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Archive: August 2003

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AUGUST 16 - GYMN.CA'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE BEGINS

With power finally restored to most of southern Ontario, Gymn.ca's coverage of the 2003 World Championships for Artistic Gymnastics is finally underway. Please click here for all of the latest news, results, reports, and photos from Anaheim!

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....


AUGUST 13 – MEDAL HAUL FOR ORLANDO IN FINALS AT PAN AMS

Orlando

Alexandra Orlando earned medals in all four finals Sunday at the 2003 Pan Am Games, adding to Canada's medal count with three silver medals (hoop, clubs, ribbon) and a bronze in ball. Ribbon was especially sweet for 16-year-old Orlando, who described the routine as "the best ribbon routine of her life." Mary Sanders continued her domination at the Games, earning gold on all four apparatus.

In the group event, Canada earned a bronze for their ribbons routine and a silver for hoops/balls.

Gymnastics may be over at the Pan Am Games, but many of its competitors are gearing up for the 2003 World Championships. Orlando leaves August 25th for intensive training in Bulgaria leading up to the Rhythmic Worlds, which take place in Budapest, Hungary. While in Bulgaria she'll compete in a tournament in Varna and take a side trip to Zaragoza, Spain for the Vitry World Cup. The Canadian squad will convene in Budapest September 19th for Championships.

Ball:
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 24.300
2. Olga Karmansky (USA), 21.800
3. Alexandra Orlando (CAN) 21.775

Hoop:
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 24.750
2. Alexandra Orlando (CAN) 24.300
3. Anahi Sosa (ARG) 23.600

Clubs:
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 25.025
2. Alexandra Orlando (CAN) 23.625
3. Tayane Mantovaneli (BRA) 23.325

Ribbon:
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 24.975
2. Alexandra Orlando (CAN) 23.550
3. Cynthia Valdez (MEX) 23.000

Photo serviced by Yahoo! - Reuters


AUGUST 9 – ORLANDO 6TH AT PAN AMS

The individual rhythmic all-around wrapped up in Santo Domingo today. Canada's Alexandra Orlando dropped one spot from her day 1 finish, to sixth place. The competition was won by Mary Sanders, a dual citizen of Canada and the USA, who now competes for the USA.

Bronze was won by Anahi Sosa, from Argentina. She has been competing at the world level for a number of years, and is finally receiving international appreciation. At the prestigious Corbeil-Essonnes this year she was the second highest ranked athlete from the Americas, behind Mary Sanders. Sosa reflected on her win, "The competition was so difficult, all the girls had posibilities and all the girls were wonderful. I cannot belive I am in the podium,I didn't think I could get it."

The last time Valdez (MEX), Orlando (CAN), and Barata (BRA) met at an important event the three were juniors. The competition was the Four Continents in Curitiba, Brazil and Barata finished first, Orlando second, and Valdez third. Since then Orlando has consistently beaten Barata in competition, causing some to question the judging at the event. The Brazilian Rhythmic Federation this year established a centralized system, with Ukrainian and Bulgarian coaches.

Mary Sanders

Individual Rhythmic - final results:
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 100.450
2. Olga Karmansky (USA) 88.325
3. Anahi Sosa (ARG) 87.675
4. Larissa Barata (BRA) 85.500
5. Cynthia Valdez (MEX) 84.750
6. Alexandra Orlando (CAN) 84.125
7. Tayanne Mantovaneli (BRA) 82.950
8. Antonella Yacobelli (ARG) 77.575

Up next for many of these girls is the 2003 World Championships, taking place in Budapest in late September. Competing for Canada will be the group, Orlando, Hui, and Alberta's Judy Berecz.

Photo serviced by Yahoo! - Reuters


AUGUST 9 – SILVER FOR CANADIAN GROUP AT PAN AMS

Overall placements remained the same after day two of competition for the rhythmic groups at the 2003 Pan Am Games. Brazil scored 49.650 points to take the gold medal, with Canada taking the silver medal over Cuba.

Group Rhythmic - final results:
1. Brazil 49.650
2. Canada 42.600
3. Cuba 37.300


AUGUST 9 – CANADIAN GROUP 2ND AFTER RIBBONS AT PAN AMS

Team Canada
Team Canada
Hui (CAN)

Canada sits in second behind Brazil (25.000) and ahead of Cuba (19.050) after yesterday's first day of rhythmic competition at the 2003 Pan Am Games. The scores of today's routine (hoop/balls) will be added to those from yesterday's ribbon routine to determine the winner.

Group Rhythmic - Day 1 of 2
1. Brazil 25.000
2. Canada 20.700
3. Cuba 19.050

As expected, dual citizen Mary Sanders dominated the rhythmic competition for the USA (52.125), scoring nearly 5.5 points ahead of teammate Olga Karmansky (46.725). Larissa Barata from Brazil tied with Argentinian Anahi Sosa for third place position, pushing Canadian Alexandra Orlando into fifth after two routines. Canadian Megan Hui sits in 15th.

Individual Rhythmic - Day 1 of 2
1. Mary Sanders (USA) 52.125 (25.95 Hoop, 26.175 ball)
2. Olga Karmansky (USA) 46.725 (24.275 hoop, 22.45 ball)
3. Larissa Barata (BRA) 44.000 (22.675 hoop, 21.325 ball)
3. Anahi Sosa (ARG) 44.000
5. Alexandra Orlando (CAN)
7. Tayanne Mantovanelli (BRA) (19.000 hop, 21.100 ball)
15. Megan Hui (CAN)

Photos serviced by Yahoo! - Reuters


AUGUST 8 - SANTO DOMINGO READY FOR SOME RHYTHMIC

Canada's RSG Group
2002 World Rhythmic Championships

Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

The Rhythmic events begin today at the 2003 Pan American games. Both individual and group events are being contested. These Games are key to Rhythmic Gymnastics in the Americas; The FIG will this competition to determine wild card qualification for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 1999, Emilie Livingston won the Pan American games in Winnipeg, earning a trip to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Canadians Alexandra Orlando (current National Champion) and Megan Hui face stiff competition in the individual event. Toronto's Mary Sanders, now representing the USA, is the favorite to win, however Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil all have strong competitors.

The Canadian group, featuring 1999 Pan American Champion Livingston, is hot off strong performances in Europe. The group won the bronze medal in Winnipeg,and are aiming to put in a clean showing and beat Pan American Champions Brazil.


AUGUST 5 - ARTISTIC CONCLUDES AT PAN AMS; MACKIE ON THE MEND

The event finals were contested today in Santo Domingo, with Brandon O'Neill capturing Canada's lone medal in this final phase of artistic gymnastics at the Games. "I was pretty nervous at the beginning," O'Neill told reporters. "There are a couple of guys here I knew could medal. I just had to think about hitting my routine. Going into the routine, I felt a little shaky, but I pulled it through."

The men competed earlier today, and the women this evening. The Canadian women had some impressive performances, but were unfortunately shut out of the medals. Women's results are as follows:

Women's EF Results

Vault
1. Leyanet Gonzalez (CUB) 9.512
2. Courtney McCool (USA) 9.343
3. Brenda Magaña (MEX) 9.293
4. Laís Souza (BRA) 9.287
5. Heather Purnell (CAN) 9.243
6. Janerky de la Pena (CUB) 9.231
7. Daiane dos Santos (BRA) 9.206
8. Melanie Banville (CAN) 9.187

Bars
1. Chellsie Memmel (USA) 9.575
2. Daniele Hypólito (BRA) 9.475
3. Nastia Liukin (USA) 9.425
4. Ana Paula Rodrigues (BRA) 9.40
5. Melanie Banville (CAN) 9.15
6. Lydia Williams (CAN) 8.975
7. Jessica Lopez (VEN) 8.775
8. Celeste Carnavale (ARG) 8.425

Beam:
1. Nastia Liukin (USA) 9.550
2. Daniele Hypólito (BRA) 9.537
3. Chellsie Memmel (USA) 9.462
4. Ana Paula Rodrigues (BRA) 8.962
5. Melanie Banville (CAN)8.875
6. Iyerida Mogollon (MEX) 8.425
7. Leyanet Gonzales (CUB) 8.30
8. Lydia Williams (CAN) 7.625

Floor:
1. Tia Orlando (USA) 9.587
2. Brenda Magaña (MEX) 9.45
3. Nastia Liukin (USA) 9.30
4. Camila Comin (BRA)9.262
5. Heather Purnell (CAN) 9.237
6. Richelle Simpson (CAN) 9.225
7(t) Leyanet Gonzales (CUB) and Ana Paula Rodrigues (BRA) 8.987

Rhythmic competition begins Friday. Meanwhile, the artistic gymnasts are getting ready to depart for Anaheim, site of the upcoming 2003 World Championships. They leave the village at 4am in the morning. Canada's Gael Mackie is putting her withdrawal from these Pan Am Games behind her, focusing on Worlds. After a few days off, she is said to be feeling much better. Her colour has been restored, and she was even training today, nailing Yurchenko 1½ vaults. Gael says that what she's learned from this experience is that sometimes bad luck happens and when it's beyond your control, you just have to get through it.


AUGUST 5 - O'NEILL TAKES FIRST PAN AM GOLD FOR CANADA

Brandon O'Neill
Canada's first gold medallist
at the 2003 Pan Am Games

Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

Edmonton's Brandon O'Neill captured the gold medal on floor exercise today at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. This was the first gold medal for Canada in any sport of the games so far. O'Neill, the national champion on this apparatus, has enjoyed previous international success on floor, having won the gold at the Junior Pacific Alliance Championships in 2002. Of his victory, O'Neill said "I was really nervous, there were a lot of tough competitors. I had to keep my mindset and keep my routine together."

Cuba's Eric Lopez, a veteran Pan Am Games competitor, has so far picked up three gold medals in the event finals. He is reportedly now the most decorated athlete in the history of the Pan Am games.

The apparatus finals continue this afternoon for the men, with the women scheduled to compete this evening. The men's competition was delayed for 45 minutes today due to a judges strike - as of the start of today's competition, the judges had not yet received their per diem from the organizing committee.

Men's EF:

1. Brandon O’Neill (Canada) 9.500
2. Michel Conceicao (Brazil) 9.375 (tie)
3. Clayton Strother (USA) 9.375 (tie)
4. Diego Hypolito (Brazil) 9.350
5. Diego Lizardi (Puerto Rico) 9.175
6. Julio Garcia (Mexico) 9.125
7. Eric Pedercini (Argentina) 8.900
8. David Durante (USA) 8.162

Pommel Horse
1. Eric Lopez (Cuba) 9.750
2. Luis Vargas (Puerto Rico) 9.587
3. Clayton Strother (USA) 9.450
3. Mosaih Rodrigues (Brazil) 9.450
5. Danilo Nogueira (Brazil) 9.437
6. Caricel Briceno (Venezuela) 9.237
7. Jose Fuentes (Venezuela) 8.912
8. David Durante (USA) 8.675

Rings
1. Eric Lopez (Cuba) 9.700
2. Regulo Carmona (Venezuela) 9.675
3. Abel Drigg (Cuba) 9.525
4. David Pacheco (Venezuela) 9.512
5. Diego Lizardi (Puerto Rico) 9.487
6. Juan Colon (Puerto Rico) 9.437
7. Manuel Aleman (Mexico) 8.850
8. Martin Passalenti (Argentina) 8.800

Vault
1. Eric Lopez (Cuba) 9.456
2. Diego Hypolito (Brazil) 9.443
3. Michel Conceicao (Brazil) 9.393
4. Abel Drigg (Cuba) 9.374
5. Jose De la Cruz (DOM) 9.362
6. Brandon O’Neill (Canada) 9.356
7. Daniel Gill (USA) 9.224
8. Julio Garcia (Mexico) 9.218

Parallel Bars
1. Eric Lopez (Cuba) 9.650
2. Abel Drigg (Cuba) 9.450
3. Jorge Giraldo (Colombia) 9.400
4. Michel Conceicao (Brazil) 9.150
5. David Durante (USA) 9.112
6. Danilo Nogueira (Brazil) 8.975
7. Rhett Stinson (Canada) 8.825
8. Lucas Chiarlo (Argentina) 8.125

High Bar
1. Tomy Ramos (Puerto Rico) 9.550
2. Michael Brito (Cuba) 9.475
3. Mosaih Rodrigues (Brazil) 9.450
4. Caricel Briceno (Venezuela) 9.300
5. Rhett Stinson (Canada) 9.287
6. Jorge Giraldo (Colombia) 9.275
7. Jhonny Parra (Venezuela) 9.112
8. Lazaro Lamelas (Cuba) 9.012

Stay tuned for more news from today's competition as information becomes available.


AUGUST 4 - BANVILLE TOP CANADIAN ALL-AROUNDER AT PAN AMS

In an exciting competition today in Santo Domingo, Chellsie Memmel (USA) edged out teammate (and leader from the team competition) Nastia Liukin (USA) for the gold. Canada's Melanie Banville and Lydia Williams looked seemed poised for a bronze, only to be edged out by the USA's Allyse Ishino then Brazil's Daniele Hypolito. Banville finished fifth and Williams sixth.

Melanie Banville, 5th AA
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

Canada's other all-around competitor, Heather Purnell, had problem with her shoot over bars, her first event. Her troubles continued on beam, where she fell on her layout. Floor and vault were great, but she lost too much ground early in the competition. She finished 11th.

Women's AA:
1. Chellsie Memmel (USA) 37.962 [9.275, 9.625, 9.362, 9.700]
2. Nastia Liukin (USA) 37.874 [9.250, 9.462, 9.637, 9.525]
3. Daniele Hypolito (BRA) 37.149 [9.200, 9.487, 9.637, 9.525]
4. Allyse Ishino (USA) 36.649 [9.125, 9.375, 9.012, 9.137]
5. Melanie Banville (CAN) 36.637 [9.150, 9.425, 8.887, 9.175]
6. Lydia Williams (CAN) 36.375 [9.125, 9.050, 8.925, 9.275]
7. Layonet Gonzales (CUB) 35.886
8. Camilla Comin (BRA) 35.737
9. Caroline Molinari (BRA) 35.589
10. Brenda Magaña (MEX) 35.199 [9.250, 8.525, 8.312, 9.112]
11. Heather Purnell (CAN) 35.199 [9.212, 8.200, 8.437, 9.025]
12.
13. Laura Moreno 34.861 [9.212, 8.725, 7.812, 8.500]
14. Iyerida Mogollón 34.199 [9.112, 7.975, 8.650, 8.462]


AUGUST 3 - KAFKA CANADA'S BEST IN AA FINALS AT PAN AMS

Eric Kafka
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

Burlington's BG's Eric Kafka was Canada's best finisher in the men's all-around competition, held earlier this evening, at the Pan American Games. Kafka finished 18th all-around with a 51.250 total, improving on his preliminary result by over a point. Teammate Jared Walls finished 23rd with a total of 50.600.

The competition was won once again by Cuban veteran Eric Lopez, who scored 56.200 to take Cuba's second gold of the gymnastics competition (the Cuban men won the team competition last night). Lopez has virtually owned the Pan Am Games for the past decade, winning the all-around title a record at a record four consecutive games (1991, 1995, 1999, and now 2003). USA's David Durante, third after preliminaries, earned the silver medal (54.625), while Columbia's Giovani Quintero took the bronze (54.550).

Canada's best athlete in the team competition, Rhett Stinson, sat out the all-around tonight. Stinson chose to rest a previous injury in preparation for the event finals on Tuesday, where he has qualified for parallel bars and high bar.

Men's All-around
1. Eric Lopez (CUB) 56.400
2. David Durante (USA) 54.625
3. Giovanni Quintero (COL) 54.550
4. Jonathan Horton (USA) 54.250
4. Luis Vargas (PUR) 54.250
6. Dan Gill (USA) 54.125
7. Charles Leon Tamayo (CUB) 53.975
8. Caricel Briceno (VEN) 53.275
9. Danilo Nogueira (BRA) 52.375
10.Mosiah Rodrigues (BRA) 52.200
18. Eric Kafka (CAN) 51.250
23. Jared Wells (CAN) 50.600


AUGUST 3 - CANADIAN MEN SEVENTH AT PAN AMS

Rhett Stinson
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

A young and relatively inexperienced Canadian men's team finished seventh in the men's team competition on the first day of competition at the Pan American Games last night. Despite their best efforts, the men struggled to seventh in the team competition, totalling 206.625. Canada had won the bronze medal in men's team competition at the last two Pan American Games. Cuba won the men's team gold with 221.475, ahead of a surprisingly strong team from Brazil, who edged the USA men for the silver, 216.375 to 215.925.

In individual qualifications, Canadians Rhett Stinson (52.550, 14th), Jared Walls (51.425, 18th), and Eric Kafka (50.175, 26th) all qualified for today's all-around final. Leading the competition was Cuban veteran Eric Lopez, who finished preliminaries with a 56.200. Teammate Carles Leon was second with 55.775, while David Durante was the United States' best in third (54.450).

Also earning berths in the event finals were Stinson (parallel bars and high bar) and specialist Brandon O'Neill (floor and vault). Men's event finals will take place on Tuesday.

Men's Team Results
1. Cuba 221.475
2. Brazil 216.375
3. USA 215.925
4. Venezuela 212.775
5. Puerto Rico 212.225
6. Argentina 206.950
7. Canada 206.625
8. Dominican Republic 180.975

AA Qualification:
1. Eric LOPEZ (CUB) 56.200
2. Charles LEON (CUB) 55.775
3. David DURANTE (USA) 54.450
4. Danilo NOGUEIRA (BRA) 54.050
5. Lazro LAMELA (CUB) 54.025
6. Mosaih RODRIGUES (BRA) 53.975
7. Luis VARGAS (PUR) 53.700
8. Clayton STROTHER (USA) 53.625
9. Daniel GILL (USA) 53.425
[10. Jonathan HORTON (USA) 53.375]
[12. David SENDER (USA) 53.000]
14. Rhett STINSON (CAN) 52.550
18. Jared WALLS (CAN) 51.425
26. Eric KAFKA (CAN) 50.175


AUGUST 2 – CANADIAN WOMEN HANG ON FOR PAN AM SILVER

Canadian women take silver
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

Following the completion of the women’s team competition in Santo Domingo today, the Canadian women’s took home the silver medal in the team competition. Canada hung on to maintain their second place finish behind the United States team and ahead of Brazil, who had yet to compete. Brazil had some trouble on uneven bars and balance beam to finish over fall behind Canada (144.347 – 143.732).

Final team standings:

1. United States 148.982 (Gold)
2. Canada 144.347 (Silver)
3. Brazil 143.732 (Bronze)
4. Cuba 138.282
5. Mexico 137.120
6. Argentina 131.283
7. Venezuela 129.847
8. Puerto Rico 121.296
9. Dominican Republic 109.296

Williams, Purnell, and Banville will advance to the all-around finals after finishing 4th, 6th, and 8th, respectively. Canada will have two gymnasts in each of the apparatus finals with Purnell qualifying for vault and floor, Banville on vault and beam, Williams on bars and beam, and Simpson on floor. Team captain Heather Purnell remains optimistic about team Canada's chance for further medals, referring to the team silver saying, "I'm sure it won't be our last medal."

All-around standings:
1. Nastia Liukin USA 37.474
2. Chellsie Memmell USA 37.437
3. Daniele Hypolito BRA 36.348
4. Lydia Williams CAN 36.274
5. Alyse Ishino USA 36.123
6. Heather Purnell CAN 36.024
7.
8. Melanie Banville CAN 35.712
9. Richelle Simpson CAN 35.337
13 Kylie Stone CAN 34.924

The Canadian men compete tonight. Men's results will be posted once available.


AUGUST 2 - WOMEN 2ND AT PAN AMS AFTER TWO SUBDIVISIONS

Lydia Williams
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

The Canadian women stand second, unofficially, after the first two subdivisions of competition at the Pan American Games, which got underway today in Santo Domingo. The women scored a 144.347 total, which was beaten only by the 148.982 total posted by the team from the United States. In third after the first two subdivisions is the team from Mexico, with 137.120. Still to compete are top teams from Brazil and Argentina, both of whom are expected to challenge for a medal.

The Canadian performance was particularly remarkable, considering they competed without reigning national champion Gael Mackie, who warmed-up but was too weak to compete. Mackie, her teammates, and seven from Canada's women's basketball team were earlier afflicted by a nasty stomach virus. "I'm a little bit disappointed," Mackie told reporters. "I really wanted to compete. But the main thing is the worlds in two weeks, and the coaches wanted me to be safe, not have any injuries."

As a result of Mackie's withdrawal, the remaining five athletes had to compete all four events, with the top four scores counting on each apparatus. Canada's top all-arounder after two subdivisions is Seneca's Lydia Williams, who sits third overall with a 36.274 total. Williams posted four very consistent scores, ranging from a 9.000 on bars to a 9.137 on vault.

Standing fifth for Canada is Ottawa's Heather Purnell with 36.024. Purnell shone on the vault (9.300) and floor exercise (9.187), but took scores below 9.0 on bars and beam.

Purnell's clubmate Melanie Banville is in position to round out Canada's contingent to Sunday's all-around final, finshing as the third Canadian, and currently in sixth place overall. Banville was in position to challenge for one of the top all-around spots when she fell on her triple twist on floor, taking an 8.325 for a 35.712 total. Banville took Canada's top score on the uneven bars, a 9.287, which should be good enough to qualify for event finals.

Rounding out the Canadian team effort were Richelle Simpson (35.337) and Kylie Stone (34.924), both of whom suffered falls on their uneven bar dismounts. Simpson looks to be a safe bet to make the floor final with a 9.250 score that led the Canadian team.

Further results will be posted as they become available.

Canadian scores (unofficially):
Lydia Williams 36.274 [9.137, 9.000, 9.012, 9.125]
Heather Purnell 36.024 [9.300, 8.750, 8.787, 9.187]
Melanie Banville 35.712 [9.225, 9.287, 8.875, 8.325]
Richelle Simpson 35.337 [9.062, 8.150, 8.875, 9.250]
Kylie Stone 34.924 [9.150, 8.312, 8.387, 9.075]


AUGUST 1 – TEAM CANADA READY FOR PAN AMS

Gymnastics sculpture
in Santo Domingo
Photo courtesy Grace Chiu

Strong teams will be representing Canada at the Pan American Games, which begin this weekend in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. For the women, this meet will serve as an important tune up for the World Championships in Anaheim, California, which take place less than two weeks following the games. According to team member Melanie Banville of Ottawa Gymnastics, "the team is coming along really well. We are working extremely hard and it’s starting to show.” As for the extremely hot weather conditions, she added that it is “extremely hot but we are starting to get used to it." Joining Banville on the team is clubmate Heather Purnell, who was also named team captain, national champion Gael Mackie of Omega, current NCAA champion Richelle Simpson of University of Nebraska – representing Canada internationally for the first time, Stampede City’s Kylie Stone, and Seneca’s Lydia Williams. These six women will travel directly to Anaheim following the games where they will begin their final preparations for the world championships. Their podium training there takes place on Thursday, August 14th. They will be joined there by Amélie Plante of Gymnix, non-traveling alternate for the Pan Am Games. The final decision of which six gymnasts will compete at the World Championships has not yet been made.

As for the Canadian men, a mostly young team will compete at the Pan American Games, with the strongest team being saved for the World Championsihps. Saskatoon’s Rhett Stinson - a veteran national team member with World Championship experience (he competed at the 1997 worlds in Lausanne, Switzerland), and current national champion in the parallel bars, will serve as team captain. Just missing the cut for the world team, Stinson “will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the young Pan Am team,” according to men’s programme director Karl Balisch. Also competing in Santo Domingo will be Edmonton’s Brandon O’Neill, national champion in the floor exercise and one of the favourites on this apparatus at the games; Canada Games and junior national champion Nathan Gafiuk of Calgary; former junior stand-out and multiple Canada Games winner Adam Wong of Calgary, Eric Kafka of Burlington (another former junior stand-out); and Jared Walls of Edmonton (10th at the recent Canadian championships).

A different group of seven gymnasts will travel to Anaheim for the World Championships. They are current national all-around champion and veteran Richard Ikeda of Abbotsford and his younger brother Ken Ikeda; former national all-around champion and 1999 world silver medallist on high bar Alexander Jeltkov of Montreal; national vault champion and world cup floor medallist Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary; national pommel horse champion Casey Sandy of Burlington; David Kikuchi of Halfiax (national champion on rings and world team member in 2001); and Calgary’s Grant Golding - the top all-arounder for Canada at the last worlds in 2001. One of these gymnasts will eventually be named as team alternate.

Competition at the Pan American Games begins Saturday, with the women’s team competition. Gymn.ca will bring you updates throughout the week-end as they become available.



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