|Jennifer's Competitive Results|
1998 Canadian Championships, National Novice: 3rd AA
1999 Bluewater Invitational, Junior: 1st AA
1999 Canadian Championships, Junior: 5th AA
2000 Bluewater Invitational, Senior: 25th AA
2000 Canadian Championships, Senior: 16th AA
2000 Junior Pan American Championships
2000 Elite Canada, Senior: 10th AA
2001 Spring Cup, Senior: 2nd AA
2001 Canadian Championships, Senior: 9th AA, 3rd FX
2001 NED-CAN-CZE-GER: 3rd T, 11th AA
2001 World Championships: 10th T
2001 Elite Canada, Senior: 1st AA, 5th V, 2nd BB, 4th FX
2002 Siska International: 16th AA|
2002 Elite Canada, Senior: 8th AA, 4th V, 1st BB
2003 Bluewater International: 2nd AA, 3rd V, 8th UB, 2nd BB, 6th FX
2003 Stella Zakharova Cup: 23rd AA
2003 Canadian Championships, Senior: 9th AA, 4th V
2003 Pan Am/World team trials: 13th AA (no bars)
2004 Retro Boogie Invitational: 4th AA
2004 Canadian Championships, Senior: 8th AA, 3rd V, 7th UB
2004 Olympic Trials: 8th AA
2004 Elite Canada: 7th AA, 3rd V, 3rd BB
2005 Gymnix: 7th AA, 3rd V, 2nd BB
|Jennifer at '01 Spring Cup|
Jennifer Simbhudas trains at the Winstonettes Gymnastics Association - a club with a great tradition in Canadian gymnastics - where she is currently coached by July Gerschovic. For many years she had trained under the tutelage of Leonid Grakovsky and Debbie Vidmar - one of the most experienced and accomplished coaching teams in Canada for many years. In her first year of junior High Performance competition, Simbhudas won the all-around title in the junior division at the 1999 Bluewater International (which ended up being a mini Canadian nationals after all the non-Canadian juniors pulled out). One of the biggest reasons for her win in this meet was her floor routine, which had a full 10.0 start value in the 1997-2000 Code of Points. Her routine was as follows: 2 ˝ twists to punch front first pass; a whip-1 ˝-piked front second pass; a double pike last pass; and a switch side leap/Popa/Shushunova 1/2 and a tucked jump double to Shushunova for good measure. Simbhudas ended her junior career with a 5th place at the 1999 Canadian championships in Burnaby, B.C.
As a result of her strong junior finishes, Simbhudas was selected to compete senior (though she was still internationally junior aged) in the year 2000 - despite not being able to compete in the 1999 Elite Canada competition due to injury. She had her first taste of international experience as a senior at the 2000 Bluewater International where she placed 25th in the all-around after some troubles on the beam. She went on to finish 16th all-around in the senior division of the Canadian championships in Montreal.
In November of 2000, Simbhudas was selected to compete at the Junior Pan American Championships in Brazil, where she qualified for floor exercise finals. She went to compete in the Elite Canada competition in Winnipeg and finished 10th, qualifying herself for the senior High Performance team again.
Simbhudas made steady improvements during the 2001 competitive season. After a 9th place finish in the all-around at the national championships in New Brunswick (she also picked up a bronze on her best event, the floor exercise, in event finals), she was selected to try out for the world championship team. Despite being the most inexperienced gymnast at the control test in Hamilton, Simbhudas performed admirably and thus earned one of six spots on the Canadian world team.
|with Kate Richardson |
at the '01 world championships
Weeks of intense training followed - including a model training session at the Burlington Gymnastics Club on Thanksgiving Monday and a quad meet among the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Simbhudas entered the competition in the Netherlands - only her second time competing outside of Canada - perhaps thinking she would only compete in two or three events. But an ankle injury to teammate Crystal Gilmore meant she was called upon to compete on all four. She performed well, particularly on the uneven bars where she stood up the double front dismount which had given her so many problems in previous training sessions.
At the world championships in Ghent, Belgium about a week later, Simbhudas once again found herself competing on all four apparatus, this time after an ankle injury to teammate Amélie Plante limited her to only competing on the uneven bars. There, Simbhudas performed exceptionally well - perhaps achieving her competitive potential more than any other Canadian team member. She avoided falls and finished a respectable 49th in the individual all-around standings. Simbhudas' routines from the world championships included a handspring piked front on vault; giant-full to Gienger, a Miller to straddle back, and double front dismount on bars; a piked front mount, switch leap to side somi, punch front, tuck jump-full, split jump-full to split jump-1/2, and double tuck dismount on beam; and two whips through to 2 1/2 twist, triple twist, and double pike on floor.
As a member of the Canadian world team, Simbhudas could have skipped the 2001 Elite Canada competition while still maintaining her national team and High Performance status. However, in an effort to gain more competitive experience, Simbhudas and her coach decided to compete there anyway, making her the only world team member to do so. At Elite Canada, Simbhudas performed with arguably the most confidence and best presentation of her career to date. Performing the same program as at the world championships - with minor changes on floor (a new opening pass of 1 1/2 twist through to 2 1/2 twist and a middle pass of front-full immediate front-full), she hit three excellent routines (she missed her bars dismount) en route to the all-around title. This win was impressive in that many talented juniors were making their Elite Canada senior debut, and Simbhudas more than held her own in this field, thus proving that even better things could be on the horizon for this fast-improving gymnast.
Now one of the more experienced athletes on the senior national team, and still only 16 years old (born October 7, 1985), Simbhudas has a long and exciting future ahead of her in Canada. Look for her to continue to contribute to the Canadian team, both at home and abroad, in 2002 and beyond.
Written by: Christopher Scott