What can you do when the world champion gets perfect marks in four of her five jumps? When all the judges give a jump of the future silver medalist 10 out of 10? We feel like Caeli McKay from Quebec and we are happy about our third place.
“I knew there were excellent jumpers in this final, I had no choice but to do my best,” the Montreal adoptee told Sportcom Wednesday after the 10m platform competition.
“I’ve worked so hard over the past two years to get to the top of my sport,” added the woman who got her hands on her first medal at the World Championships. My ankle injury was a tough phase. Standing on the podium, I found it difficult to hold back my tears.
Caeli Mckay won his first medal (bronze) at the World Championships. Photo: AFP
Only 16 and 17 years old
McKay struggled with China’s Chen Yuxi, who won his third consecutive World Cup at just 17, and 16-year-old Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Quan Hongchan. They dominated with scores of 457.85 and 445.60 respectively.
As a result, Calgary native McKay finished third, more than 117 points (340.25) behind the winner. It’s huge! But that’s not surprising when you come from a country that was beginning to catch on in the days of Sylvie Bernier, before outstripping the competition since the good years of Annie Pelletier and Alexandre Despatie.
In fact, since the beginning of this Aquatic Worlds in Fukuoka, Japan, China has won every diving event. Chen and Quan notably triumphed in the 10m synchronized springboard duet earlier this week.
China’s Quan Hongchan (silver medalist) and Chen Yuxi (champion) joined Quebec’s Caeli McKay (bronze medalist) on the podium on Wednesday, July 19 in Japan. Photo: AFP
A spot for Canada at the Olympics
Finishing fifth in Monday’s preliminary round and Tuesday’s semifinals, McKay showed consistency to move up the standings and also posted her best jump on her final run, beating Mexico’s Gabriela Agundez Garcia (325.35) among others.
“Even though I struggled on my fourth jump, which was my toughest of the day, I focused on the next jump to land strong,” explained the 24-year-old athlete.
“I’m really proud of myself, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions,” McKay continued. As soon as I woke up this morning [mercredi]I felt confident and knew I had what it took to succeed. I felt like I had nothing to lose.
Placing in the top 12 also secured McKay a spot for Canada in the 10m at the Paris Olympics next summer.
Additionally, Quebecers Mia Vallée and Pamela Ware will compete in the women’s 3m springboard synchronized event on Thursday. The two began working together by winning bronze at the World Championships in Montreal in May.
Caeli McKay during the 10m final at the World Championships. Photo: AFP
Audrey Lamothe at the foot of the podium
Free solo swimmer Audrey Lamothe achieved her best result in her first world championships on Wednesday with a fourth-place finish in the free solo final.
After finishing eighth in Sunday’s preliminary rounds with a score of 167.3625, the 18-year-old from Montreal had a blast in the finals with a score of 207.4480 to the tune of the Fleshtones song “Roman Gods.” Coming out of the water, she even took first provisional rank.
“My goal was just to complete a routine without deducting points. I have achieved this goal and I am very happy about it. I think my overall result, especially as far as my execution is concerned, is very satisfactory. It’s a great way to end my World Championship,” Lamothe said in an interview with Sportcom.
Quebec’s Audrey Lamothe in action during her free solo choreography Wednesday at World Aquatics. Photo: AFP
Finally, Japan’s Yukiko Inui (254.6062), Austria’s Vasiliki Alexandri (229.3251) and Britain’s Kate Shortman (2019.9542) beat the Quebecer.
“As the competition progressed, I saw more and more certain swimmers doing worse than me. I was happy with my grade, but such a good result in the general classification is really a nice little bonus,” said Lamothe, who finished sixth in the technical solo for encouraging results a year before the Olympics.
–With AFP and Sportcom
Swimmer Audrey Lamothe finished fourth in the free solo at the World Aquatics Championships in Japan on Wednesday. Photo: AFP