April 25th, 2024

Canada’s Pamela Ware looks for redemption at diving World Cup in Montreal

By Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press on February 27, 2024.

Hometown diver Pamela Ware leads Canada into this weekend's diving World Cup in Montreal after a stellar 2023 season that included five World Cup medals, a world championship bronze and two gold and a silver at the Pan American Games. Ware competes during the women's 3m springboard diving preliminaries at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hassan Ammar

MONTREAL – Top Canadian diver Pamela Ware is looking for redemption this weekend after a world championship to forget earlier this month.

Following a stellar 2023 season that included five World Cup medals, a world championship bronze and three medals (two gold, one silver) at the Pan American Games, Ware finished 25th in the individual three-metre event and experienced some déjà vu in the synchronized dive.

The 31-year-old from Montreal missed her takeoff and dropped feet-first into the pool to score a zero – a scene reminiscent of a missed dive at the Tokyo Olympics that caused her to step away from the sport for a season.

In Doha, Ware and teammate Mia Vallee of Beaconsfield, Que., ultimately finished a disappointing 15th and failed to secure a quota spot for this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“We thought we’d overcome a lot of the distress that she left Tokyo with,” Diving Canada chief technical director Mitch Geller said of Ware on Wednesday at the Olympic Pool. “She seemed to have it all together there.”

“Obviously, it’s a big concern, it’s a big concern to her,” he added. “But also, she’s pretty experienced.”

While Vallee is taking some time away to focus on training, Ware is right back at it this weekend as Montreal hosts the first World Aquatics Diving World Cup of the season.

Ware requested not to speak with the media Wednesday after her missed dive in Doha, but Geller says she wanted to get another competition under her belt.

“She’s comfortable here,” Geller said. “I think she wanted to come in and possibly have a little redemption from the experience in Doha.

“From what I see, she’s diving OK, she’s doing OK there.”

With the same cast of competitors as at the worlds, Geller sees this weekend’s competition as a perfect stage for Ware and his team to redeem themselves from an unusual podium-less showing on the international stage.

“Looking around the pool, we just came back from Doha, and I feel like all we’ve done is change the venue,” he said. “The same faces are there.

“I’m going to be interested to see how everybody responds to those world championships.”

A LOOK AT THE REST

On a more positive note, Calgary’s Caeli McKay and Ottawa’s Kate Miller booked their spot in the Paris Games with a sixth-place finish in the 10-metre synchro in Doha.

With the relief of having that secured, they’re excited to enjoy their weekend in front of a home crowd while fine-tuning their dives.

“It’s a little bit hard to have fun when you’re really fighting for an Olympic spot,” McKay said. “Our family is going to be here to watch and we’re going to be able to try and implement the big changes that we want to do on our dives here at home.”

Canada has also secured one quota spot in the women’s individual 10-metre.

In the men’s 10-metre, Canada has earned three quota spots for Paris so far – two individual and one synchro.

Rylan Wiens of Pike Lake, Sask., earned an individual spot with a fifth-place finish in Doha after missing almost three months last year with a back injury.

Wiens, 22, then teamed up with 20-year-old Nathan Zsombor-Murray of Pointe-Claire, Que., to place fifth in the 10-metre synchro.

Despite booking their tickets to Paris, Wiens says they have no plans of letting up while keeping the goal of an Olympic podium in mind.

“You can always look at it like ‘I’ve made the Olympics, now I can just coast,’ but for me, it’s a step along the way,” he said. “The real goal is at the Olympics, me and Nathan, we want to obviously get a synchro medal, and then possibly an individual medal as well.”

Wiens and Zsombor-Murray previously won bronze as a pair in the 10-metre synchronized dive at the 2022 world championships, a first in that event in Canadian diving history.

Competition in Montreal opens with women’s three-metre and men’s 10-metre preliminary rounds on Thursday. Men’s three-metre and women’s 10-metre preliminaries follow on Friday, along with a team event final.

Finals for the men’s three-metre synchro, women’s 10-metre synchro, men’s 10-metre individual and women’s three-metre individual take place Saturday.

And competition wraps up Sunday with the women’s three-metre synchro, men’s 10-metre synchro, men’s three-metre individual and women’s 10-metre individual finals.

The event features over 120 divers – including 12 Canadians – from more than 20 countries.

CANADA’S TEAM

Women – Caeli McKay (10 m, 10 m synchro), Kate Miller (10m, 10 m synchro), Éloïse Bélanger (10m), Pamela Ware (3m), Amélie-Laura Jasmin (3m), Aimee Wilson (3m, 3m synchro) and Margo Erlam (3m synchro).

Men – Nathan Zsombor-Murray (10 m, 10 m synchro), Rylan Wiens (10 m, 10 m synchro), Benjamin Tessier (10m), Bryden Hattie (3m) and Cédric Fofana (3m).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2024.

Share this story:

33
-32
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments