Calgary’s Caeli McKay proved to be a warrior Tuesday.
Too bad that grit didn’t translate to even just one point in the standings of the women’s 10-metre platform diving final of the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
On an injured foot, McKay and decorated partner Meaghan Benfeito, from Quebec, pushed for the podium but came up less than a point shy, finishing fourth — 0.66 behind the bronze-medallists from Mexico.
Tough to swallow, for sure, but the Dive Calgary graduate did persevere despite suffering an ugly ankle injury mere weeks before the Games.
“Obviously fourth hurts, ” Benfeito told CBC. “It’s a result that we can be proud of with everything that we’ve been through in the last month and year. I think it’s something that we’ve shown we’ve worked hard for. The fact that Caeli pushed through this whole time with a horrible foot (makes me) very proud of what we did.”
Their fourth of fifth dives — a reverse three-and-half tuck — did them in. A better finish would’ve put them on the podium, likely into the silver-medal spot.
“Meaghan and I know it’s a dive that can make it or break it — it’s the risk that we take every competition,” the 22-year-old McKay told CBC. “It’s a dive we’re really proud of. No other girls are doing it, and it’s the hardest dive in the competition. We went for it. We tried to do our best. But sometimes the dives just don’t land the way we want them to. I think we can both say we gave it everything we could.”
A handful of other Calgary-area athletes were also in Olympic action Tuesday.
In women’s doubles rowing, Strathmore’s Jessica Sevick and her partner, Ontario’s Gabrielle Smith, finished sixth in Tuesday’s Olympic final.
Overnight in rowing, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski competed in the women’s eight repechage, trying to help Canada push onward to the final.
In swimming, Yuri Kisil — a former Cascade Swim Club star — finished eighth in a semifinal of the 100-metre freestyle. The result keeps him from advancing to the final. Earlier, Kisil swam to third in his heat to advance him to the semi.
In men’s volleyball, Graham Vigrass and Jay Blankenau were part of Canada’s 3-0 win over Iran. Canada is now 1-2 in pool play.