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Archive: October, 2001

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With the opening ceremonies of the 35th World Championships for Artistic Gymnastics scheduled for tomorrow, Gymn.ca has launched our full coverage of the event. Please check our feature section Ghent 2001 for all the latest updates.


Canadian veteran trampolinist Heather Ross-McManus of Ottawa qualified for her first final at the world cup level this weekend at an event in Lisbon, Portugal, where she finished seventh. McManus came out of retirement a few years ago and is quickly establishing herself as one of the world's best trampolinists. She finished 10th at the recent world championships and had previously finished 9th in the first world cup event of the year in June. McManus felt that her compulsory performance here was "much stronger" than at worlds, which helped her get into the finals. The women's individual trampoline event was won by current Olympic champion Irina Karavaeva of Russia. Second place went to Britain's Krista Lawton, with Ukraine's Olena Movchan taking third. McManus also made the finals (also finishing seventh) in the synchro event with her partner Brenna Casey (who had finished 26th in the individual competition), also of Ottawa. The women's syncrho event was won by the Ukrainian pair of Mochvan and Oksana Tsyguleva, with Galina Lebedava and Natalia Karpentova of Belarus taking second, and the British team of Lawton and Claire Wright taking third.

Other Canadian results from Lisbon included a 16th place showing in the men's individual trampoline from Marty Meyers of Toronto, a 7th place in women's tumbling from Toronto's Neisha Davis, and a 12th and 16th place in men's tumbling from Windsor's Ryan Lyons and Edmonton's David Cowen respectively.

Many thanks to the Gymnastics Ontario website for providing this information.



Canadian champion Mary Sanders finished a strong 20th place in today's all-around competition at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, scoring 84.675. Sanders, who had qualified in 21st place in preliminaries, moved up one rank in the finals where she earned her highest score of 22.0 with the ball exercise.

Defending champion Alina Kabaeva took home her second all-around world title with an impressive 113.025 - over three points ahead of her teammate Irina Tchachina who took second with 109.75. Ukrainian Tamara Yerofeeva took bronze with 106.225.

The Championships conclude tomorrow with the apparatus finals.

The 2001 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships logo is copyright of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).


Russia claimed the first gold medal of the Rhythmic World Gymnastics Championships today with a convincing win in the team competition. After taking a commanding lead in day one of competition, the Russians increased their on day two, taking the highest team score on all four apparatus (rope, hoop, ball, and clubs). Finishing more than 17 points behind was the team from the Ukraine, who were involved in a tight battle for the medals with Belarus (3rd) and Bulgaria (4th).

After turning heads with their 9th place showing on day one, the Canadian team slipped slightly in the rankings today, settling for 12th as a team. The result was just one rank below the best-ever finish by the Canadian team at a world championships (the Canadians finished 11th in 1991). This year's result is a drastic improvement over the 19th place finish achieved by the Canadian team at the last world championships.

Individually, national champion Mary Sanders finished the preliminary competition in 21st place, while teammates Emilie Livingston, Kristi Clark, and Irina Funtikova did not compete all apparatus. The competition is lead by Russian world champion Alina Kabaeva.

After the competition, Kabaeva reflected on the Russian performance. "I really enjoy this title. I thank all my friends and especially my coach Irina Viner. Yes we won, but we cannot relax because of tomorrow’s competitions. We have to keep ourselves concentrated til the end of this championships."

The competition continues tomorrow with the all-around final.


1. Russia 275.900
2. Ukraine 258.875
3. Belarus 254.500
4. Bulgaria 253.975
5. Spain 235.300
12. Canada 215.850


With one eye on the volatile international climate, the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships got underway today in Madrid, Spain. The event feature competition for team, all-around, and individual apparatus titles.

Despite the withdrawal of several delegations, including the United States and Japan, the championships still feature a host of top international stars, including reigning world champion Alina Kabaeva of Russia, and her teammate and heir-apparent, Irina Chaschina. The Russian team is expected to dominate the competition, particularly with the absence of Yulia Raskina, the Belarussian silver medal winner from the 2000 Olympics.

Canada is ably represented by four top athletes in Irina Funtikova, Emilie Livingston, Kristi Clark, and reigning national champion Mary Sanders. Mimi Masleva is serving as head coach.

Emilie Livingston

Competition began today with the first half of the team competition. After day one, team Canada sits in a remarkable 9th place, with the 10th through 14th place teams close behind. As expected, Russia leads the team event, but by a surprising 10 points margin. This lead is, in part, attributable to the new scoring system this quadrennium, which rates routines from a 30.0. Leading the pack are Russians Alina Kabaeva and Irina Chaschina. Canadians Mary Sanders and Emilie Livingston sit in 20th and 26th place, respectively. Teammates Irina Funtikova and Kristi Clark competed only one event, each, today. Going into team finals, the Canadians stand to enjoy their best-ever team finish.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 18: Opening Ceremonies; Team Competition, rotation 1 and 2
Friday, October 19: Team Competition, rotation 3 and 4
Saturday, October 20: All-Around Competition
Sunday, October 21: Individual Event Finals; Closing Ceremonies

Results will be provided as they become available.


Canadians at the 2001 NED-CAN-CZE-GER
Photo courtesy of Michael Van Tendeloo

The Canadian women’s gymnastics team took third place in a four-way competition among the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic in Nijmegen, the Netherlands yesterday. This meet and subsequent training camp in the Netherlands serve as the culmination of the women’s team’s training effort for the upcoming World Championships in Ghent, Belgium.

The top Canadian performer was Olympian and national champion Kate Richardson of the Abbotsford Twisters, who turned in an all-around score of 34.425, good enough for equal fourth place. Richardson managed to break 9.0 on vault (Yurchenko-full) and beam, where she earned the second highest individual score. Unfortunately, Richardson struggled on bars after hitting her feet on the bar after her layout Jaeger release move, and later falling off the low bar on a rather simple move. Her floor routine did not contain the usual difficult tumbling, as she continues to recover from a minor back injury in preparation for the World Championships.

Gymnix’s Amélie Plante wowed the audience with her Def release move on bars, and went on to earn the highest score on floor exercise, nailing her new piked full-in opening. Since winning the team trials in Hamilton in August, Plante continues to build her routines and confidence level as the World Championships approach. An unfortunate fall on beam hindered her all-around efforts, however.

Mississauga’s Ashley Peckett led the team on bars, hitting all of her elements for a score of 8.7 (9.3 SV). She struggled on the other events however, counting falls in each. This was Peckett’s first time competing for Canada abroad, and undoubtedly this event will help tremendously as she prepares for the World Championships.

Hamilton’s Joelle Ouellette showed up well on vault (Hristakieva), but was shaky on her other two events, beam and floor exercise. (She was not assigned to compete bars). The Winstonettes' Jennifer Simbhudas earned her highest score on vault.

Team Canada was without the services of Olympian Crystal Gilmore of Cambridge, who underwent an MRI on her ankle during the meet. Gilmore’s injury is not serious, and it is expected that she will be ready to compete at the World Championships in two weeks time.

Yesterday’s all-around competition was won by up-and-coming Dutch star Verona van de Leur, who earned 36.425. German veteran Birgit Schwiegert took second with 35.025 and the Netherlands' Gabrielle Wammes took third, scoring 34.775.

The Canadians will remain in the Netherlands until October 21st, after which they will head to Ghent, Belgium.

Full results can be found at Gymmedia. Visit our 2001 NED-CAN-CZE-GER image gallery!


2000 Olympian Julie Beaulieu claimed the title at the inaugural GYMROCK competiton, held this weekend at Gymnastics Mississauga. Beaulieu, 18, performed solidly on both routines, scoring 59.0 out of a possible 60.0. Choreographed to the music of Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, these performances earned her $2,000 worth of prize money. Second place went to Mississauga's Emily Cercado, who showed outstanding dance ability for a combined 58.7 total. Burlington's Aubrey Taylor rounded out the top three with a 58.1, displaying the most difficult tumbling of the day. Taylor, a former Ohio state Level 10 champion, not only choreographed her own routines, but those of several competitors as well. Despite her talent in this area, she told gymn.ca this weekend that she hopes to pursue a degree in sports psychology when her gymnastics career is over.

While the television schedule for GYMROCK has not been finalized, early indications have the first of six shows airing this November. Gymn.ca will provide further broadcast details as they become available.


The Canadian junior men's team competed in a dual meet with Germany in Montreal this weekend. The Canadian team was composed of novice and junior level athletes, and was led by Adam Wong of Calgary, who posted an all-around score of 48.20. Other Canadian team members were current junior national champion Matthew Ryan of Novia Scotia, Jonathon Blazeiko, Nathan Gafuik, Matti Beiler and Mark Beiler. The German visitors took first place in the team competition as well as the all-around, where 14 year old Fabian Hambüchen scored a 51.75. For most of the Canadian gymnasts, this was their first experience competing under regular FIG rules. The two teams will continue to train together until October 12.

Many thanks to Gymnastics Canada for providing us with this information.


In the midst of a busy weekend for Canadian gymnastics, preliminary results from the Pan American Championships and GYMROCK have been made available.

The team and all-around competitions at the Pan American Championships were unkind to Canadians, with the men forced to forgo a team ranking when Scott Lang sat out two events. With only three team members, the Canadians needed to count all scores to be eligible for a final team ranking. Teammates Alexander Jeltkov and Leo Oka placed 7th and 19th, respectively, in the all-around.

In the women's competition, with only limited results available at this time, it has been learned that the Canadian women finished 7th with a 101.678 total. No Canadians finished among the top twelve all-around, which was won by the United States' Tasha Schwikert. The United States also took the team title with a 112.862 total.

After day one of artistic apparatus finals, no Canadians finished among the medals. Canada was not represented in the rhythmic competition.

Meanwhile, after the qualifying day at GYMROCK, the following gymnasts have advanced to today's semi-final:
Julie Beaulieu of Montreal
Emily Cercado of Mississauga
Aubrey Taylor of Burlington
Teri Gibson of Burlington
Amanda Dellapenta of Futures Gym
Katelyn O'Donnell of Mississauga

Gymn.ca will provide more results as they become available.


The roster for tomorrow's GYMROCK is set! Show #1 features former national team member Aubrey Taylor, Ashley Sportum, and Karine Lemay. Show #2 features 2000 Olympian Julie Beaulieu, Katelyn O'Donnel, and Teri Gibson. Show #3 features Emily Cercado, Rhiannon Banda-Scott, and reigning national junior tumbling champion Amanda Dellapenta.

Doors open at noon, and taping begins at 1:30pm. Each show will begin with an "In the stands" opening by Toronto radio personality Joanne Wilder surrounded by spectators. Reserves Demaris McCalla and LaRhae Bucke will perform their routines before show #1, at approximately 1:00pm. A professional dance troupe of performers aged 8 through 18, from Van Buskirk Studio of Dance, will entertain throughout.

Sunday's event features the semi-finals and finals. The winner of each show on Saturday plus the next top three scores will advance to the semi finals. The winner of each of the semi finals and the Producer's choice will advance to the finals.

A reminder, GYMROCK is being held at Gymnastics Mississauga. The gym is located at 1395 Mississauga Valley Blvd. For tickets, call (905) 270-6161. After Saturday's event, head to the World team send-off dinner at Emma's Back Porch (in the lodge) in Burlington! Doors open at 7 p.m., with dinner served at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per adult ($15 for athletes and children), and are available on a first-come first-served basis. For tickets, contact Jenna at jenna@vaxxine.com or call (905) 637-7152 and ask for Jenna.

The GYMROCK name and logo are trademarks of Mac Productions Inc.


Claus Andersen

After a highly successful career in gymnastics, 2000 Olympian Julie Beaulieu retired with no regrets. Since then, the 1999 national champion went on to a brief, but highly successful career as a diver. But with both sports behind her now, Beaulieu has returned to training one more time, this time for the fun and showmanship of GYMROCK, taking place this weekend at Gymnastics Mississauga.

During a training session last week, gymn.ca had the opportunity to catch up with this dynamic and personable young woman, in an exclusive athlete interview.


1999 world high bar silver medallist Alexander Jeltkov of Montreal will lead the Canadian contingent at this week's Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Cancun, Mexico. Jeltkov will be joined by national team members Scott Lang of Alberta and NCAA stand out Leo Oka of Ontario. This competition is crucial for Lang and Oka, as the sixth and final men's team berth for the upcoming World Championships is at stake.

For the women, current Canadian junior champion Kylie Stone of Calgary will be joined by last year's junior champion Heather Purnell of Ottawa, and British Columbia's Tracey Rai and Julie Medeiros, both of the Flicka Club. Many of the participating nations at the Pan Ams will be fielding members of their 2001 World Championships teams at this meet, which should provide invaluable experience for this Canadian junior team.

Gymn.ca will provide additional information from Mexico, including results, as they become available.


The 2001 World Artistic Championships begin later this month in Ghent, Belgium. Canada is fielding full teams for both men and women. On the women's side, joining 2000 Olympian's Kate Richardson (Abbotsford Twisters) and Crystal Gilmore (Cambridge Kips) are Amelie Plante (Gymnix), Joelle Ouellette (Hamilton Mountain Gym Elite), Ashley Peckett (Gymnastics Mississauga), and Jennifer Simbhudas (Winstonettes). Breanne King (Flicka Gymnastics Club) rounds out the team, in alternate position.

The Burlington Gymnastics Club will host Canada's women's team this weekend, providing a training/competition venue and send off for the team. Friends, family, and fans are invited to a World Team dinner on Saturday, October 6. The event takes place at Emma's Back Porch (in the lodge) in Burlington. Doors open at 7 p.m., with dinner served at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per adult ($15 for athletes and children), and are available on a first-come first-served basis. For tickets, contact Jenna at jenna@vaxxine.com or call (905) 637-7152 and ask for Jenna.

On Monday, October 8, come out and cheer for the girls as they compete in a model World Team competition. The event takes place at the Burlington Gymnastics club, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Admission is $2 for children under 16 and $5 for adults. Burlington Gymnastics is located at 710 Maple Avenue in Burlington, Ontario.

Later that evening, the team heads to the Netherlands to adjust to local time and continue their training for Worlds. The team will train in Nijmegen at the Hazenkamp gym club, home club of top Dutch gymnasts Monique Nuijten, Marleen Deuning, Fieke Willems, and Renske Endel.

On Saturday, October 13, the women will compete in a team meet against the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and, just added to the roster, Germany. Our Dutch friends tell us that the Dutch Gymnastics Federation hopes to provide "quick hits" of the competition. Log onto http://www.turnendames.nl and click on "English," then "Event Nederland-Duitsland Tjechie-Canada updated in the calendar" and finally "Nederland-Canada-Duitsland-Tjechie." The event begins at 18:30 Dutch time, or 1:30 p.m. E.S.T.

Gymn.ca's will be in Ghent covering the World Championships for Gymn.ca. Watch for updates!

The 2001 World Championships logo is courtesy of the official site of the World Championships Artistic Championships - Ghent 2001.

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