Diving has been dominated by the Chinese for many years, but there are some other countries, whose representatives have also been successful in this beautiful sport. Canadian Meaghan Benfeito has won plenty of medals in major events during her career at the Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships, most of them with her partner Roseline Filion. The 28-year-old athlete’s ambition is to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and the 17th FINA World Championships could be a very important step towards that.
Meaghan Benfeito originally competed in swimming but switched after watching fellow Canadian divers Emilie Heymans and Alexandre Despatie dive.
She became member of the Canadian national team in 2005, and she has been competing together with Roseline Filion in the 10m synchronised event. The pair surprisingly won the bronze medal at the 2005 FINA World Championships that was held in Benfeito’s home town Montreal. The young Canadian was only 16 years old.
Benfeito and Filion has been inseparable since then, and they have achieved a lot of good results together. They finished third at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne as well, and they qualified for the Beijing Olympics after they beat teammates Heymans and Marie-Eve Marleau.
In Beijing they failed to win a medal (they finished 7th), but four years later at the London Olympics they won the bronze medal in the 10m synchro. Regarding the World Championships they had to wait 8 years after their bronze medal in Montreal to win a medal again: they finished in 2nd place at the 2013 FINA World in Barcelona. They repeated the same result at the 2015 FINA World in Kazan, where Benfeito won the silver medal in the mixed synchronised 10m platform competition too. Her partner was Vincent Riendeau.
Benfeito and Filion successfully ’defended’ their bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, and Benfeito finished third in the 10m platform event as well.
Meaghan Benfeito is a two-time gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games and gold medalist at the Pan American Games, but she has failed to win a gold medal in the World Championships and at the Olympics. However, she is still dreaming of achieving that. She said in an interview last year that she wants to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and a good result at the 2017 FINA World Championships could boost her confidence.
"Winning is not everything, but losing is flat." – she said to lapresse.ca in 2016, and this statement shows that she is eager to improve her performance in the next couple of years.
Benfeito and Filion have developed a lifelong friendship since 2005. "We've known one another for our entire lives, so we have a really good relationship. It's more of a sisterhood relationship now. We understand each other without having to talk," - Filion said. (CTV Sports, 31 Jul 2012)
The final of the women’s 10m synchro will be held on 16 July, the final of the women’s 10m platform on 19 July in the new Duna Arena at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Born: Montreal (Canada),2 March, 1989
Olympic bronze medalist (2012 London: 10 m synchro); 2016 Rio de Janeiro: 10m synchro and 10m platform)
World silver medallist (2013 Barcelona: 10m synchro; 2015 Kazan: 10m synchro and mixed 10m synchro); bronze medallist (2005 Montreal, 10 m synchro)
Commonwealth Games champion (2014 Glasgow: 10m synchro and 10m platform)
Pan American Games (2015 Toronto: 10m synchro)