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Olympic duo diving back in

Bronze-medal synchro team at Pan Am Pool

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Roseline FILION and Meaghan Benfeito hope to break the ice by making a splash at Winnipeg's Pan Am Pool this weekend.

The pair of Olympians will test the waters for the first time since winning bronze at the 2012 London Olympic Games, in the 10-metre platform women's synchro event at the 2013 Winter Senior National Diving Championships.

The pair will be among 33 divers from eight clubs competing for eight national championships at the event, hosted by coach Dallas Ludwick and her Revolution Diving Club of Winnipeg, today through Sunday.

Aimee Harrison, 18, of Revolution and a student at the University of Hawaii, will also be competing.

"Our goal first of all will be breaking the ice, as this will be our first competition since the Olympic Games. It has been a long time," said Filion, 25.

"We have changed a few things, this will be a chance for us to see how we are doing. We are looking towards making everything better for Rio 2016."

Filion said she and Benfeito, synchro partners for seven years, have increased the technical difficulty of some of their dives and have improved their overall conditioning.

"I think people will see that our strength has improved, our positioning is much tighter and we have improved the height (of dives)," Filion said.

Performed

Filion and Benfeito were not expected to medal in London but performed so well they were 10 points ahead of fourth place prior to their fifth and final dive. The Canadians took third with a score of 337.62 while the favoured Chinese duo won gold with a score of 368.40, followed by Mexico with 343.32.

It will be the first time for Revolution to host a national event.

"It is very exciting for Revolution to host all of Canada's best divers in our city and at our pool," Ludwick said in a statement. "We are confident our volunteers and staff will run a first-class meet and the athletes will deliver incredible performances."

The divers will also be competing for positions on Canada's national diving team to represent Canada at upcoming events on the 2013 FINA Grand Prix circuit, including the Canada Cup set for May 2-5 in Gatineau, Que.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

2013 Winter Senior National Diving Championships

At Pan Am Pool

Today

Men's Open 3m Prelims, 10 a.m.

Women's Open Platform prelims, noon

Women's Open Platform Synchro finals, 1:20 p.m.

Men's Open 3m Synchro finals, 2:05 p.m.

Friday

Women's Open 3m prelims, 10 a.m.

Men's Open Platform prelims, 11:35 a.m.

Women's Open 3m Synchro finals, 12:55 p.m.

Men's Open Platform Synchro, finals 1:45 p.m.

Saturday

Men's Open 3m semifinals, 10 a.m.

Women's Open Platform semifinals, 11:40 a.m.

Men's Open 3m finals, 1 p.m.

Women's Open Platform finals, 2:25 p.m.

Sunday

Women's Open 3m semifinals, 10 a.m.

Men's Open Platform semifinals 11:30 a.m.

Women's Open 3m finals, 12:50 p.m.

Men's Open Platform finals, 2:15 p.m.

Watch for: 2012 Olympians Jennifer Abel (bronze in three-metre women's synchronized springboard with partner Émilie Heymans), Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion (bronze in 10m platform women's synchro) and Francois Imbeau-Dulac (men's 3m springboard).

2013 senior national team members: Pamela Ware, Carol-Ann Ware, Rachel Kemp, Emma Friesen, Celina Toth, Nicholas Beaupre, Maxim Bouchard, Cody Yano.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 28, 2013 D4

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