Victoria, BC - All three Greater Victoria athletes hit the podium at the Pan American Junior Diving Championships at Saanich Commonwealth Place over the weekend. Saanich’s Kiera Lu, 11, missed gold by one point on Saturday in the 11-and-under one-metre. She executed an inward 1.5 pike to finish with a silver medal.
Colwood’s Bryden Hattie, 15, took silver on the opening day in the junior men’s category of the three-metre board, and Royal Oak’s own Carson Paul won bronze in the three-metre event for the 12-and-13-year-old category on Saturday.
“It was Lu’s first time competing internationally and she didn’t miss anything really, she was very confident,” said Lisa Boog, who coaches the trio at Boardworks Diving club.
Hattie (515.85) was less than three points off the gold medal winner who had 518 points. With silver, Hattie continued his strong season, building on his success at the Canada Summer Games this year where he won three silver medals, to go with a national gold medal in the three-metre and national bronze in the one-metre for the 16-to-18 men’s category.
Paul was the only diver of the three to compete in two Pan Am events, having entered as the national champion for the platform and the three-metre. He finished seventh on the 10-metre platform on opening day Thursday.
“[Paul] put a lot of pressure on himself to do well in his home pool, he was nervous,” Boog said. “After the platform he got the nerves out and found his focus [winning bronze] on the springboard.”
The Pan Ams brought 110 athletes to Saanich from seven countries, the fourth and final major diving event hosted by Boardworks at Saanich Commonwealth Place this year.
“For our program, the biggest benefit for us was the exposure our diving program got. We’re always trying to find more young divers, and this shows people that divers from Victoria can compete, can reach an internationally competitive level,” Boog said. “To have this calibre competition in the home pool is extra special, part of the success that they had was being able to compete at home.”
In total, Canada earned four gold medals, seven silver medals and eight bronze medals.