July 13, 2015 / 12:55 AM / 2 years ago

Canada's Abel, Mexico's Garcia win diving gold, earn Rio berth

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s Jennifer Abel and Mexico’s Ivan Garcia won gold medals in their diving events at the Pan American Games on Sunday to earn automatic qualifying spots for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Jennifer Abel of Canada competes in the women's 3m springboard final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Abel, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, led the women’s 3m springboard final nearly the entire way and sealed the win with a reverse 2-1/2 somersault pike to score a total 384.70 points.

Canada’s Pamela Ware (326.00) won the silver and Mexico’s Dolores Hernandez (323.10) took bronze.

Garcia, a silver medalist in London, delivered a forward 2-1/2 somersault with three twists to cap his performance and score a total 521.70 points.

Colombia’s Victor Ortega (455.15) took the silver and Mexico’s Jonathan Ruvalcabra (437.35) won bronze.

The two events are among a handful of disciplines in 10 sports at the July 10-26 Pan Am Games that offer athletes a chance to secure a spot in the Rio Olympics, which are scheduled for Aug. 5-21 next year.

Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/Peter Rutherford

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