Montminy, Heymans snare silver at Diving Grand Prix
MESSINA, Italy (CSN) -- Anne Montminy of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Emilie Heymans of Montreal won the silver medal in their international debut on women's synchronized 10-metre platform Thursday at a Grand Prix diving competition.
It was Canada's third medal of the competition.
The Canadians and Russians were virtually tied heading in their final dives. But Russians Svetlana Timoshinina and Evgenia Olshevskaja, Olympic gold medal favorites, prevailed to place first. Montminy and Heymans, who started practicing together only this week, were second, 20 points back from the winners while Azul Almazan and Mary Jose Alcala of Mexico were a distant third.
"We're two good divers and half the marks are on good dives," said Montminy, who won the 10-metre individual event on Wednesday while Heymans was fourth. "We did well in the synchronized part too and got only one mark below 7.5 the entire meet. The key is Emily and I agreed on a list that doesn't change our technique too much. So doing the synchro as well isn't a big additional burden."
The pair train at different clubs, however they are a mere 20 minute drive from one another. Montminy and Heymans are also gold medal contenders on the individual 10-metre tower and they feel they can add a top-three finish in synchro as well.
"We're definitely in the medal hunt," said Montminy, headed to her third Games. "We've only had four practices and we nearly beat the Russians who have been together for two years. I feel once we're use to each other's timing we're going to do really well."
Besides the Russians, China, the U.S., Germany and Australia will also field strong pairs at the Olympics.
On men's three-metres, veteran Fernando Platas of Mexico was the winner with 667.05 points. Peng Bo of China was second at 652.01 and his compatriot Wang Ke Nan third at 655.54.
Canadian Olympians Jeff Liberty of Calgary and Arturo Miranda of Edmonton were sixth and ninth respectively at 606.18 and 589.41.
On Wednesday, Montminy totalled 497.94 points on 10-metre for her third career Grand Prix win and first since July 1998. Irina Vyguzova of Kazakhstan was second at 493.74 and her compatriot Natalya Chikina was third at 492.80. Heymans was fourth at 450.21.
"Anne wasn't spectacular but she was solid," said Canadian national team coach Hui Tong of Calgary. "But any small mistake at an international meet like this and the judges will kill you. That explains why her score is not very high."
In the women's synchronized three-metre event Wednesday, Yulia Pakhalina and Vera Ilyna of Russia were the victors while Eryn Bulmer of Calgary and Blythe Hartley of North Vancouver, Canada's Olympic entry, were second 23 points back from the winners. A Mexican pair which included veteran Maria Jose Alcala was third.
Competition ends Friday.