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Archive: May, 2001

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Lisa Pattison
junior BB champion

British Columbia's Kate Richardson nearly swept the women's individual events on day three of the Canadian gymnastics championships. Richardson, 16, collected gold medals on the vault, balance beam, and floor exercise, only ceding top honours on the uneven bars to Quebec's Amelie Plante. Richardson's winning scores included a 9.137 on the vault, a 9.400 on the balance beam, and a 9.137 on the floor exercise. Plante, the 1999 world championship team alternate, used her difficult Def release move (flyaway with 1 1/2 twists) to edge Richardson out of the top spot on the uneven bars, 9.425 to 9.350.

While Richardson clearly dominated the senior women's competition, the results were much more evenly distributed in the junior women's event finals. All-around champion Kylie Stone showed her prowess on her two best events, the vault and the floor exercise, to take the title on both events. Ontario's Lydia Williams and Saskatchewan's Lisa Pattison claimed the uneven bar and balance beam titles, respectively. Williams, 14, went on to add a silver on the balance beam and a bronze on the floor exercise to her fifth-place all-around finish, while Ottawa's Melanie Banville became the only other multiple medallist of the day when she took second and third on the balance beam and floor exercise, respectively.

Full event final results are available here: Senior Women, Junior Women.


Katherine Fairhurst
Novice HP champion

Gemini Gymnastics' Katherine Fairhurst cruised to the novice High Performance title at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships, held this past weekend in Saint John, New Brunswick. Fairhurst, who won the novice division at the 2000 Elite Canada, ranked first in both the skills and all-around competitions to win the gold medal by more than two points over British Columbia's Gail Mackey. Fairhurst's Ontario teammate, Madison Ward, took third.

In the national novice category, Seneca's Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs edged out the Winstonettes' Rebecca Simbudhas to claim her first national crown.


Richard Ikeda from the Abbotsford Twisters Club in British Columbia, took home his second career all-around title at the Canadian Championships today. Ikeda, 26, and a long time veteran of the Canadian team, overcame a fall on the pommel horse in the second rotation - normally one of his best events - to claim the title. The 1996 Olympian clinched the victory with his last routine on the high bar, an event where he made finals at the 1996 World Championships. His total score of 103.70 just edged out second place finisher Alexander Jeltkov of Montreal, the defending champion and reigning world high bar silver medallist, who scored 103.65.

Ikeda's Abbotsford teammate, and 1998 Canadian junior champion, Grant Golding took a close third with a 103.50 score. University of Illinois' Leo Oka placed fourth, reversing day one positions with Abbotsford's Ken Ikeda, who finished fifth. 2000 Olympian Kyle Shewfelt contined to struggle on his non-specialty events, dropping him to seventh overall.

In the junior men's competition, Matthew Ryan from Halifax, Nova Scotia, maintained his day one lead to take the all-around title with 93.25 points. He was followed by Brandon O'Neill from Edmonton with 92.75, and Calgary's Geoff Johnston with 92.00.

Among the three new High Performance categories (argo, novice, and tyro), the most impressive performance came from Ottawa's Eric Banville, who won the tyro division by a massive 7.5 point margin. Banville, 13, is the twin brother of Melanie Banville, who earlier placed third in the junior women's High Performance competition.

Complete results from the all events at nationals are finally available and can be found at Gymscore Depot.


Melanie Banville, 3rd AA

Fourteen year-old Kylie Stone claimed the junior women's title with a solid performance at the Canadian artistic gymnastics championships today. Stone, who finished seventh as a junior last year, scored an impressive 35.750 under a modified bonus system to claim the title by more than six tenths of a point over Burlington's Melanie Rocca. Stone and Rocca split the top event scores, with Stone taking top honours on vault and floor exercise, and Rocca the uneven bars and balance beam.

Ottawa's Melanie Banville, the bronze medallist at the 2000 junior Elite Canada, added another bronze to her collection with her solid 34.625 result, which was good enough to edge out Alberta's young upstart Amanda Gering from the top podium. Gering, who won the junior portion of the Burlington Spring Cup earlier this year, made the impressive leap from twelfth at the 2000 national championships to fourth in 2001. Sport Seneca's Lydia Williams finished fifth overall after struggling on vault.

Melanie Rocca, 2nd AA

In Wednesday's senior women's competition, Gymn.ca has learned that newly crowned champion Kate Richardson performed a new one and a half twisting Yurchenko vault for the first time in competition. It was on this vault in the first rotation that Richardson sustained a minor knee injury as a result of an unstable landing. Richardson was able to overcome the slight aggravation to complete all of her other routines successfully, although she stepped out of bounds on the floor exercise.

Sport Seneca's Michelle Conway suffered four falls in the women's competition, two each on the uneven bars and balance beam. These championships were the last for Conway, who remains undecided about her commitment to Canada's world championship effort this fall. Despite her numerous errors, Conway finished less than two points away from third, proving that she is certainly still among the best gymnasts in the country.


Kate's unique Yogi
Ashley Peckett, 2nd AA

The gymnasts from British Columbia's Abbotsford Twisters club enjoyed a windfall of success on day one of the Canadian national artistic gymnastics championships, held this week in Saint John, New Brunswick. Abbotsford gymnasts currently occupy three of the top four places after the first of two days of men's competition, and clubmate Kate Richardson claimed the women's crown with her stellar all-around performance.

Richard Ikeda, a mainstay on the Canadian men's team for the past decade, scored 52.050 to take the lead in the men's competition over clubmate Grant Golding, who sits second with 51.600. Ikeda's younger brother, Ken, is currently fourth with a 51.100 score, while 1999 world championship silver medallist Alexander Jeltkov scored a 51.300 to break up the Twisters' hegemony.

Amélie Plante, 3rd AA

2000 Olympian Kyle Shewfelt struggled with his start values on several events, leaving him tied for fifth place with Toronto's Leo Oka. Shewfelt did claim the highest individual scores of the day with a 9.300 on the floor exercise and a 9.500 on vault. The senior men's competition concludes this evening with a second round of optional exercises.

The women's competition saw the resurgence of veteran Amélie Plante, who performed well on the uneven bars and the balance beam to take third overall. Ahead of Plante were 2000 Olympian Richardson and 2000 Elite Canada champion Ashley Peckett of Gymnastics Mississauga.

Canada's women appear to be suffering under the current age-eligibility rules, which require gymnasts to be 16 in the calendar year to compete at the world championships. Four of the top ten women, including fourth place finisher Heather Purnell, are not age-eligible for the world championships this fall.

While the younger competitors were surging to the forefront in the women's competition, the veterans struggled tremendously. Top Canadian gymnasts from the 2000 season, including Olympian Michelle Conway, Abby Pearson, Chantelle Tousek, and Aubrey Taylor, all finished out of the top ten. 2000 Olympians Emilie Fournier and Crystal Gilmore did not compete in Saint John.

Full results, including individual scores and start values, are available at the 2001 Canadian championships homepage .


Kate Richardson

Kate Richardson of Coquitlam British Columbia achieved a long time goal today by winning the senior women's all-around title at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships in St. John, New Brunswick. Richardson, 16, has now won Canadian all-around titles at all three levels, having previously won the novice title in 1996 and the junior title in 1998. Richardson, who placed 15th all-around at the 2000 Olympic Games, overcame a slight injury to her knee after her first routine on the vault to win the title with a total score of 36.725.

2000 Elite Canada winner Ashley Peckett of Mississauga celebrated her 17th birthday with a second place finish, scoring 34.35. Peckett had to miss the 2000 Canadian Championships due to injury. 1999 World Championship team alternate Amélie Plante from Iberville, Québec, finished third with a score of 33.80. This is the 17 year old's best ever finish at a national meet.

No other information is available at this time, but we at gymn.ca hope to provide more information as the Championships continue. Complete results will eventually be available here.


Tune in to your local CBC affiliate on June 2 for an hour and a half of Trampoline and Tumbling. The broadcast is set to debut at 4:30 EST. A repeat broadcast is scheduled for Monday at 12:00 am EST. Check your local listings for confirmed times as the date approaches.


2000 Olympian Crystal Gilmore will be unable to compete at this week's Canadian Championships in St. John New Brunswick due to injury. Gilmore, who gave a clutch performance on the balance beam at the Sydney Games after being a last minute replacement for injured teammate Emilie Fournier was expected to be one of the top contenders at this year's Nationals. Gilmore has signed a letter of intent to compete for the University of Utah after finishing her career with the Canadian National Team. Hopefully Gilmore will be ready to compete in time for the World Championships in Ghent, Belgium later this year. Gymn.ca has no specific information about Gilmore's injury at this time, but will post more details when they become available.

A complete list of expected Canadian Championships participants can be found here.


2000 Olympic Bronze Medallist Karen Cockburn from Ontario successfully defended her individual Canadian Trampoline Championship while veteran Michele Greene from Quebec took home his sixth career title in the same event. Greene, who works professionally as a lawyer in Montreal, made a successful return to the Canadian Championships after sitting out last year's event. Second in the Senior Men's Trampoline event was 1990 and 1995 champion Paul Cameron from Ontario, who is making a comeback to the sport after a few years of performing with Cirque du Soleil. Ontario's Ben Snape - who had the highest combined degree of difficulty (15.4 and 15.2) - took third, and probably would have been higher but for a miscue after his last skill (a triple twisting double salto straight) which caused him to fall back onto the spotting bed. Olympic Bronze Medallist Mathieu Turgeon - who was also the defending champion in this event - finished a disappointing 4th and will likely not make the World Championship Team.

Cockburn, who is known as one of the highest jumpers in the sport, had the highest combined degree of difficulty among the women competitiors with a 13.3 in both her preliminary and final routine en route to victory. Cockburn, who did not perform her triffus (triple salto forwards with a ½ twist), was visibly disappointed with her performances after preliminaries, even though she was easily in first place. Lydia Zanon from Ontario - who competed with a protective knee brace - finished 2nd, followed by Ontario's Savja McManus. Heather McManus from Ontario - who had performed the highest women's degree of difficulty (13.4) in preliminaries - dropped to fifth place after landing off the trampoline bed before completing all ten elements in her routine.

Matt Dial from Alberta won the men's power tumbling title and excited the audience with his incredible level of difficulty. In the finals, Dial performed a double layout through to triple back tuck for his opening pass. Gymn.ca believes he is the first to successfully perform a triple back at the Canadian Championships. His second pass was possibly even more difficult: a layout full-in full-out through to a "Miller" (triple twisting double layout). Unfortunately he was short of rotation on the Miller, but was still able to win the title. David Poirier from Quebec finished second while Alberta's David Cowen took third.

The women's power tumbling competition was won by former national stream artistic gymnast Julie Pion of Ontario. Her most difficult run ended with a tucked full-in back out. She was followed by defending champion (and 1996 Ontario Novice team member in artistic gymnastics) Janice Creighton - who had led after preliminaries. Creighton may have won but for a fall after one of her passes. Ontario's Neisha Davis took third.

Champions were also crowned in the double mini tramp events. Veteran Chris Mitruk took home another title in this event, followed closely by his Ontario teammate Dave Parke. British Columbia's Ryan Ward took third. In the women's double mini, Lisa Colussi-Mitruk (married to the men's champion) took the title by only one tenth over Ontario teammate Cassandra Siwek. Shannon Lee from British Columbia took third.

Gymn.ca hopes to have more detailed reports from the championships available soon. Complete results are available at Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique's website. The event will be shown on a future episode of CBC Sports Saturday.


Olympic bronze medallists Karen Cockburn and Mathieu Turgeon highlight the field at the Canadian Trampoline and Tumbling Championships which begin tomorrow at Humber College in Toronto. Top athletes from across the country will be competing in the trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double-mini, and power tumbling events. This event serves as the final selection competition for the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, which take place July 26-28 in Odense, Denmark. A complete schedule of the competition (which concludes Saturday) is available from the Gymnastics Ontario web site in PDF format.


Saskatchewan hopefull Michelle Hofstra recently had surgery to repair torn cartilage in her shoulder, gymn.ca has learned. Once her immobilizing sling is removed (hopefully within the next week), she will begin extensive therapy and rehab on the shoulder for six months, at which time she will determine whether she can begin training again. Hostra, who was expected to be a leading contender for this year's World Championships Team prior to the injury, hopes that her recovery will be successful.


Vanessa Meloche of Montréal Québec will be forced to miss this month's Canadian Championships in St. John New Brunswick due to a bruised bone in her foot. Meloche, who has been training at Parkettes in Allentown Pennsylvania since mid February, has been working hard to upgrade her routines for the new code of points. She has been receiving treatment and physiotherapy for the injury, which should be healed in time for her to return to competition this summer. Meloche, who turns 16 on July 16th, is expected to be a strong contender for the Canadian Team at the upcoming World Championships in Ghent, Belgium.


Gene Sutton, one of Canada's best-known gymnastics officials, has been named chef de mission for the Canadian delegation to the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. Sutton, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, was selected for the position by the Canadian Olympic Association after her successful work managing Canada's men's and women's gymnastics teams at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, as well as her work as a member of Canada's mission team to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. Sutton will be responsible for leading Canada's entire Pan American Games delegation, including coaches, officials, support staff, and athletes from almost forty sports.


British Columbian Julie Medeiros, bronze medallist in the junior women's all-around at the 2000 Canadian Championships, is currently recovering from a broken bone in her foot. The injury prevented her from participating at the recent B.C. Championships and will presumably keep her out of the upcoming Canadian Championships in New Brunswick. Medeiros had previously trained at the Omega Gymnastics Club, but recently switched to Flicka (home club of 2000 Olympian Lise Leveille and 1999 Junior Canadian Champion Breanne King).


One of Canada's top female trampolinists, Marianne St-Jacques, has most recently decided to take some time off of training. "The reasons for this huge decision are entirely of a professional nature. I am in my first year of a PhD program that is especially hard since it combines not only research and classes, but also clinical work. It implies more than a full time workload and obviously, I could not do both school and trampoline well enough. Both were suffering greatly and so was I," she explains.

However we might see Marianne competing in the future. "As for if I mean to quit entirely, my decision is not yet final. I really don't think so, because I still can't imagine not competing and I still love it. So actually, I might be there next Nationals...I hope to be back".

St-Jacques lives in Montreal, Quebec. She trained in St-Bruno, at the Quadrotramp club with coaches Alain Duchesne and Karina Kosko. Marianne was one of the few female trampolinists to have competed two triple saltos in a routine (she performed a piked and tucked triffus, which is a triple front somersault with a half turn). She was also Karen Cockburn's synchronised trampoline partner, Cockburn being Canada's Olympic bronze medallist at the 2000 Olympic Games.

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