Windsor set to host FINA Diving World Series
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:08PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:23PM EDT
The City of Windsor is getting set to host its next world sporting event.
The FINA Diving World Series begins Friday and continues until Sunday at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre.
Seventy-four divers from around the world will compete in the pool. Nineteen of them won a medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016.
Meaghan Benfeito is the face of the host team from Canada.
Benfeito, 28, won a bronze medal in Rio with her partner Roseline Filion. But Filion has retired, and Benfeito has a new partner in the 10-metre synchro event in 17-year-old Caeli McKay.
“Being in a partnership for 12 years with someone and trying to change, it was very hard” admits Benfeito. “But we get along super great. We're really looking forward to the next four years together.”
The Chinese divers are among the favourites, and it’s anticipated many people across the world will be watching the competition.
According to FINA executive Cornel Marculescu, diving was the top sport viewed on digital platforms during the Rio Olympics.
The event has traditionally been held in some of the biggest cities in the world. But it's being held in Windsor for what could be a final time.
This is the final year of a four-year agreement between the city and FINA Diving. But both parties suggest they may partner again.
“I would love to come back to Windsor” says British diving star Tom Daley. “It feels so familiar now because this is our 4th year here. Being able to come back to a pool you know how to dive in and you know how it works is great.”
Benfeito likes the idea too. “You feel the atmosphere. You feel the energy in the pool. That's something that we as divers look forward to” adds the native of Montreal, Quebec.
“I don't know if we'll be hosting the 2018 World Series of Diving but we continue to explore other options that may be available on their circuit” says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
“If this is something we can continue going forward we're open to that” adds Windsor sports tourism officer Samantha Magalas. “If there's other events that come forward that might be an even better fit, we'll look at that as well.”