10m synchro
  • Vincent Riendeau (Pointe-Claire, Que.) – Men's 10m and 10m synchro
  • Pamela Ware (Greenfield Park, Que.) – Women's 3m and 3m synchro
  • Nathan Zsombor-Murray (Pointe-Claire, Que.) – Men's 10m and 10m synchro

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