Divers Jennifer Abel, Pamela Ware qualify for 2016 Olympics
Pair won silver in 3-metre synchro event at world championships
Canada's Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware are Rio bound.
Abel, of Laval, Que., and Ware of Beloeil, Que., took silver in the women's three-metre synchro to earn an Olympic berth at the FINA world swimming championships on Saturday.
China's Shi Tingmao and Wu Minxia won the event — their second straight world title — with 351.30 points. Abel and Ware were 31.83 points behind for silver. The Chinese led all five rounds in defending their gold from two years ago.
"The goal here was to get on the podium and get the Olympic spot for Canada," said Ware. "We did our first two compulsory dives better than ever and that really set the tone for the rest of the competition. Two years ago was our first season together so it is really great to see how we've improved."
Meaghan Benfeito and Vincent Riendeau gave the Canadians a second silver in the mixed 10-meter competition.
Benfeito, a Montreal native, and Riendeau, of Pointe-Claire, Que., scored 309.66 points to finish behind China's Si Yajie and Tai Xiaohu. The Chinese duo scored 350.88 points for gold in their first high-level meet together.
Domonic Bedggood and Melissa Wu of Australia earned bronze in 308.22.
"We had a great start to the competition but had some individual troubles on the fourth dive," said Riendeau. "That hurt us in the standings so it was great to comeback a get a satisfying finish. Now we have something build on for the future."
Fighting off windy and choppy conditions, Haley Anderson of the U.S. defended her title in the 5-kilometre open water race to claim the first medal of the day.
She surged to the lead in the closing meters in the brownish waters of the Kazanka River, hitting the touchpad in 58 minutes, 48.4 seconds.
Chad Ho of South Africa defeated Rob Muffels of Germany in a photo finish after they both stopped the clock in 55:17.6. Matteo Furlan of Italy earned bronze in 55:20.0.
"I couldn't ask for a better race," Ho said.
Russia claimed its first gold as a first-time host of the world championships. Svetlana Romashina won the technical routine in solo synchronized swimming, a sport the Russians have dominated for years. It was Romashina's 16th career medal at worlds.
In the 5k, Anderson, the 2012 Olympic 5k silver medallist from Granite Bay, California, used the shorter race as a tuneup for the 10k next week.
"I just wanted to be able to get on the course, feel it out," she said. "My strategy was just to stay toward the front because it's a short race. You got to kind of stay up there if you want to be able to make your move toward the end."
Anderson's medal was the 500th won by the U.S. in the 16-year history of the world championships.
Kalliopi Araouzou of Greece took silver in 58:49.8, while Finnia Wunram of Germany earned bronze in 58:51.0.