Summer Sports

Abel, Gagne win Canadian national diving titles

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The Canadian Press
5/26/2013 6:08:19 PM
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QUEBEC -- Olympian Jennifer Abel set a personal best score and Philippe Gagne, a 15-year-old diver from Montreal, won the gold medal on the men's 10-metre tower on Sunday at the Summer Senior Nationals diving competition.

The competition is also a selection event for the FINA World Championships July 19 to Aug. 4 in Barcelona and the World University Games in Kazan, Russia July 6-17.

On women's three-metre, Abel totalled 374.55 as she closed within 20 points of the Canadian record held by Blythe Hartley since 2008. Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., was second with an impressive 342.60 and Aimee Harrison of Winnipeg third at 290.65.

"I'm pleased with my day," said Abel with her sixth national crown. "I've had a really great season so far and I had confidence with all the work I've put into it."

Abel received her best score for her forward dive in the second round and also nailed her reverse dive, which had been given her trouble all season for four 8.5's, two 9.0's and a 9.5.

Gagne earned solid scores on four of his six dives in the final including his two most difficult ones to end the competition for 397.95 points. Fraser McKean of Victoria took a surprise silver at 393.45 and Maxim Bouchard of St-Constant, Que., the event favourite, was third at 391.35.

"I'm really surprised," said Gagne, a ninth grader who started diving at age six. "I had a pretty good final. All my dives were stable. This is a list I've had for a year now and I feel really comfortable with it."

Jennifer Abel (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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