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Despatie takes diving gold for Canada

25 July 2002

Alexandre Despatie earns Canada's first gold of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the 1 metre diving final.

Alexandre Despatie

Despatie dives to Manchester 2002 glory

Canada's Alexandre Despatie, a former national athlete of the year, the 1998 10-metre Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth champion and still only 17 years of age, wobbled after a poor second dive but recovered brilliantly to take Canada's first gold of the Games.

Tony Ally of England took second place without 'missing a dive', hunting down Australia's Steven Barnett into third place with his final superb sixth dive.

Despatie's recovery was quite remarkable as it never seemed likely that he was going to be overhauled after the fifth and penultimate round.

Asked how he felt after his poor second-round dive Despatie admitted: “I got very, very scared. I didn’t know how close it was. In the past, when it’s gone badly, it’s just kept on getting worse, so I got scared."

“I just wanted to come back. I wasn’t even thinking about medals."

Asked about his chances of adding two more medals this week in Manchester Despatie said: “I’m not thinking about the medals. It’s a good start. But tomorrow’s another day."

Runner up Tony Ally was ecstatic with his performance: “Silver medal? What can I say? The crowd was on my side. I’m sure my family is proud of me, it’s been a great first day."

“The first silver medal of the Games for England: congratulations to me. I’m the happiest man in the Athletes’ Village... you’re going to see a big boost for English diving at this Games.”

1 Alexandre Despatie, Canada (CAN) 404.55
2 Tony Ally, England (ENG) 386.37
3 Steven Barnett, Australia (AUS) 382.65
4 Robert Newbery, Australia (AUS) 377.37
5 Philippe Comtois, Canada (CAN) 367.17
6 Mark Shipman, England (ENG) 349.86

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