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Archive: August, 2001

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Canada's Karen Cockburn was edged off the medal podium in a close battle for the women's trampoline title, held on the opening day of competition at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Cockburn, the Olympic bronze medallist from the Sydney Games, scored a 67.10 combined score (compulsories and optionals), which was just shy of Ukraine's Oksana Tsuguleva's 67.30 total. The gold was won by Germany's Anna Dogonadze-Lilkendey, who dethroned the defending Olympic champion Irina Karavaeva (Russia), 68.00 to 67.70. The victory was sweet revenge for Dogonadze-Lilkendey, who finished first in the preliminary competition in Sydney, but bounced off the trampoline and out of contention in the final.

The men's competition was dominated by Olympic champion Alexander Moskalenko of Russia, who took the gold medal by almost two points over runner-up Alexander Chernonos (Ukraine). Like Dogonadze-Lilkendey, Chernonos had missed his routine in the finals of the Olympic Games last year, but he is a much stronger athlete in 2001. His 16.20 was the highest difficulty rating of the event, and helped Chernonos surpass Belarus' Dmitry Poliarush, who finished third.

Canada's Mathieu Turgeon, the bronze medallist in Sydney a year ago, continued his season-long struggles, finishing 8th. Despite throwing the third most difficult optional exercise of the competition, Turgeon gave too much away on execution in both of his exercises.

Competition at the Goodwill Games continues with artistic and rhythmic gymnastics throughout the rest of the week. Alexander Jeltkov will represent Canada in the men's high bar competition on Friday. Complete results are available at the Goodwill Games website.

The Goodwill Games name and logo are trademarks of Goodwill Games, Inc.


Following the completion of a test trial held this past weekend in Hamilton, Ontario, the provisional women's team to the world championships of artistic gymnastics has been named. They are:

Kate Richardson, 17, Abbotsford Twisters
Amelie Plante, 17, Gymnix Club
Ashley Peckett, 17, Gymnastics Mississauga
Joelle Ouellette, 16, Hamilton Mountain Gym Elite
Crystal Gilmore, 18, Cambridge Kips
Jennifer Simbhudas, 16, Winstonettes

The team will continue to train in Hamilton until the end of the week, and is scheduled to begin competition at the world championships on October 30. A dual meet against the Netherlands is scheduled for October 13. For more information, please consult the Gymnasitcs Canada Gymnastiques website.


2000 Olympian Emilie Fournier has decided to forgo the opportunity to compete at this fall's world championships, gymn.ca has learned. Fournier, who has signed a letter of intent with Penn State University, sent a letter, dated August 21st, to Canadian women's program director Lise Simard, stating she is withdrawing from the world championship team selection procedure, effective immediately. Fournier will remain a member of women's senior High Performance program, as well as the national team.


David Kikuchi and Ken Ikeda capped off an extremely successful World Student (FISU) Games for team Canada with fifth place finishes in the event finals competition. Kikuchi, who was the highest Canadian finisher in the men's all-around competition (18th), scored a 9.55 on the rings after committing a small error. Just over one tenth of a point separated Kikuchi from the gold medallist, Shangwu Zhang of China (9.675). Ikeda, who failed to qualify for the men's all-around, also suffered a minor break, scoring a 9.625 to Romanian Ioan Suciu's gold medal-winning 9.8 performance.

After the competition, Kikuchi reflected on his performance on the gymn.ca Message Board. "I am a little disappointed (with the rings result), but the whole thing has been such a great experience", he said, adding, "We have a better feeling of what to expect at worlds now." The world championships for artistic gymnastics run from October 28 to November 4 in Ghent, Belgium.


Former junior standout Michelle Hofstra of Saskatchewan has decided to retire from competitive gymnastics, following her recent shoulder surgery, gymn.ca has learned. As a junior gymnast, she took first place in the all-around at the 1997 Elite Canada competition, third all-around at the 1998 Canadian Championships, second all-around at 1998 Elite Canada, and second at the 1999 Canadian Championships. During her career she had the opportunity to represent Canada internationally in the United States, Australia, and Romania. Hofstra is currently helping to coach some younger gymnasts and is "really enjoying it." Gymn.ca wishes her good luck in her future endeavours.


Amelie Plante and Ashley Peckett earned the right to be named to the women's team heading to this fall's world championships after their one-two performance at a control test competition, held earlier today in Hamilton, Ontario. Plante, 17, capped a successful season, highlighted by a third place result at May's national championships, to be unofficially named to her first ever major international roster. She had previously been named alternate to the 1999 world championship team, and finished eighth at the 2000 Olympic trials. She scored a 33.300 to Peckett's 32.750 to take the top position and join Kate Richardson on the team to the world championships.

Peckett, the latest in a long line of outstanding gymnasts hailing from Gymnastics Mississauga, proved that her second place finish at this year's national championships was a mere indication of great things to come. In Hamilton, she impressed the selection committee by showing new elements on several apparatus, including all new tumbling on the floor exercise (full-in, two whips to double pike, front to 2 1/2 twist/punch front). After the competition, the 17 year-old expressed hope for a good performance at the world championships, but noted that it would be the first major international meet of her career. Peckett also pointed to errors on the uneven bars and balance beam as an indication that she is still moving into top shape as the fall's competitive season approaches.

Also performing at the test event, through scored exhibition exercises, was Richardson, who had pre-qualified to the world championship team. Richardson performed complete exercises on the uneven bars and balance beam only, scoring a 9.500 on the latter to take the highest score of the day for a beautiful, difficult routine.

Hamilton's Joelle Ouellette, representing the host Mountain Star Gymnastics Club, finished close behind the leaders, showing new elements and a fighting spirit, but will have to wait for tomorrow's selection committee decision to learn if she is to make the team.

The field was rounded out by Winstonnettes' Jennifer Simbhudas, 2000 Olympian Crystal Gilmore, and Flicka Gymnastics' Breanne King, each of whom suffered several major errors throughout the competition.

Competition continues tomorrow with the event finals, followed by the naming of the full world championship team later in the day. Check back with Gymn.ca for full results, detailed reports, and a photo gallery of the test event in the days to come!


The Canadian men's team scored another set of impressive results on day three of the gymnastics competition at the World Student (FISU) Games, being held in Beijing, China. Nova Scotia's David Kikuchi built on his strong result in the team competition to tie for 18th place in today's all-around final, which was won by China's Yang Wei. Once again, Kikuchi's highest score came on the rings, where he scored a 9.625 en route to a 53.525 all-around total.

Close behind Kikuchi was Richard Ikeda, who used six consistent exercises, including a 9.2 on high bar, to place 20th (53.3). Rounding out the Canadian contingent was national bronze medallist Grant Golding, who struggled on high bar, dropping him to 34th overall (51.2).

The competition concludes tomorrow with the event finals, where Canada will be represented by Kikuchi on the rings, and Abbotsford Twisters' Ken Ikeda in the pommel horse final.


The Canadian men's team to the World Student (FISU) Games had a highly successful first day of competition against a tough field, placing 11th as a team and qualifying two athletes to event finals.

Competing in the third of five sessions, the team of Grant Golding, Richard Ikeda, Ken Ikeda, David Kikuchi, and injured reserve Rhett Stinson scored 160.75 to stand fourth, then had to wait for the rest of the competition to learn their rankings. The final results were dominated by teams from East Asia, with the defending Olympic champions from China team taking the gold with a 172.15 score, followed by Japan and South Korea. Russia, the 1996 Olympic champions, continued their recent struggles in team competitions, suffering several major errors to finish ninth.

Individually, Canada qualified two athletes to event finals with outstanding performances from Ken Ikeda and Kikuchi. Ikeda, who finished fifth at this year's Canadian championships, qualified for pommel horse finals in fourth place with a remarkable 9.725 score, while Kikuchi aced his best event, rings, to score a fourth-best 9.675 and make the top-eight cut.

Canadians also earned several highly impressive all-around results, with Kikuchi finishing 16th (53.65) and British Columbia's Golding taking 24th (53.10). They were ably supported by Richard and Ken Ikeda, who finished 35th and 39th, respectively. The competition lead is shared by Japan's Hiroyuki Tomita and China's Yang Wei, who each scored 56.65.

The men's competition continues with the all-around finals on Saturday. Complete results can be found at the FISU 2001 official website.


National team member Rhett Stinson of Saskatchewan suffered a tear to his ACL at the recent men's world team selection camp in Abbotsford, B.C. Stinson, who was a member of the Canadian world team in 1997, still hopes to contribute on a couple of events at the up coming world championships in Ghent, Belgium. Gymn.ca wishes a speedy recovery for Stinson, and will continue to provide information about the men's team's preparation as it becomes available.


Canadians were well represented in the final day of competition at the World Age Group Games for Trampoline and Tumbling, which concluded today in Odense, Denmark. In the men's 17+ individual trampoline finals, Mike MacLennan finished 5th, and his 14.2 degree of difficulty was the second highest in the finals. In the women's 15-16 synchro trampoline competition, the Canadian pair of Sarah Caruso and Halley Vanmuyen finishsed 6th - presumably not finishing all 10 required elements in their routine. The two Canadian teams in the 17+ men's synchro trampoline finals suffered similar fates, with MacLennan and his partner David Sabourin finishing 5th and Charles Thibault and Karl L'Ecuyer finishing 6th - both teams did not complete the 10 required elements, which greatly affected their placements. Elsewhere, Kelsi Semschuk qualified for the double mini tramp finals in the 13-14 group. She earned strong execution scores in both jumps and finished in 6th place.

Overall Canada took home 5 medals at these games, proving that we are one of the strongest countries in the world in this sport. Complete results for all disciplines can be found here.


As already reported, national champion Kate Richardson has been named to the Canadian World Championships Team, based on her strong performances at the Canadian Championships earlier this year. Later this month, the rest of the women's team will be finalized following two control tests to be held at the Hamilton Mountain Gym Elite club, which is located at 30 Harlowe Road in Hamilton, Ontario. The top two all-around gymnasts following an all-around competition on Saturday, August 25 at 11:30 a.m. will join Richardson on the team. The following day at 2:00 p.m. there will be an apparatus finals competition. The final team will be chosen later by a committee consisting of the national coach Andrei Rodionenko, the women's program director Lise Simard and the two Canadian judges assigned to the world championships. Spectators will be permitted to watch the two control tests on a first come, first served basis. No formal seating will be available, but spectators will be allowed so sit or stand in the adjacent recreational gym. Spectators are asked to enter via the recreation entrance.

On October 13th, the 7 women named to the world championships team will participate in a dual meet with the Dutch team in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The Canadian women will stay in the Netherlands to train prior to leaving for Ghent, Belgium - site of the World Championships - on October 22nd.

Many thanks Lise Simard, women's program director, for providing us with this information. For a listing of gymnasts who will be participating in the world team selection, please see our July 5th newsflash.


Defending champion in the women's 17+ double mini trampoline, Brenna Casey of Ottawa, successfully defended her World Age Group Games title yesterday. Her score of 61.5 was just 0.1 ahead of Alison Rose of the USA who finished 2nd and just 0.2 ahead of Lindsey Thompson, also of the United States, who finished third. Casey's teammates Lisa Bentz of Alberta and Ontario's Katie Allen finished 4th and 6th, respectively.

In the men's individual trampoline, Quebec's Bryan Milonja added another medal to his collection with his third place finish in the boys 15-16 category. On both days of competition, Milonja completed a 14.0 degree of difficulty routine, a full point increase from his previous routines this year.

Canada also had two finalists in the men's 17+ double mini tramp competition, where B.C's Adam Menzies took home a silver medal, after qualifying for the finals in 6th place. Mezies was consistent, scoring 28.50 for execution on both jumps, and a 61.40 final score. His teammate Olivier Lemieux of Quebec was less fortunate, taking a zero on his first jump and finishing 6th.

Competition continues today and tomorrow. Gymn.ca will continue to provide information as it becomes available, and remember to check the official World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships website for complete results.


Bryan Milonja of Quebec and Alberta's Lyndsay Hebert have won silver medals for Canada at the World Trampoline and Tumbling Age Group Games. Milonja picked up silver in the 15-16 double mini tramp event and Hebert won her silver medal in the 17+ tumbling competition. Milonja actually qualified for the finals in first place, but dropped to second in the finals. He did however earn the highest execution scores for both his jumps in the finals. Hebert actually earned the 6th and final qualification spot for the finals, where she moved up four places to earn silver. In the women's 15-16 double mini competition, BC's Sarah Charles finished 6th in the finals - which equaled her qualification rank. However in the finals she scored zeros on her second jump which prevented her from moving up.

In the 17+ women's double trampoline competition, Canada has qualified an amazing three athletes to the finals! Ontario's Brenna Casey qualified in first, with Lisa Bentz 4th and Katie Allen 6th. In the men's 15-16 individual trampoline, Milonja qualified for the finals in 4th place with an impressive 14.0 degree of difficulty - second highest in the field. Canada qualified two men for the finals in the 17+ double mini tramp competition with Olivier Lemieux in 5th and Adam Menzies in 6th.

Competition continues until Saturday. Complete results can be found at the official T&T World Championships website.


2000 Olympian Émilie Fournier, who was unable to compete at the Sydney games due to an injury sustained during podium training, hopes to compete three events at the upcoming World Championships. Fournier recently gave an interview for International Gymnast Magazine's website, where she talked about her Olympic experience and her hopes for the future, which will include a collegiate career at Penn State University, where she plans to enroll in January.

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