Canada’s divers as good as gold (and silver)

By Gerald V. Paul

Jennifer Abel, of Haitian descent, shows her Pan Am Games winning form.  Global News photo.
Jennifer Abel, of Haitian descent, shows her Pan Am Games winning form.
Global News photo.

Canadian-born Jennifer Abel, who is of Haitian descent, posted her highest-ever score in 3m springboard to win gold at the Pan Am Aquatic Centre.

Abel, 24, posted beforehand on Twitter: “We might know the challenge of being natural but we wouldn’t change our curly hair. And in another prophetic post: “I have only one goal and it’s to be better than yesterday.”

Abel’s win on Saturday guarantees a spot for Canada in the 3m spring board competition at the Olympics next year at Rio de Janeiro, a determination based through Diving Canada qualifying.

In the 10m platform competition, fellow Canadians Roseline Filion picked up silver and Meaghan Benfeito, a bronze. Montrealer Pamerla Ware earned a silver in the 3m event.

Abel, from Laval, Quebec, wowed the audience with her five dives. But it was on her third dive that she most impressed. She scored 8.5s, her best ever on that dive.

“I hope Drake – her childhood celebrity crush – can tweet me or say something. I will be the happiest girl ever,” Abel told reporters.

Saying she was watching him in Degrassi in French when she was a teenager, she was soaking in Drake’s Headlines before she took to the springboard in what she called “beast mode”.

The medal haul continued on Monday when Abel and Ware closed out their Pan Am Games with a silver in the woman’s 3m synchro springboard event while Phillipe Gagne and Vincent Riendeau later picked up a silver of their own in the men’s 10m synchro competition.

Abel and Ware were joined by the two other members of the “Fab IV” divers in winning medals Monday.  Filion and Benfeito won gold in the synchro 10m platform competition earlier in the day.

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul