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Archive: December, 2001

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DECEMBER 18 - 2002 ARTISTIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TO STAY IN HUNGARY

After months of speculation about its fate, the 2002 World Championships for Artistic Gymnastics will go ahead as planned, but in a different city than originally scheduled. According to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), the competition will be held in the city of Debrecen, Hungary, from November 20-24, 2002. After first awarding the world championships to the city of Budapest, Hungary, the FIG was forced to move the competition when the Grand Hall, which was the site of the 1983 world championships, burned to the ground. The FIG entered quick discussions with a number of potential host cities, which were rumoured to include Madrid, Spain, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the end, the FIG was able to find a suitable arrangement with the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation, and the competition will go ahead as planned in the new host city.

The format of the world championships will be the same as in 1992 and 1996, with competition for individual apparatus only. Canada has traditionally fared well under this format of world championships, with Curtis Hibbert, Rob Doyle and Stella Umeh all reaching finals in Paris in 1992. Hibbert took the bronze medal in men's vault, while Umeh earned Canada's highest-ever finish for a woman at a world championships with her fifth-place result on the balance beam. Doyle earned his best result on the high bar, where he finished seventh.

The inclusion of the world championships on the international calendar means that 2002 will be a busy year for Canadian athletes, who will now be vying for berths on the Pacific Alliance Championships, Commonwealth Games, and world championships teams.


DECEMBER 16 - JELTKOV ATOP MEDAL PODIUM IN GLASGOW

Sasha Jeltkov performed superbly on high bar today at the Glasgow Grand Prix, earning bronze with his 9.625. In gold and silver medal place were Jari Monkkonen (FIN) and Andreu Vivo (ESP), respectively. Kyle Shewfelt also competed in today's finals, finishing fourth on vault. Dmitri Karbanenko (FRA), Yevgeny Sapronenko (LAT), and Ioan Suciu (ROM) bested Shewfelt's 9.337.

Full scores are available at the British Amateur Gymnastics Association's Web site.


DECEMBER 15 - SHEWFELT 4TH AT GLASGOW GRAND PRIX

Kyle Shewfelt just missed the medal podium in Glasgow today, placing 4th on floor exercise. Shewfelt equalled his qualifying score, 9.675. Sasha Jeltkov improved in the floor standings, rising to 7th with his 9.075.

Full scores are available at the British Amateur Gymnastics Association's Web site.


DECEMBER 15 - SANDERS AND CANADIAN TEAM VICTORIOUS AT FOUR CONTINENTS

Canadian rhythmic champion Mary Sanders led her senior team to victory at the Four Continents Championships, en route to the all-around title. Sanders took the highest scores on three of the four events (all but rope, where she was a close second) with consistent scores ranging from 23.125 on rope to 23.525 on hoop. Her final all-around score of 99.425 was over four points ahead of the second place finisher, China's Dan Sun, who scored 88.85. Anahi Sosa from Argentina took the bronze with 87.70. The Canadian team of Sanders, Irina Funtikova (who finished 8th all-around, qualifying for event finals on hoop and clubs), and Kristi Clark (15th all-around and reaching event finals on rope) won the team competition with a total score of 258.775, well ahead of the second place Koreans who scored 252.05. The host team from Brazil took bronze, scoring 250.80. The United States, whose junior women's team placed third in the team competition, was not represented in the senior event.

Complete senior results (in PDF format) are available here.


DECEMBER 14 - CANADIAN MEN STRONG IN GLASGOW

Preliminary rounds began today at the Glasgow Grand Prix. Canada's Kyle Shewfelt posted top marks on vault, scoring a combined 9.375. Shewfelt vaults a 2 1/2 twisting Yurchenko and double-twisting Tsukahara. On his other specialty, the floor exercise, Shewfelt is in second position having scored an astounding 9.675! IG online reports that Kyle's passes included a 2.5 twist, layout front, layout front full; tucked double-double dismount.

Sasha Jeltkov also grabbed a spot to floor finals, scoring a 9.300. Sasha's best performance of the day came on high bar, an event in which he medalled at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, China. Jeltkov's 9.625 puts him in second position entering the finals.

Full scores are available at the British Amateur Gymnastics Association's Web site.


DECEMBER 14 - TOP MARKS FOR ORLANDO, SANDERS AT FOUR CONTINENTS

Canada's rhythmic gymnasts had a successful first day of competition at the prestigious Four Continents Championships, being held this weekend in Curitiba, Brazil. Current junior national champion Alexandra Orlando took the silver medal in the junior all-around competition with a score of 81.225, behind only Brazil's Larissa Barata, who scored 85.100.

In the team competition, Canada's juniors placed a close fourth, just 0.4 behind the bronze medal team from the United States (222.425 to 222.025). The gold medal was won by the Brazilian team, who dominated the competition with a 241.800 total.

In the senior competition, Canadian champion Mary Sanders stands in first place after two exercises. The competition continues tomorrow.


DECEMBER 8 - BRONZE FOR RYAN AT CANBERRA CUP

Nova Scotia's Matthew Ryan broke through for Canada's only medal at the Canberra Cup when he took the bronze on vault, his final event of the competition. Ryan, who will turn 18 next month, scored an 8.763 to take third on the event, behind Julian Witooi (1st: 8.913) and Lindsay Adams (2nd: 8.900), both of South Africa. Ryan also took seventh place on two other events, the floor exercise (8.350), and rings (7.750).

Saskatchewan's Lisa Pattison finished her day with results almost identical to Ryan's, earning a fourth and two seventh place finishes. Pattison's best result came on the uneven bars, where her 7.925 came up just short of a medal. The apparatus was won by the United States' Melanie Sinclair, who also placed second in the all-around competition. Pattison followed up her uneven bars performance with seventh place efforts on balance beam (6.900) and floor exercise (7.925).

Full results are available on the Canberra Cup's official site.


DECEMBER 7 - RYAN 10TH, PATTISON 12TH AT CANBERRA CUP

Lisa Pattison

Matthew Ryan and Lisa Pattison, both fighting jet-lag and fatigue, performed well enough for 10th and 12th, respectively, at the Canberra Cup, a prestigious junior international held in Australia. Both athletes were fresh off performances at Elite Canada and had to deal not only with the mental preparation involved in competing twice in such short succession, but also to the massive time change between Canada and Australia.

Ryan, who finished third in the junior men's competition at Elite Canada, scored 47.200 points to tie New Zealand's Daniel Good for 10th. While the final scores list Ryan in 11th, behind Good, it is unclear if international tie-breaking methods were used. The competition was won in a rout by China's Dong Zhendong, whose 53.750 total was more than two points better than runner-up D.J. Bucher of the United States.

Ryan also qualified to the event final competition, which is scheduled for tomorrow. Ryan's 8.850 score on floor exercise earned him a tie for third on the apparatus, his 9.000 on vault equal fifth, and his 7.900 on rings was good enough for seventh.

Pattison, who was also third in the junior women's competition at Elite Canada, scored a 31.266, and qualified for three event finals (uneven bars: 7.850, fourth; balance beam: 7.466, eighth; floor exercise: 7.800, eighth). Australia's Sarah Lauren won the all-around competition with an impressive 35.357 total.

Full results are available on the Canberra Cup's official site.


BRONZE FOR RYAN AT CANBERRA CUP

Nova Scotia's Matthew Ryan broke through for Canada's only medal at the Canberra Cup when he took the bronze on vault, his final event of the competition. Ryan, who will turn 18 next month, scored an 8.763 to take third on the event, behind Julian Witooi (1st: 8.913) and Lindsay Adams (2nd: 8.900), both of South Africa. Ryan also took seventh place on two other events, the floor exercise (8.350), and rings (7.750).

Saskatchewan's Lisa Pattison finished her day with results almost identical to Ryan's, earning a fourth and two seventh place finishes. Pattison's best result came on the uneven bars, where her 7.925 came up just short of a medal. The apparatus was won by the United States' Melanie Sinclair, who also placed second in the all-around competition. Pattison followed up her uneven bars performance with seventh place efforts on balance beam (6.900) and floor exercise (7.925).

Full results are available on the Canberra Cup's official site.


RYAN 10TH, PATTISON 12TH AT CANBERRA CUP

Lisa Pattison

Matthew Ryan and Lisa Pattison, both fighting jet-lag and fatigue, performed well enough for 10th and 12th, respectively, at the Canberra Cup, a prestigious junior international held in Australia. Both athletes were fresh off performances at Elite Canada and had to deal not only with the mental preparation involved in competing twice in such short succession, but also to the massive time change between Canada and Australia.

Ryan, who finished third in the junior men's competition at Elite Canada, scored 47.200 points to tie New Zealand's Daniel Good for 10th. While the final scores list Ryan in 11th, behind Good, it is unclear if international tie-breaking methods were used. The competition was won in a rout by China's Dong Zhendong, whose 53.750 total was more than two points better than runner-up D.J. Bucher of the United States.

Ryan also qualified to the event final competition, which is scheduled for tomorrow. Ryan's 8.850 score on floor exercise earned him a tie for third on the apparatus, his 9.000 on vault equal fifth, and his 7.900 on rings was good enough for seventh.

Pattison, who was also third in the junior women's competition at Elite Canada, scored a 31.266, and qualified for three event finals (uneven bars: 7.850, fourth; balance beam: 7.466, eighth; floor exercise: 7.800, eighth). Australia's Sarah Lauren won the all-around competition with an impressive 35.357 total.

Full results are available on the Canberra Cup's official site.


DECEMBER 6 - TOUSEK SEVENTH AT REESE'S CUP

Canada's Yvonne Tousek and teammate Sean Townsend of the United States placed seventh as a pair at the 2001 Reese's Cup, held last weekend in Houston, Texas. Tousek, who is now a sophomore competing for UCLA, was invited to compete against many of the world's top gymnastics performers at the professional-style competition (Tousek could not accept prize money, based on NCAA eligibility rules). The title was won by 2001 world championship medallists Tasha Schwikert (USA) and Jordan Jovtchev (BUL), who scored a near-perfect 199.1 out of 200 points. Tousek, Canada's national champion in 2000, and Townsend, the reigning world champion on parallel bars, amassed a 194.6 total, after Tousek came off the uneven bars on her Hindorff release move.

At UCLA's "Meet the Team" event on Sunday, Tousek wowed the crowd with a near-perfect bar routine that featured the Hindorff in direct connection to a Pak salto. She will be joined on the UCLA roster by fellow 2000 Olympian Michelle Conway, who is in her first year at the university. Conway performed an exhibition balance beam routine at the display, and looks ready to be a valuable contributor to the defending NCAA champion Lady Bruins.


DECEMBER 5 - GOLDING CONTINUES TO SHINE AT ELITE CANADA

The University of Calgary's Grant Golding brought a successful year for the Canadian men's team to a close with a convincing victory at Elite Canada this weekend. Golding, who finished 22nd all-around at the recent world championships, scored a combined 107.750 over two days of competition to defeat Ghent teammate David Kikuchi. Golding took the highest all-around score on both days of competition (53.860 and 53.890), including top three totals on all six apparatus.

Kikuchi had the scores on five apparatus to challenge Golding, but gave away too many points on vault (8.900, 8.800, 7th) to challenge for the title.

In third was Abbotsford Twisters' Richard Ikeda, the reigning Canadian champion. Ikeda had a solid two days of competition, but low scores on floor exercise and vault kept the 1996 Olympian from the top of the podium.

Burlington's Erik Kafka finished fourth, almost five points behind Ikeda. 2000 Olympian Kyle Shewfelt was fifth (98.760), with top scores on floor exercise and vault (9.750 on Day 1), but difficulties on the other four apparatus.

Full results of the men's competition are available at Gym Score Depot.


DECEMBER 3 - GYMN.CA RESUMES FRENCH TRANSLATIONS

Gymn.ca est très heureux de vous annoncer que la traduction française est de retour, grâce à Josiane Allain qui a généreusement offert son support. Pendant les prochaines semaines, surveillez bien pour de nouvelles traductions de nouvelle archivées, des entrevues et beaucoup plus! Pour maintenant, nous sommes heureux de vous offrir les nouvelles de Décembre.

Gymn.ca is pleased to announce that French translations have resumed, thanks to the generous support of Josiane Allain. Over the next few weeks, look for translations of our archived news, interviews, and more! For now, we are pleased to offer December's news in French. Our Elite Canada report will follow next.


DECEMBER 3 - SIMBHUDAS EDGES HICKS FOR WOMEN'S TITLE

2001 world championship team member Jennifer Simbhudas captured her first major Canadian title by winning the women's Elite Canada, held last night at Toronto's Seneca College. Simbhudas competed with improved routine composition and quality to claim the title by the smallest of margins over Gemini's Danielle Hicks, 34.175 to 34.150. Hicks, who will turn 16 next March, recovered well after fall from the uneven bars to hit a solid balance beam routine that secured her final ranking. Seneca's Lydia Williams, competing in her first senior national competition, was apparently unfazed by the top field, taking third overall with a score of 33.325.

In one of the surprises of the competition, Burlington's Aubrey Taylor showed a renewed determination and rejeuvinated routines to hit four-for-four and take fourth place, just 0.025 behind Williams. Gym Richelieu's stylish Amanda Haikilis performed well to round out the top five.

In the junior competition, Mississauga's Melanie Tham displayed clean exercises and a pleasant style to capture the all-around title, ahead of the Cambridge Kips' Madison Ward. Last year's junior champion, Lisa Pattison placed third, ahead of former novice stand-outs Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Katherine Fairhurst.

Senior women's all-around results and report are now available on gymn.ca. Junior women's photos have also been added.


DECEMBER 1 - EARLY ELITE CANADA RESULTS

Grant Golding of the Abbotsford Twisters (the top Canadian performer at the recent world championships) has taken the early lead at the men's Elite Canada competition, scoring 53.86 points. Nova Scotia's David Kikuchi is currently second with 53.71, and Golding's veteran teammate and current Canadian champion Richard Ikeda sits third with 53.65. The final all-around standings will be determined after today's competition, which begins at 6:30 local time in Calgary.

At women's Elite Canada in Toronto, Aisha Gerber of the Cambridge Kips currently leads the novice women's event, with a score of 36.725. Kattaresa Zwarich of Saskatoon is in second with 35.375, and Toronto's Aimie Balderian is in third with 35.025. Competition continues today, with the junior women's all-around at 2:00 and the senior women's at 7:00. The final novice all-around standings will be decided on Sunday morning at 10:00, followed by an apparatus finals competition for the juniors and seniors.



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