At the Abu Dhabi Yacht and Sailing Club, the Canadian sent out an early warning to her rivals by topping the standings in the first two rounds.
In her final jump from 20 metres high, the 34-year-old wowed the seven judges with an amazing somersault with perfect precision and technique. Her reward was a gold medal having accumulated a total of 253.80 points.
It was enough to hold off Australia’s Helena Merten and USA’s Ginger Huber, who finished second and third places, having won 229.60 and 209.85 points respectively.
With the world’s best high divers in the capital, it was no surprise that Richard was ecstatic with her victory.
“I’m really happy to have won,” she said. “It’s good to have come first but I know it wasn’t perfect and I still need to improve. However, it’s a great achievement for me.
“With such strong competitors, there really wasn’t a moment when I had thought I had won. Anything can change in a single dive. Even after my last dive, I was just hoping I had put on a good total.”
After finishing fifth in the FINA World Championships in Kazan last year, Richard ranks the feat among her best.
“This definitely has to be at the top,” she said. “The rest of the divers were really strong and every year they are showing signs of improvement. It’s hard to predict who can win the tournament but I always remain focused on what I need to do. It’s important that I do even better next time.”
Runner-up Merten came into the final round in third position and could not hide her emotions after clinching silver.
“It’s such an incredible feeling,” said the 26-year-old. “I just can’t believe it. To have come here to Abu Dhabi in a competition where the best divers are competing and win a medal is absolutely amazing.
“Any competition will be tough but today I decided to keep calm and control my nerves and remain focused.
“I always said to myself that I can do amazing dives so the self-confidence was always there. My training sessions were going really well and I just wanted to replicate the dives during the competition and I did exactly that.”
Despite achieving a podium finish, the Australian insists there’s still room for improvement.
“I still need to improve my technique a lot,” she said. “It was very good today but I want to work even harder and continue my form. Maybe in a few weeks time, I can starting working on new diving moves.”
Know more about Sport360 Application