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Canadian Pamela Weir searches for redemption at the Diving World Cup in Montreal

Canadian Pamela Weir searches for redemption at the Diving World Cup in Montreal

MONTREAL — Top Canadian diver Pamela Weir is looking for redemption this weekend after an unforgettable world championships earlier this month.

MONTREAL — Top Canadian diver Pamela Weir is looking for redemption this weekend after an unforgettable world championships earlier this month.

After an impressive 2023 season that included five World Cup medals, a World Championship bronze and three medals (two gold, one silver) at the Pan American Games, Weir finished 25th in the three-meter individual event and experienced some déjà vu in the synchronized rhythm. Dive.

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

In Doha, Weir and teammate Mia Vale of Beaconsfield, Que., finished in an ultimately disappointing 15th place, missing out on a place at this summer's Paris Olympics.

“We thought we got over a lot of the adversity that she left behind when she left Tokyo,” Mitch Geller, Dive Canada's senior technical director, said of Weir on Wednesday in the Olympic pool. “It seemed like she had it all together there.”

“This is obviously a big concern, it's a big concern for her,” he added. “But she also has a lot of experience.”

While Vale is taking some time off to focus on training, Weir is back at it this weekend as Montreal hosts its first Aqua Diving World Cup of the season.

Weir asked not to speak to the media on Wednesday after she missed the diving trip in Doha, but Geller says she wanted to participate in another competition.

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“She's comfortable here,” Geller said. “I think she wanted to come and maybe get a little compensation from the experience in Doha.”

“From what I see, it's diving well, and it's doing well out there.”

With the same crew of competitors as at the World Championships, Geller sees this weekend's competition as the perfect stage for Weir and his team to extricate themselves from an unusual showing on the international stage.

“Looking around the pool, we just came back from Doha, and I feel like all we did was change the place,” he said. “The same faces are there.

“I'll be interested to see how everyone responds to these world championships.”

Look at the rest

On a more positive note, Calgary's Kylie MacKay and Ottawa's Kate Miller booked their places at the Paris Games after finishing sixth in the 10m synchronized event in Doha.

Relieved to have secured this, they are excited to enjoy the weekend in front of a local audience while fine-tuning their dives.

“It's a little hard to have fun when you're really fighting for an Olympic spot,” McKay said. “Our family will be here to watch and we will be able to try to implement the big changes we want to make as we dive in here at home.”

Canada also gained one spot in the women's 10 meter individual.

In the men's 10m, Canada has three points 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 nearly 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 finish fifth in the 10-meter synchro.

Despite booking their tickets to Paris, the Wiens say they have no plans to stop with the goal of an Olympic podium finish in mind.

“You can always look at it as 'I competed in the Olympics, now I can sail,' but for me, it's a step on the way,” he said. “The real goal is at the Olympics, me and Nathan, obviously want to get a synchronized medal, and then maybe an individual medal as well.”

Wiens and Zsombor-Murray previously won bronze as a pair in the 10-meter synchronized diving at the 2022 World Championships, a first in the event in Canadian diving history.

The competition opens in Montreal with two preliminary rounds, the three-meter distance for women and the 10-meter distance for men, on Thursday. The preliminary qualifiers for the men's three-meter race and the women's 10-meter race will be held on Friday, in addition to the final of the team competition.

The finals of the men's 3-meter synchronization, women's 10-meter, men's 10-meter individual, and women's 3-meter individual events will be held on Saturday.

The competition will conclude on Sunday with the women's 3-meter synchronization race, the men's 10-meter synchronization race, the men's 3-meter individual final, and the women's 10-meter individual final.

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

Team Canada

Women – Kylie Mackay (10m, 10m synchro), Kate Miller (10m, 10m synchro), Eloise Belanger (10m), Pamela Weir (3m), Amelie Laura Jasmin (3m), Amy Wilson (3m) m, 3m sync) and Margo Erlam (3m sync).

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

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

Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press

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