Heymans synchronize to silver
CBC SPORTS ONLINE - Say what you will about Canada's
performance at these 2000 Games, when it comes to new Olympic sports, Canadians rule in
Canada's Anne Montminy and Emilie Heymans won the silver
medal in the 10-metre synchronized diving event Thursday giving Canada its fourth medal in
introductory sports, following a gold in triathlon and two bronzes in trampoline.
The silver is a grand achievement for Montminy and
Heymans given their different body sizes and distinct techniques, plus the fact that the
duo only started practising synchro together six weeks before the Olympics began. The duo
who finished, with 312.03 points, were behind only China's Li Na and Sang Xue, who tallied
Li Na and Sang Xue also won the women's 3m synchro event
earlier in the week, while fellow teammates Xiong Ni, who has won diving medals at four
consecutive Games, and Xiao Hailing won the men's 3m synchro event. The Chinese had hoped
to sweep the Olympic diving, but had to settle for silver in two events, the women's
individual 10m and the men's 10m synchro.
Australian divers Rebecca Gilmore and Loudy Tourky won
bronze in the women's 3m, while teammates Robert Newbery and Dean Pullar came in third in
the men's 3m synchro. It's the first time since 1924 that Australia has won a diving medal
when Dicke Eve won gold in plain diving, an event that was later discontinued.
It is the second medal at these Games for the 25-year-old
Montminy, who won the bronze in the individual 10m event on Monday.
"It's nice to have a silver medal," she told
CBC. "We didn't concentrate as much on this event as we did at the individual event,
but it's nice to come out a double medallist."
"I feel great," said Heymans, "I think we
compete well (together); we did what we had to do."
It was the 18-year-old Heymans who kept the nervous
veteran Montminy calm and focused.
"I think that's the way it was. She's afraid to say
it," Montminy said. "It's been that way and she has the confidence, and kept
saying, 'We're good, and we're good and the coaches are wrong.' It was really good. I
heard that one a lot, the coaches are wrong."
The Canadians stood sixth through two of the five dives,
but finished strongly, moving up to third after their third dive, and second after the
fourth. It was that fourth dive, a reverse 2 1/2 tuck, that solidified their position
behind the Chinese, who led throughout, as the other competitors faltered.
"I was having trouble with that dive in practice
actually," said Montminy, "so I was just nervous (that I'd) land on my head.
"I just thought, I don't want to taint my bronze
medal and land on my back."
With both Heymans and Montminy coming to Sydney focusing
on Sunday's individual event, it took some practice for the two to mesh in the days since.
"Today we wanted them to land in the same
pool," said Canadian coach Mitch Geller. "It wasn't our priority, so we're
really proud of our girls. We've got two great divers and the trick was getting them to do
Gellar, who was initially skeptical about synchonized
diving and said it wasn't a priority for the Canadian team, seems to have changed his
"We're only seeing the beginnings of it," he
said. "I can envision creative things happening where the divers may interact with
each other a lot more like assisting each other on the takeoff or someone started from a
handstand position and the other from a standing position."
While he sees the potential of this new sport, Gellar
cautions that he doesn't want to see the addition of music and artistic impression.
"I want this to remain pushing the limits of human
ability and that will remain sport."
Back to Diving