DV GP 2014, Gatineau day 2: Filion and Benfeito continue to shine at home

Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., Meaghan Benfeito of Montreal and François Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., are headed to this weekend’s finals at the FINA Diving Grand Prix after strong performances on Friday at the Centre sportif.

On women’s 10m platform, Filion and Benfeito were second and third in the second semifinal heat with 343.55 and 338.95 points. Qian Ren of China was the day’s top performer at 382.10. The top-three in each of the two semis advanced to Sunday’s final.

"I’ve been quite pleased to string some solid and consistent performances so far this season," said Filion one of three Canadian Olympic medallists competing in Gatineau.

"In the final, I’ll have the same approach, but I definitely would like to like to score more points."

Benfeito is the Canadian leg defending champion and is also expected to be a gold medal contender in Gatineau. Last weekend she won silver at the World Series event in London in a battle against China’s top-two ranked international divers.

Carol-Ann Ware of Beloeil, Que., was sixth in the preliminaries but only the top-two from each country could advance. Filion was third and Benfeito fourth in prelims.

On men’s 3m springboard, François Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., took third spot in his semifinal heat to advance to Sunday’s final with 421.75. He finished just ahead of compatriot Riley McCormick of Victoria in fourth at 398.55.

This season hip and back discomforts have forced Imbeau-Dulac to use his left leg instead of his right on his hurdle.

"It’s like asking a baseball hitter to switch sides at the plate," said Imbeau-Dulac, a 2012 Olympian.

"I’ve been doing my hurdle the same way for 10 years and to suddenly change has been difficult. But I showed a lot of progress today. It’s good for the confidence."

(From a press release by Diving/Plongeon Canada)