Canadians to surprise the Chinese divers
„This could be the best World Championships ever” – said Mitch Geller, highly experienced head coach of the Canadian diving team. Divers of the North-American country, considered one of the strongest in this sport, claimed four medals at the previous World Championships in Kazan, it was only the Chinese who could stand on the podium more times. Geller definitely has some experience in what truly successful World Championships shall be like.
„Conditions are excellent, rarely have I experienced such harmonic and smooth proceedings as here. Organisers did an excellent job in Kazan, also, yet the equipment of the swimming facility there cannot compare to that in Budapest. This is one of the greatest diving facilities I have ever seen. In most cases transportation of athletes caused significant difficulties, let me highlight here that it is excellent this time in Budapest.”
Canada’s hopes for medals may be fulfilled primarily by three-time Olympic bronze medallist Meaghan Benfeito, especially because their other world class diver Roseline Filion broke her ankle last December, whereas men are anticipated to be more successful in the longer course.
„Team Canada is changing now but following the Olympics it is the usual thing with every national team. Our most successful athlete Meaghan Benfeito is definitely a favourite of diving, after a minor downturn she is in excellent form and her self-confidence has been restored, too. She strives to clinch a medal and it requires reliable performance from her part. Concerning ladies’ placements usually depend on how much a diver is capable of executing dives at the same high level all times since there are only minor technical differences at the top level. I expect Pam Ware to do really well in 3m while Jennifer Abel may also benefit from her extensive experience. We do not yet have hopes for medals among men, but the mixed duet of Benfeito and super talented 14-year-old Hungarian originated Nathan Zsombor-Murray may attract high interest.”
Mixed events are the most difficult ones to anticipate in the World Championships programme, still Geller says this is not the only field where Chinese dominance could be broken.
„I don’t think the Chinese will sweep all events. In men’s 3m I haven’t seen such convincing performances for years now which Russians are currently capable of. Based on their trainings I can say Jevgenii Kuznetsov and Ilya Zaharov are in excellent form, they may break Chinese dominance, but British Jack Laugher has good chances, also. In women’s 1m diving skills of Australian Maddison Keeney compare to those of men, if she manages to do well all throughout the tournament she could become world champion. The major advantage of Chinese ladies is actually their skill of executing all dives perfectly without moving around, this is what others shall come up to.”