BUDAPEST, Hungary — Mia Vallee and Margo Erlam wrapped up their inaugural FINA World Diving Championships on Sunday with a fifth-place finish in the 3m synchro in Budapest, Hungary.
The Canadian pair’s five-dive performance received 282.90 points from the judges. China’s Chen Yiwen and Chang Yani claimed gold with 343.14 points, followed by silver medallists Sayaka Mikami and Rin Kaneto of Japan with 303.00 points, and bronze medallists Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith of Australia with 294.12 points.
“I think Margo and I are happy with what we’ve accomplished. We dove well. Sure, there are a few little adjustments to make but it’s a strong indicator for the future. We only trained together once in Budapest. We were only missing a little bit of practice as a team," said Vallee.
"Adding the stress of competing and our lack of synchro experience, we weren’t able to reach the podium. And it’s all right."
Vallee, from Kirkland, Que., was happy to finish the week with her springboard partner.
“It was really great to finish worlds together, as a team. We’re already looking forward to preparing for the Commonwealth Games which are just around the corner, in three weeks.”
The week was an emotional high for the two athletes, participating in the most prestigious event of their young careers. Defying all expectations, Vallee leaves Hungary with two medals — silver in the women’s 3m springboard and bronze in the 1m springboard.
“My goal coming here was to make the finals and I felt that was a pretty lofty goal to begin with. To finish second in the world in the 3m, that’s really something. I impressed even myself and I’ve gained a ton of confidence," added Vallee.
In the men’s individual 10m platform, Nathan Zsombor-Murray and Rylan Wiens both successfully finished among the top 10 in the world. Zsombor-Murray, of Pointe-Claire, Que., finished seventh with 446.55 points.
“I did well on five of my six dives. I was solid on my entries. Generally, I’m happy with my performance. Going forward, the challenge will be to add more difficulty to my dive list to earn a few more points," said Zsombor-Murray.
Rylan Wiens of Saskatoon, Sask., finished ninth overall with 416.20 points.
“I’m pretty happy with how it all went today. I am a little disappointed in some of my dives but this gives me some insight on what to work on going forward," said Wiens.
China’s Yang Jian won gold with 515.55 points. His teammate Yan Hao claimed bronze with 485.45 points and Japanese diver Rikuto Tamai inserted himself between the Chinese diving powerhouses to claim silver with 488.00 points.
Wiens and Zsombor-Murray had won the bronze medal in last Tuesday’s men’s 10m synchro event.
The Canadian team will now prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, set to begin on July 28 in Birmingham, England.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2022
The Canadian Press