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Imbeau-Dulac smashes Despatie's diving record

Francois Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., broke Alexandre Despatie's six-year-old Canadian record Friday at the 2011 Summer Senior Nationals competition.

It was one of two national marks lowered on the day. Olympic medal hopefuls Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., and Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., posted one perfect mark en route to breaking the women's record and capturing the three-metre synchro crown.

On men's one-metre springboard, Imbeau-Dulac totalled 436.65 points to eclipse the previous national mark of 434.49 set by Despatie at the 2005 Summer Nationals. Cam McLean of Calgary was second and Cody Yano of Edmonton third.

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Imbeau-Dulac's list included two new dives in preparation for next month's world championships and he did them brilliantly.

"I never really expected to beat my personal best by 50 points," said Imbeau-Dulac, 20, with his third career senior national crown. "And to get Alex's record, that's a bit of a surprise. I just wanted to do my six dives without making any mistakes. I accomplished that."

On women's three-metre synchro, Abel and Heymans, ranked third in the world earned their third consecutive national crown totalling 336.60 points to better their previous Canadian record.

They earned mostly 9.0's on their first two dives then notched a perfect 10 on their backward dive in the third round. They were almost flawless on the reverse dive that followed as 9.0 and 9.5's lighted the board.

"We knew we were the favourites but we didn't take this competition lightly," said Abel, ranked third in the world with her partner. "It went super well for us. Our biggest concern right now at the international level are our first two dives and we showed today that we really improved them."

Eloise Belanger and Myriam Selmani, both of Montreal, were second and Montreal sisters Pamela and Carol-Ann Ware third.

Kevin Geyson of Winnipeg and Eric Sehn of Edmonton, also tuning up for the worlds, took the men's 10-metre synchro title.

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