Canada's Abel dominates women's 3m springboard at Pan Am Games, teammate Ware second

TORONTO — Jennifer Abel dominated the women's three-metre springboard at the Pan American Games with a spectacular performance that had teammate Pamela Ware buzzing.

Abel easily won the gold medal Sunday with a personal best score of 384.70. Ware, who took home silver, was a distant second, finishing 58.70 points behind.

"It's amazing. I've never seen her dive that well," Ware said of Abel. "She did so good and I'm so proud.

"This was her day. She was amazing."

Abel, 23, started the final in first place after a strong showing during the prelims on Sunday morning.

"I'm really happy about my performance tonight," said the native of Laval, Que. "Practice before the final wasn't as great as this morning so I was a little bit nervous, but I was able to calm down and talk to myself, talk to my coach too so they were able to bring me back to earth."

Her performance was highlighted by her impressive third dive, which earned her a score of 86.7.

"I was just really confident and I was just telling myself that, no matter what, you have to nail the entry," she said. "That's what I went for and being able to score that high on that dive, that's going to (put) me on another level and I'm really happy about that for tonight.

"I was really excited I didn't even watch my dive on the screen, and then after I realized I still have two more dives and it's not done."

Abel's coach, Mitch Geller, said her biggest issue is consistency.

"To do them in a row, and get them all at the quality that she just showed us tonight, it was tough," said the chief technical coach at Diving Canada. "It was tough to figure that out.

"The biggest thing that she did was be really composed because things change from your last jump to the end of the board is the hurdle part, that's the part she struggles with."

Abel, who won bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London in three-metre synchro with Emilie Heymans, credited Toronto artist Drake for getting her prepared for Sunday's competition.

"I was listening to a lot of Drake's music today just to put that switch up that you want to be in the beast mode," she said "I always say that word, 'beast mode' because there's no looking backwards. You want to go forward. The 'Headlines' song. I really like it and obviously 'Started from the Bottom'."

"On my way from the village to (the venue) I was listening to Drake."

Divers from Quebec have now picked up five medals in two days. On Saturday, Roseline Filion earned silver and Meaghan Benfeito took bronze in women's 10-metre platform, while Philippe Gagne took bronze in men's three-metre springboard.

Ware, from Montreal, took the early lead with a dive that scored 72.00 and then did enough to hold on to second place.

Dolores Hernandez of Mexico finished third.

Divers from Quebec have now picked up five medals in two days. On Saturday, Roseline Filion earned silver and Meaghan Benfeito took bronze in women's 10-metre platform, while Philippe Gagne took bronze in men's three-metre springboard.

The Canadian Press