Abel, Ware claim Olympic spots for Canada in women's 3-metre springboard

Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que. and Pamela Ware qualified for the women's 3-metre springboard final on Thursday at the world aquatics championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Canadian water polo team defeats South Korea to qualify for knockout round

Canada's Jennifer Abel, seen in this file photo from May, qualified for the women’s 3-metre springboard final on Thursday at the world aquatics championships in Gwangju, South Korea. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Canada's diving team earned another two spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Pamela Ware and Jennifer Abel qualified for the final of the women's three-metre springboard Thursday at the FINA world aquatics championships.

Abel, 27, from Laval, Que., finished fourth in the semifinal with 339.90 points, while Montreal's Ware, 26, was sixth with 308.00 points.

"The goal coming here was to be Top 12 to qualify an Olympic spot," Ware said. "Now its really to compete in the final and do the best I can, hopefully top-8 to qualify for the World Series [tour]."

Abel, a three-time Olympian, described Thursday's morning preliminary round as "tough."

"I was diving towards the end and, during the last round of dives, I was seeing the other girls getting changed and packing their bags while I still had to dive," she said.

Abel said the afternoon semifinal was much easier.

"Most of the girls that were diving towards the end are the same ones that I'm used to competing with at the World Series. It really helped me to stay focused and I think it showed in the quality of the dives we saw," she said.

Meaghan Benfeito of Laval, Que, and Calgary's Caeli McKay qualified Olympic spots for Canada in the women's 10m platform on Tuesday.

Abel also secured Olympic nomination along with Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu by winning the silver medal in the women's three-metre synchro springboard.

Canada streamrolls South Korea

Having dropped its first two games, Canada found itself in a must-win situation against South Korea in women's water polo action on Thursday. 

With a place in the knockout stage on the line, Canada defeated the hosts 22-2 to advance to face the Netherlands in Saturday's crossover match.

Facing a youthful and inexperienced South Korean side that had been leaking goals — including a world-record 64-0 loss to Hungary in its opening match — Canada struck early and often.

Emma Wright and Kyra Christmas led Canada's scoring with hat-tricks, while Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, Monika Eggens, Kelly McKee and Hayley McKelvey each had two apiece. 

With the win, Canada finished group play with a 1-2 record, good enough for third place behind Russia and Hungary.

WATCH | Canada crushes South Korea:

2019 World Aquatics Championships: Water polo - Canada vs. South Korea

4 years ago
Duration 1:08:01
Watch coverage of the 2019 World Aquatics Championships Gwangju, South Korea.

Germay wins open-water relay

Germany won the mixed 5-kilometre open water team relay at the world swimming championships in a close finish over Italy and the United States.

The German quartet of Lea Boy, Sarah Kohler, Soeren Meissner and Rob Muffels finished in a time of 53 minutes, 58.70 seconds.

Italy, with Rachele Bruni, Giulia Gabbrielleschi, Domenico Acerenza and Gregorio Paltrinieri, was two-tenths of a second behind in a time of 53.58.90.

Haley Anderson, Jordan Wilimovsky, Ashley Twichell and Michael Brinegar made up the American team which finished just three-tenths of a second behind Germany to take bronze in 53:59.00.

Canada's team of Toronto's Kate Sanderson, Hau-Li Fan of Burnaby, B.C., and Victoria's Chantel Jeffrey and Eric Hedlin finished 13th. has live, every day, online coverage of the aquatics championships.

Xie wins 3-meter springboard gold 

Defending champion Xie Siyi of China won the men's 3-meter springboard final Thursday after Jack Laugher of Britain faltered in his last dive at the world swimming championships.

It extended China's perfect run at the championships to 10 gold medals in 10 diving events.

WATCH | Xie extends China's perfect run:

2019 World Aquatics Championships: Men's 3M Springboard Diving

4 years ago
Duration 1:47:57
Watch coverage of the 2019 World Aquatics Championships Gwangju, South Korea.

Laugher led all the way until he only scored 30.6 points in his sixth dive, and had to settle for bronze with 504.55 points. Xie scored 102.60 points in his last dive for a total of 545.45. Cao Yuan of China finished second with 517.85 points.

"I looked at the scoreboard after the third round and then I focused on myself," Xie said. "I did not watch Jack's last dive but I comforted him before the awarding ceremony."

Laugher said he simply made a mistake in his last dive.

"I hit the wall with my right fist after I saw the results," Laugher said. "When you could potentially make history and do such a good performance and then you make the mistake, I was really angry."

Alexandre Despatie of Canada was the last non-Chinese diver to win gold in the 3-meter springboard event at the 2005 worlds in Montreal.



With files from the Associated Press


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