As soon as she hit the water Jennifer Abel knew she wasn’t going to win a medal at the Rio Olympics.
Abel and diving partner Pamela Ware opened the Rio Olympics with a gut-wrenching result in the women’s three-metre synchronized event, finishing less than one point behind bronze medallists Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith of Australia.
“I knew at that moment it was over,” Abel said. “As soon as I touched the water, I knew I’d made a mistake and we were fourth. I knew it would be close, but at the same time I didn’t know to what extent.”
As the scores were posted on the board, Abel dunked her head under the water while Ware bowed hers in disappointment.
Abel, from Laval Que., and Ware of Greenfield Park, Que., were the silver medallists at last year’s world championship. Abel also captured bronze in the event at the London Games four years ago with the now-retired Emilie Heymans.
“We felt good, we had good practices,” Abel said. “Unfortunately, our competition wasn’t at the same level as our performance in training. It’s unfortunate because we missed the podium by less than one point.”
Chinese pair Shi Tingmao and Wu Minxia won the gold with a score of 345.60 while Italians Tania Cagnotto and Frencesca Dallape were second with 313.83 and the Aussies scored 299.19. Abel and Ware finished with 298.32.
“We really did everything we could today, and unfortunately today just wasn’t our best day,” said Ware.
The two still have a chance for a medal in the individual springboard next week.
“We have to look at it from the positive side. Yes, we’re capable of doing much better, yes we have another four years ahead of us,” Abel said. “These are also the first games for Pamela (Ware), so we have to underline that.”
The duo is half of the “Fab IV” on Canada’s diving team. Abel, Ware, Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito all have medal potential in Rio. “Fab” is an acronym — F for Filion, A for Abel, B for Benfeito, and the Roman numeral IV is a stylized W for Ware.
Filion and Benfeito compete on the 10-metre tower.
The competition is being held outdoors for the first time since the 1992 Barcelona Games.
The Canadian Press
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