MONTREAL (June 12, 2019) – Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC) and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s diving team nominated to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Diving will take place August 1-4 (Days 11-15) at the Villa María del Triunfo (VMT) Aquatic Centre.
The eight divers qualified for Team Canada based on their performances at the 2019 Winter National Championships in Victoria B.C. (December 14-16, 2018), the 2019 FINA Diving Grand Prix – Canada Cup in Calgary, Alta. (April 4-7) and the 2019 Summer National Championships in Windsor, Ont. (May 24-26).
“Winning the gold medal at TORONTO 2015 is one of the most memorable moments of my entire career,” said 30-year-old Meaghan Benfeito. “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.”
Jennifer Abel, 27, a Pan American champion at TORONTO 2015, as well as 2018 World Cup medallists Pamela Ware, 26, and Caeli McKay, 19, will round out the women’s team.
The men’s diving team also boasts an impressive line-up, 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.
Winners from each individual event in Lima will secure an Olympic berth for their country at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Olympic quota spots will also be at stake at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships taking place from July 12-20, where the Canadian diving team will be in action before traveling to Peru.
Lima 2019, which will run from July 26 to August 11, will bring together approximately 6,700 athletes from 41 nations of the Americas and feature 62 disciplines in 39 sports. It will be the largest sporting event ever held in Peru.
The athletes and coaches nominated are:
1. Jennifer Abel (Laval, Que.) – Women’s 3m and 3m synchro
Abel is a three-time Pan American Games medallist and an Olympic bronze medallist (London 2012) Lima will mark her third Pan American Games appearance.
2. Meaghan Benfeito (Laval, Que.) – Women’s 10m and 10m synchro
A three-time Olympic medallist, Benfeito has represented Canada at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games, winning a total of five medals. In Lima, Benfeito will be looking to defend her 10m synchro title with her new partner, Caeli McKay.
3. Philippe Gagné (Mont Royal, Que.) – Men’s 3m and 3m synchro
Gagné at his first Pan American Games, where he combined with Imbeau-Dulac and Riendeau to win three medals for Canada. Since then, he has competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where he placed 11th in the 3m event.
4. François Imbeau-Dulac (St-Lazare, Que.) – Men’s 3m and 3m synchro
Lima 2019 will be Imbeau-Dulac’s third Pan American Games. In 2015, he teamed up with Gagné to win a silver medal in the men’s 3m synchro event. The pair will be looking to cap-off their 2019 season on the podium in Peru.
5. Caeli McKay (Calgary, Alta.) – Women’s 10m and 10m synchro
McKay will be making her Pan American Games debut in Lima. The 19-year-old diver, who is well-known for her international success alongside Benfeito, recently proved her potential in the individual platform event by winning a silver medal at the 2019 Canada Cup and Summer Nationals.
6. Vincent Riendeau (Pointe-Claire, Que.) – Men’s 10m and 10m synchro
A silver medallist from the 2015 Pan Am Games, the Olympian will join forces with Zsombor-Murray in Lima, where he will also be a podium threat in the 10m event.
7. Pamela Ware (Greenfield Park, Que.) – Women’s 3m and 3m synchro
Olympian Pamela Ware won two silver medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Since then, she has won a bronze medal at the 2018 FINA World Cup, making her a strong medal contender again in Lima.
8. Nathan Zsombor-Murray (Pointe-Claire, Que.) – Men’s 10m and 10m synchro
Zsombor-Murray will be the youngest Canadian diver in Lima, where he will be making his first PanAmericanGames appearance. The 16-year-old athlete has previously represented Canada on the international stage at the 2017 and 2019 FINA World Championships.
1. Aaron Dziver (Terrebonne, Que.) – Coach
2. Yihua Li (Xiong Xian, China) – Coach
3. Arturo Miranda (Montreal, Que.) – Coach
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late June 2019.
Story and Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee