Silvers for Benfeito and Gagné in Diving at the Commonwealth Games

Count em’ Canada. It was a two silver night, with Meaghan Benfeito placing second in the women’s 10m platform, and Philippe Gagné matching her in the men’s 3m springboard on Day 2 of the diving competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

It’s remarkable because only a few days ago Benfeito wasn’t sure if she could even compete.

The three-time Olympic medallist has been oft-injured over the past months.

In March she dealt with a tricep injury, suffered shortly after her return to training from a combination of neck-area injuries that caused her to miss the entire month of January.

All that aside, Canada’s flag-bearer battled to the second step of the podium on Thursday.

“From where I'm coming from, not even a month ago, I've gotten so much better with time and I think that's what I have to appreciate,” said the Montrealer, “I have to leave with my head held high because I'm back on track, I'm not 100 per cent obviously but I'm getting there and I'm really happy.

It was a close competition. Benfeito scored 359.75 points, a mere 0.65 points behind gold medallist Melissa Wu, of Australia. Lois Toulson, of England, was third with 344.20 points.

Benfeito said she missed her hands on her first dive.

“Usually when you miss your first dive, it sets you off, and that's something that I've been working on at home and it's really to try and move on because you still have four other dives,” said the 29 year-old.

“I'm very pleased with the results, I was kind of nervous being flag-bearer, I didn't want it to not bring me luck, but it turned out well I've had an amazing Games.”  

Philippe Gagné skipped the first two Diving World Series events of the season to be ready for the Commonwealth Games, and it paid off.

The 20 year-old scored 452.70 points in the men’s 3m final to come second behind England’s Jack Laugher who registered 519.40 points. Australia’s James Connor was third with 438.50 points.

“After the prelims I was super happy because I had a really good score,” said Gagne, who led after the preliminary with 448.40 points, “Diving last in the final is something that can be very hard sometimes because you see all the scores before you, and you know what score you have to do to get the silver medal or the bronze medal or whatever, so being able to be consistent and do an even better score than this morning, it's an awesome feeling.”

Like Benfeito, Gagné, from Montréal, also has recent experience with injury.

“Last year was really hard, I had a back injury, it was one of my worst years in a couple of years,” said Gagné, “To come back at a major event like this and get a silver medal, it's an amazing feeling.”

Here are the other Canadian results from Thursday:

Women’s 10m platform

Caeli McKay (Calgary) - 6th

Celina Toth (Victoria) - 9th

Men’s 3m springboard

Francois Imbeau-Dulac (Saint-Lazare, Que.) - 7th

Day 3 on Friday will feature Bryden Hattie, of Victoria, and Rylan Wiens, of Saskatoon, Sask., in the men’s 10m synchro platform. Gagne and Imbeau-Dulac will contest the men’s 3m synchro springboard.