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Archive: November 2003

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NOVEMBER 30 - SHEWFELT IS GOLDEN AT DTB CUP

Calgary's Kyle Shewfelt served notice to the gymnastics world once again that he is one of the men to beat on the floor exercise, earning the DTB Cup title on this apparatus in Stuttgart, Germany, with an incredible 9.862 score in the winners final. Runner up Yoneda Isao of Japan scored only 9.162 in the winners final, after scoring 9.687 in the final - still behind the 9.775 posted by Shewfelt. This is Shewfelt's third career world cup circuit victory on this apparatus.

Teammate Alexander Jelkov of Montreal had qualified to the high bar finals in first place, but dropped to 7th in today's final, scoring only 9.087.

Full results and other information on this year's DTB Cup can be found at gymmedia.


NOVEMBER 29 – SHEWFELT THIRD ON VAULT AT DTB CUP

Calgary’s Kyle Shewfelt took a bronze medal on the vault today at the first day of event finals at the DTB Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. Shewfelt averaged 9.612 on his two vaults to match the third place finish he earned earlier in the season at the world championships in Anaheim. The event was won by former world vault champion Marian Dragalescu of Romania who scored 9.70 in the winners final to finish ahead of Poland’s Leszek Blanik who scored a close 9.693.

Event finals continue tomorrow, with Shewfelt getting another chance at gold in the floor exercise final, and Montreal’s Alexander Jeltkov competing in the high bar final, where he qualified first after preliminaries.

Men’s results can be found here.


NOVEMBER 28 – JELTKOV LEADS HIGH BAR AT DTB

Fans in Stuttgart, Germany witnessed a busy day of competition at today's 2003 DTB Cup. Veterans Alexander Jeltkov and Kyle Shewfelt shone on their respective specialties, Jeltkov edging out Greece's Vlasios Maras's 9.600 with a 9.662 to lead the pack on high bar after qualifications.

The bronze medallist on vault and floor at the 2003 World Championships, Kyle Shewfelt currently sits second on vault (9.525) and third on floor (9.500). At last year's event in Stuttgart, which doubled as the World cup final, Shewfelt won silver on floor.

Men's floor qualifications (top 8 shown only)

Floor:
1. Suciu, Ioan Silviu ROM 9,637
2. Dragulescu, Marian ROM 9,562
3. Shewfelt, Kyle CAN 9,525
4. Gal, Robert HUN 9,475
5. Vyoral, David CZE 9,450
6. Yoneda, Isao JPN 9,437
7. Sapronenko, Evgeni LAT 9,350
8. Zozulya, Roman UKR 9,212

Vault:
1. Dragulescu, Marian ROM 9,662
2. Shewfelt, Kyle CAN 9,500
3. Hypolito, Diego BRA 9,387
4. Kryukov, Nikolay RUS 9,356
5. Yamada, Tatsuya JPN 9,306
6. Blanik, Leszek POL 9,287
7. Wammes, Jeffrey NED 9,181
8. Suciu, Ioan Silviu ROM 9,156

High bar:
1. Jeltkov, Alexander CAN 9,662
2. Maras, Vlasios GRE 9,600
3. Pegan, Aljaz SLO 9,600
4. Yoneda, Isao JPN 9,587
5. Suzuki, Ryota JPN 9,567
6. Rizzo, Philippe AUS 9,500
7. Kwiatkowski, Sven GER 9,487
8. Tanskanen, Jani FIN 9,462

Full results are available at Gymmedia.

Canada's Amelie Plante was also scheduled to compete at the 2003 DTB Cup, but withdrew after suffering a slight injury. Finals begin tomorrow, with women's floor and uneven bars and men's pommel horse, vault, and rings. Contested Sunday will be women's beam and vault and men's floor, parallel bars, and high bars.


NOVEMBER 23 – CANADIANS COMPETE IN FRANCE AND SWITZERLAND

Two Canadian women’s teams competed at this week-end’s Massilia Cup in Marseille, France, finishing 10th and 15th in the team competition respectively. Current national all-around champion Gael Mackie was Canada’s top ranking all-arounder, finishing 14th with a 34.925 score. Competing with Mackie on team Canada 1 were Canadian junior champion Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, 23rd all-around with a 34.175, and national team member Laura-Ann Chong, 34th all-around with a 33.025. In a three up two scores count format, Canada 1 totaled 69.15. Canada’s second team finished in 15th place with a 66.125, led by 2001 and 2002 Elite Canada champion Aisha Gerber, who actually earned the second highest all-around score among all the Canadians, finishing just in front of Hibbs in 22nd place with a 34.225. Gerber’s Cambridge Kips teammates, Madison Ward and Jennifer Lezeu both struggled on beam to finish 40th (31.875) and 43rd (29.325). For many of these athletes, it was their first overseas competition, giving them valuable experience for the upcoming season.

Team Romania took the team gold with a 73.85 score, ahead of team USA 1 with a 73.575. Australia took third with a 73.00 score. Romania also took the top two spots in the individual all-around, with world team members Andreea Munteanu and Monica Rosu scoring 36.975 and 36.875 respectively. American Courtney McCool took bronze with 36.375.

Individually, Mackie qualified for the “B” apparatus final on uneven bars and balance beam, finishing sixth (7.85) and fourth (8.65) respectively. Full results from the Massilia Cup can be found here.

The Swiss Cup mixed pairs competition also took place this week-end in Zurich, where Alexander Jeltkov and Kylie Stone combined to finish in 9th place. Stone competed on vault (8.7) and uneven bars (8.65), and Jeltkov on floor (8.7) and high bar (9.7 out of a 10.0 SV). The Romanian team of Oana Ban and Marian Dragalescu won the title ahead of the mixed Uzbekistan/Belarus team of Oksana Chusovitina and Ivan Ivankov. The Italian/Bulgarian duo of Monica Bergamelli and Jordan Jovtchev took third. Click here for full Swiss Cup results.


NOVEMBER 19 - STONE TIES FOR FIFTH AT ARTHUR GANDER

Stone at 2003 Worlds
Photo by Grace Chiu

2003 World team member Kylie Stone competed at the 2003 Arthur Gander Memorial today, where she tied for 5th AA with a score of 26.325. Gymnasts competed on three events of their choice, Stone performing on vault (8.900), beam (8.975), and floor (8.450).

Romania placed 1-2 in the event, Catalina Ponor claiming gold and Oana Ban silver. Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina, the reigning 2003 World Champion on vault who now trains in Germany, placed third all around and earned the highest mark of the meet (scoring 9.525 on vault). Full women's results can be found at the Arthur Gander Memorial web site.

Romania also enjoyed success in the men's portion, Marian Dragulescu winning gold. Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria won silver, and 1994 and 1997 World Champion Ivan Ivankov of Belarus rounded out the podium. Full men's results can be found at the Arthur Gander Memorial web site.

Next up for Stone is this Saturday's Swiss Cup. Also competing this weekend are Gael Mackie, Laura-Ann Chong, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, Madison Ward, Aisha Gerber, and Jennifer Lezeu. These six will form two teams of three at the Massilia Cup, held in Marseille, France.


NOVEMBER 15 - CANADIANS POISED FOR EUROPE

November has already seen two Canadians compete in Europe; Sport Seneca's Aimie Balderian and Leslie Mak gained valuable experience at the recent 2003 Šiška International.

Next up for the Canadians is next weekend's 2003 Massilia Cup (formerly Trophee Massilia), an invitational in Marseille, France. Canada is sending some of its most promising young athletes, including Gael Mackie, Laura-Ann Chong, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, Madison Ward, Aisha Gerber, and Jennifer Lezeu. All six competed at last night's Ontario Tour Selection, with B.C.'s Chong and Mackie as guests. The six will form two teams of three gymnast.

2001 and 2003 World team veteran Amelie Plante was also scheduled to compete at the 2003 Massilia Cup (as an individual, not on a team), but has withdrawn due to a slight injury. This would have been her second appearance at the meet, having placed 10th on bars at last year's edition. Following the November 21-23 Massilia Cup, Plante was scheduled to move on to Germany to compete at the 2003 DTB Cup. Canada will now have entrants in the men's side only at the DTB Cup, with World medalists Kyle Shewfelt and Sasha Jeltkov scheduled to attend the November 28-30 event.

Meanwhile, Calgary's Kylie Stone will compete at the 2003 Arthur Gander Memorial on November 19 and the 2003 Swiss Cup on November 22. Formerly a European Grand Prix event, the Swiss Cup is now a mixed pairs event. Stone is slated to be paired with Sasha Jeltkov. Also scheduled for this event are a bevy of stars from recent and past World Championships, including Oana Ban (ROM), Irina Yarotska (UKR), Catalina Ponor (ROM), Victoria Karpenko (BUL), Oksana Chusovitina (UZB), Ivan Ivankov (BLR), Jordan Jovtchev (BUL), Marian Dragulescu (ROM), and more. The event is already sold-out.


NOVEMBER 9 - BALDERIAN SIXTH ON VAULT AT ŠIŠKA

Balderian 6th on vault
© Gim Klub Šiška / nbb
Aimie Balderian finished sixth on the vault and eighth on the balance beam on the second day of competition at the Šiška International today. Balderian stuck both her piked Luconi and layout Yurchenko vaults for an 8.368 average and her best finish in the event finals. Vault was won by Bulgaria's Ralitsa Rangelova who showed a handspring piked front and layout Yurchenko with a full twist for an 8.812 average.

On the balance beam, Balderian suffered a fall on a ff-layout, but was clean elsewhere (illusion, double turn to layout step-out, gainer back pike off the end of the beam) for a 7.762 out of a 9.4 start value. The winner was Romania's Steliana Nistor, who showed a ff to full twist and a triple twist dismount for the meet's only 10.0 start value, and a 9.100 score.

After Sunday's event finals, the gymnasts went on an organized tour trip. "We went to city hall, and got a chance to meet the mayor, as she gave a motivational speech to all gymnasts and coaches who were at the competition," Mak told Gymn.ca. "We even got to shake her hand!"

Complete results are available in Gymn.ca's results section. Gymn.ca is also pleased to present an exclusive photo gallery, courtesy of Gim Klub Šiška / nbb.


NOVEMBER 8 - BALDERIAN SIXTH AA AT ŠIŠKA

Canada's Aimie Balderian finished sixth in the all-around on day one of competition at the Šiška International today. Balderian, who trains at Toronto's Sport Seneca club, finished her day with a solid balance beam effort that was highlighted by an illusion and a double turn for an 8.250 to earn a 32.750 total over four events. Balderian's score was good enough for seventh on the beam, earning her a spot in tomorrow's event finals. A fall from the uneven bars in the third rotation (Jaeger) was the only major error for the 14 year-old. Balderian also performed well enough on the vault (piked Luconi), and the floor exercise, qualifying for finals on both events.

The winner on day one was the Netherlands' Shalina Groenveld, who totalled 34.700 to take the gold. Romania's Steliana Nistor was second with 34.050, and world medallist Victoria Karpenko, who now competes for Bulgaria, scored 33.800 for third.

Balderian's Sport Seneca teammate, Leslie Mak, also competed for Canada, finishing 21st all-around. News and complete results are also available at the official Šiška International Web site.


NOVEMBER 5 - SPORT SENECA'S SIGHTS SET ON ŠIŠKA

Sport Seneca's Aimie Balderian, Leslie Mak, and coach Lawson Hamer are in Slovenia this week, their sights set on this weekend's Šiška International.

Some 40 gymnasts from 15 federations travelled to Ljubljana for the 2002 Šiška International, including Canadians Teri Gibson, Melanie Tham, Jennifer Simbhudas (all three pictured in this year's Šiška banner), as well as Melanie Rocca, and this year's roster proves equally exciting. Joining Balderian and Mak are Romanian newcomers Steliana Nistor and Oana Zbenghea. Russia's roster is finally resolved; the team will be led by Youlia Khorkina (younger sister of Svetlana Khorkina) and fresh faces Alexandra Vanina and Ekaterina Kramarenko. From the Ukraine comes Inna Teslenko (who competed at the 2003 Gymnix and Bluewater meets) and Daria Zgoba, the latter having won bars at this summer's 2003 European Youth Olympic Days. Other countries fielding gymnasts to this weekend's event include the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Luxemburg, and Slovenia. This year the event is an offical F.I.G. competition. Slovenia's best known gymnast, Maya Hribar of the meet's host Šiška club, recently retired.

Canadians arrive in Slovenia
© Gim Klub Šiška / nbb

The competition is especially well known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The Canadians arrived in Slovenia yesterday, and have already commented on the hospitality. "The people here are very friendly and are taking good care of us," Mak told Gymn.ca this morning. "Aimie and I have trained twice now. We are currently in the training gym, and are moving into the competition gym on Friday."

Qualifications take place Saturday November 8, and finals Sunday November 9. Both Mak and Balderian have set similar goals for themselves, "[Our] competition goals are to gain international experience, and to hit 4 for 4. It would be great to make finals, and that is one of our main goals. This year, unlike in the past, all competitors are in one category. This will make it a little harder to make finals. Either way we will do our job!!"

Stay tuned to Gymn.ca for results, or check out the official Šiška International Web site.



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