Calgary diver Caeli McKay 5th at aquatics worlds in women’s 10-metre platform | CBC Sports

Caeli McKay was fewer than eight points out of bronze position in women’s 10-metre platform after her first dive Monday but couldn’t deliver a difference-making performance in her next four attempts to get in the medal mix at the world aquatics championships.

The Calgary native, making her first appearance of the year at an international competition, placed fifth with 318.45 points, 20.40 behind bronze medallist Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia (338.85).

Chen Yuxi led a 1-2 finish for China, successfully defending her title with a score of 417.25, 0.30 points ahead of teammate and 2020 Olympic champion Quan Hongchan.

McKay, who continues to work her way back after tearing ligament in her left ankle a month before last year’s Olympics, improved on her seventh-place finish at worlds three years ago in Gwangju, South Korea.

Fourth entering her final dive, back 2 ½ somersaults 1 ½ twists with a 3.2 degree of difficulty, the 23-year-old scored 65.60 and slipped to fifth behind third-place Pamg and Brazil’s Ingrid Oliveira.

McKay’s fourth dive was the difference. The back 3 ½ somersaults is her highest-scoring dive but she only managed 57.75 points on Monday while Pamg posted 75.20 — her highest of the day — to extend her hold on bronze by nearly 20 points over McKay.

Medal threat after 3rd dive

After qualifying third for the final, the Canadian opened Monday’s competition with a nice entry into the water on her forward 3 ½ somersaults.

McKay’s second dive dropped her to fifth, behind Oliveira, who scored 67.20 to remain third, and Pamg in fourth. The Montreal resident managed just 58.80 on her reverse 2 ½ somersaults, the lowest degree of difficulty of any of her attempts at 2.8.

WATCH | ‘I haven’t had a day without pain since my accident,” McKay says:

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McKay rebounded on her third dive, inward 3 ½ somersaults, that netted McKay 68.80 points and allowed her to leapfrog Oliveira and close to within 1.35 points of Pamg (196.45-195.10).

Just over a year ago, McKay caught her foot between a mat and a box she was jumping from while dryland training at Canadian trials.

She was able to dive at the Olympics in Tokyo and placed fourth with the now-retired Meaghan Benfeito in the 10-metre synchronized event, finishing less than a point off the podium.

McKay chose to rest and not to compete at the FINA Grand Prix in her native Calgary earlier this month after finishing second at nationals in May.

Coverage continues Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET with the men’s three-metre springboard final, followed by the men’s springboard synchro event at 1 p.m. 

WATCH | Full event coverage of women’s 10-metre platform from Budapest:

FINA world championships: Women’s diving 10m platform final

Watch the women’s diving 10-metre platform final at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest.

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