Despatie defends title as Canada wins diving golds
Canada took two of three golds on the first day of the diving finals today, with Alexandre Despatie winning his third straight title to become the country's most decorated Commonwealth athlete.other Updated: Oct 10, 2010 20:17 IST
Canada took two of three golds on the first day of the diving finals today, with Alexandre Despatie winning his third straight title to become the country's most decorated Commonwealth athlete.
Despatie made it three wins in a row in the men's 1m springboard to take his gold medal haul to seven, surpassing the six won by Canada's rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Orlando and swimmer Graham Smith.
Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans earlier took the women's 3m synchro while Australia's Melissa Wu and Alexandra Croak went one better than their silver in Melbourne to win the 10m synchro.
Despatie was the youngest Commonwealth Games gold medal winner when he took the 10m platform title in Kuala Lumpur aged 13. Twelve years on he said he still has more competitions in him.
"1998 feels like a long time ago but I remember it like it was yesterday," he told reporters. "Hopefully I have a bit more to give. At 25 years of age it's weird being called a veteran."
Despatie totalled 468.15 in his six dives in the final, ahead of Australia's Matthew Mitcham on 441.00 in silver medal position. Mitcham's teammate Scott Robertson won the bronze.
Queenslander Mitcham, 22, was a surprise winner of the 10m platform in Beijing and won bronze at the World Championships in Rome last year at the 1m springboard.
He said he was shocked by the Commonwealth silver and paid tribute to the man from Montreal.
"This feels like a gold medal to me. The springboard isn't my main event, so I really surprised myself, he said.
"Alex outclassed me today. I was thrilled to lead him after two rounds but his experience and class were a telling factor."
Despatie's win took his total Games medal total to nine.
He won bronze at the 10m platform in Manchester and Melbourne.
He has won two Olympic silver medals in a glittering career. He won Canada's first diving medal in the Olympics in Athens while his performance in Beijing came just a few months after fracturing his foot.
He was a double world champion in 2005 and still has an eye on competing in the next Olympics in London in 2012.
Australia and Canada dominated Commonwealth diving in Melbourne in 2006, winning five golds each of the 10 on offer.
Heymans' win today comes after her silver in the World Championships at the 3m springboard and second place in the 10m platform in Beijing.
Wu won silver in Beijing in the platform synchro with Briony Cole, who came third today with partner Annabelle Smith. Cole earlier picked up silver in the 3m springboard synchro with Sharleen Stratton.
Silver spot in the platform synchro went to World Championships bronze medallists Mun Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong of Malaysia.