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Canada's Vallée takes bronze in one-metre springboard at world aquatics championships

Mia Vallee of Canada reflects in a glass while competing during the women's diving 1m springboard final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Vallée won Canada's second diving medal at the world aquatics championships with a bronze in the women's one-metre springboard on Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Petr David Josek

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Mia Vallée won Canada's second diving medal at the world aquatics championships with a bronze in the women's one-metre springboard Wednesday.

The 21-year-old from Beaconsfield, Que., totalled 276.60 points through five dives to pick up her first-career medal at the worlds.

Vallée led through three dives and was second going into her final attempt, but struggled with a score of 48.10, lowest in the 12-competitor field. Still, her strong showing in her previous dives kept her on the podium.

China’s Li Yajie won gold with a 300.85-point performance. American Sarah Bacon edged Vallée for silver with a score of 276.65 points.

Calgary's Margo Erlam was ninth with 246.10 points.

"I obviously would have loved to win the silver medal but in reality, I couldn’t even have imagined winning a medal today so I’m really happy," Vallée said.

"I was so, so stressed out this morning. I can’t even remember feeling this nervous in the last few years. I was thinking it was going to affect me and ruin my performance”, said Vallée, who had qualified for the final earlier in the day by finishing ninth in the preliminary round. 

“During the final, I think I got even more stressed. I knew that I had a chance to medal. … I think I was able to calm myself down a little by telling myself that these are only my first World Championships and that I’m here to enjoy it and gain some experience. I think it worked a little."

Vallée entered the championships with five career podium finishes (one gold, one silver, three bronze) on the Grand Prix circuit.

The tandem of Rylan Wiens of Pike Lake, Sask., and Montreal's Nathan Zsombor-Murray won Canada's first diving medal at the worlds with a bronze Tuesday in the men's 10-metre synchronized event.

Canada now has 13 medals (three gold, four silver, six bronze) at these worlds after winning a national record 11 in swimming last week.

Vallée and Erlam are scheduled to return to action Friday in the women’s three-metre springboard.

“Today’s experience has given me confidence for the three-metre event and it makes me a little bit less nervous. I will know better what to expect on Friday,” Vallée said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press