AUGUST 19 - CHINA CLINCHES GOLD IN MEN'S TEAM FINALS
In what proved to be dog fight for the men's team title between China, United States, and Japan, China moved beyond reach in the second last rotation to claim the gold medal. Scoring 171.996, the Chinese men beat a strong team from the United States, led by twin brothers, Paul and Morgan Hamm, who tallied 171.121. Close on the heels of the United States was Japan, who scored 170.708. Russia, who began strong, finished in fourth place with 168.771. Rounding off the top 8 were Romania (167.909), Korea (166.283), France (165.546), and Ukraine (165.108).
AUGUST 18 - CANADIAN WOMEN'S TEAM ATHENS BOUND
Led by the solid performance of Calgary's Kylie Stone, Canada's women's team finished in 11th place, guaranteeing a full team competing at the Olympic Games in Athens next year. The top 8 teams from women's team preliminaries will compete Wednesday night from 6 to 9 pm PST in the finals. Leading the field after preliminaries is China, followed by Romania, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Australia, and Brazil. The remaining three teams that qualified to the Olympic Games are Great Britain (9th), France (10th), and North Korea (12th).
Competing in Thursday evenings all-around competition is Kylie Stone who qualified in 12th place. Heather Purnell of Ottawa is the third alternate in the all-around.
AUGUST 17 - CANADIAN WOMEN STILL IN CONTENTION
The Canadian women finished day one of the team preliminary competition in third place, despite struggling on the balance beam and floor exercise. In a competition marred by numerous mistakes, the Canadian team has outscored the Dutch and German teams, both of whom were in contention to qualify among the top 12 teams to Athens. The United States currently leads the women's competition, despite an error-filled performance in front of their home crowd tonight. France, who competed in the same session as Canada, sits second overall after two of eight subdivisions.
Individually, Calgary's Kylie Stone is on pace to qualify for the all-around finals, after posting Canada's best four-event effort on the day. Stone's 36.212 total has in her fifth place overall, while teammate Heather Purnell stands ninth. Stone also remains among the top eight on the balance beam, where her 9.100 score is good enough for fourth heading into day two.
AUGUST 17 - RECORD-SETTING DAY FOR CANADIAN MEN
The Canadian men's team had their all-time best finish at a world championships with a ninth-place showing in the team competition. The result was good enough to earn Canada their first men's team berth at the Olympic Games since 1988. After a stellar performance yesterday afternoon, the men were forced to wait for more than 24 hours to find out their final ranking. Heading into the last of ten subdivisions, Canada was in sixth place, still with a chance qualify for the eight-country team finals, but were knocked out by strong performances from the United States, Korea, and France.
Individually, the Canadian men earned three event final berths, two for Kyle Shewfelt, and one for Alexander Jeltkov. Shewfelt qualified first into floor exercise and third into vault finals, while Jeltkov qualified for high bar finals with a 9.650, good enough for a share of seventh place.
Canada also qualified Jeltkov and David Kikuchi to Thursday's all-around final. Jeltkov earned his position in finals with an 18th-place showing, while Kikuchi took the last spot in the all-around by finishing 24th.
AUGUST 15 – "SPELL" CAST IN WORLDS' OPENING CEREMONIES
The 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships have officially begun, with the opening ceremonies underway. Montreal Cirque-like troup "Spell" provided the main entertainment. Alternates Gael Mackie and Casey Sandy marched in with Canada's flag.
AUGUST 15 – CANADIANS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS AT WORLDS
Anaheim is abuzz with excitment, with the 2003 World Championships set to get underway. Canada's men's team enjoyed a successful podium training session Wednesday. The team consists of brothers Richard and Ken Ikeda, Grant Golding, David Kikuchi, Alexander Jeltkov and Kyle Shewfelt, with Casey Sandy as the alternate.Joining Canada's women's 2003 Pan Am team is 2001 and 2002 World team veteran Amelie Plante. All seven girls trained on podium yesterday, with the alternate to be announced shortly. The women too had a good podium training session, although there were a few trouble spots on bars and beam, but these are easily fixed. Current National Champion Gael Mackie did not vault, her heels heavily wrapped. More details can be found here.
2000 Olympian and current UCLA student competitor Kate Richardson is the placard bearer for tonight's opening ceremony.
Courtesy of Grace Chiu, Gymn.ca's first photographs from Anaheim are available for viewing.
Stay tuned to Gymn.ca for updates, as much as the blackout will allow....