Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Divers McCool, Erlam Win Grand Prix Synchro Silver in Home Pool

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Divers McCool, Erlam Win Grand Prix Synchro Silver in Home Pool

Article excerpt

McCool, Erlam win Grand Prix diving silver

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CALGARY - Ashley McCool and Margo Erlam felt like they had big swimsuits to fill.

The teenage divers from Calgary were the host country's lone entry in women's synchronized springboard in the Canada Cup Grand Prix.

With world silver medallists Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu of St-Constant, Que., not competing because of Citrini-Beaulieu's abdominal injury, the spotlight was on Erlam and McCool in Sunday's final.

Erlam, 15, and McCool, 18, earned a silver medal behind winners Yiwen Chen and Chunting Wu of China at the Repsol Sport Centre.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity that at 15, I got to compete in my first Canada Cup," Erlam said. "Just having the home-pool advantage is amazing and we didn't have to learn to do our dives on new boards."

Erlam and McCool won Canada Games gold in Winnipeg last year.

But the two women haven't trained much synchro lately at Repsol. McCool was a freshman at Arizona State University this past winter and competed for the Sun Devils.

"Only when I came back for the last two weeks we've been training together and it's incredible we actually got a medal here," McCool said. "It just happened that Melissa tore her oblique so we were the only Canadian team competing.

"We did have a lot of pressure put on us by Dive Canada because we were the only Canadian team competing. They wanted us to perform to the best of our abilities.

"That's why our practice wasn't very good. I guess that's why they call it practice. We were able to put everything on our heads in competition and that's what matters."

Anne Fowler and Carolina Sculti of the U.S. placed third.

The Canada Cup was the second of seven Grand Prix events on the international diving calendar in 2018 with 120 athletes from 19 countries competing in Calgary.

Dive Canada chief technical director Mitch Geller projected between six and eight medals from the Canadian team in Calgary. The host team finished with eight -- two gold, four silver and two bronze.

A day after winning men's springboard synchro gold with Montreal's Philippe Gagne, Francois Imbeau-Dulac of Terrebone, Que. …

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