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Archive: October 2003

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Jeltkov wins gold in Glasgow.
(Pictured here in Anaheim)

Photo by Grace Chiu


Former high bar world silver medallist Alexander Jeltkov of Montreal maintained his first place qualifying rank by taking the gold medal on his best event today at the Glasgow Grand Prix. Jelktov, who missed a medal chance at the recent world championships with a fall in the high bar finals, scored a 9.70 to defeat Kazhakstan’s Yernar Yerimbetov who finished 2nd with a 9.625. Reigning world champion Takeshiro Kashima of Japan took bronze with a 9.55. Jelktov successfully made his Rybalko sequence, which had caused him problems earlier in the season.

In the vault final, Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary had trouble on his second vault (Kasamatsu 1 ½) after nailing his Yurchenko 2 ½ opening. He finished in sixth place. Olympic vault bronze medallist Leszek Blanik of Poland took gold with a 9.775, followed by former world vault champion Marian Dragalescu of Romania who scored 9.712 and Lu Bin of China who took bronze with a 9.687.


Calgary’s Kyle Shewfelt maintained his first place qualifying rank by winning gold in the floor exercise today at the Glasgow Grand Prix. Shewfelt scored 9.725 to take gold over regining Olympic champion Igor Vikhrovs of Latvia who took second with a 9.7. Former world floor champion Marian Dragalescu of Romania took bronze with a 9.675, just ahead of Edmonton’s Brandon O’Neil who scored 9.6 for fourth.

Canada could take more medals tomorrow, with Shewfelt competing on vault and Montreal’s Alexander Jelktov on high bar, where he was the top qualifier. Full results from this competition can be found at gymmedia.com.

Shewfelt golden in Glasgow!
(Pictured here in Anaheim)

Photo by Grace Chiu


All three Canadian entrants earned event finals berths at the Glasgow Grand Prix in Scotland today. Two time world bronze medallist Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary qualified in first place on his best event, floor exercise, with a very strong 9.725 score. Teammate Brandon O’Neil, of Edmonton, who earlier this year won gold on this apparatus at the Pan American Games, also qualified for finals in fourth place with a 9.6. Shewfelt and O’Neil also participated in vault preliminaries, with Shewfelt qualifying for finals in third with a 9.475 average, and O’Neil just missing finals in ninth with a 9.30.

1999 world silver medallist Alexander Jelktov of Montreal also won qualifying on his best event, the horizontal bar, with a 9.60. Jeltkov was also a finalist on this apparatus at the recent world championships, where a fall kept him out of the medals. He will hope to avenge that mistake here.

Competition continues this week-end. Men’s preliminary results can be found here.


Canada’s success continued in Hannover, Germany today as the World Age Group Games for trampoline and tumbling got under way. Kyle Soehn of Red Deer, Alberta, took gold in the boys double mini 13-14 event. Also qualifying for the double mini final in the same age category were Alexander Seifert and Colten Kent, both of Calgary, who finished fifth and sixth respectively.

In the men’s 17+ synchro trampoline event, Matthew Eldridge and Sean Butler, both of Toronto, teamed up to win the silver, while Samantha Sendel of Toronto earned a silver in the girls 11-12 individual trampoline. Sendel and partner Katherine McLeod of Toronto competed together in the 11-12 girls synchro event, finishing just outside of the medals in fourth. Adam Menzies of Langley, B.C. – a double medallist at the World Championships earlier in the week, took fourth in the men’s 17+ individual trampoline competition.

Competition continues tomorrow.


Cockburn wins gold!
Photo by Grace Chiu

Canadian women took double gold today at the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Hannover, Germany. Toronto’s Karen Cockburn, an Olympic bronze medallist who earlier in the week helped Canada secure two women’s berths for next year’s Olympics, moved up from fifth in qualifying to take the gold medal, improving her prelimary total by a full point. She scored 40.20 points in today’s final to defeat Ukraine’s Olena Movchan and defending champion Anna Dogonadze of Germany who scored 39.70 and 39.20 respectively.

It's an absolutely incredible feeling," Cockburn told GCG. "I'm surprised to win because everyone seemed to be on their game this weekend and I think I would have been pleased with any medal. It's a title I always wanted but I always wondered would I ever win it. But today I put in one of my best ever performances."

Ottawa’s Heather McManus moved up from eighth in qualifying to finish fifth with a 39.00 – only two tenths from a bronze medal. Current Olympic champion Irina Karavayeva of Russia who had qualified to the final in first place dropped to seventh in today’s final.

Charles, Golden on double mini
Photo by Grace Chiu

Kelowna B.C.’s Sarah Charles also took home a gold medal for Canada today in the women’s double mini finals. Charles had tied for the highest score in prelims, though a tie breaking rule left her officially the second place qualifier. She scored a 62.20 to take gold over Ivanova from Buglaria, who scored 61.80. Klochan of the US took bronze. The other Canadian finalist, Julie Warnock of Calgary finished seventh.

"Saturday's performance opened my eyes to the possibilities [of gold]," Charles told GCG. "I think heading into the final in second took the pressure off a bit as well. Everyone did conservative routines today but I guess I did them best. The key was to stay focused."

Canada enjoyed even more success in the men's double mini individual final, with Langley B.C.'s Adam Menzies taking silver behind Ilichev of Russia and ahead of bronze medalist Gartner of the host German team. Former world individual champion Chris Mitruk of Burlington finished just outside of the medals in fourth.

Full results from today’s finals can be found at the FIG Web site.

TV ALERT!CBC will be broadcasting the 2003 World T&T Championships on Saturday, November 1. Check local listings for exact times in your area.


Job well done for Team Canada!
Photo by Grace Chiu

The Canadian men took home a gold medal in the double mini team competition at the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships today in Hannover Germany. 29 year old Veteran Chris Mitruk of Burlington – a former two time world individual double mini tramp champion – and his three teen aged teammates Adam Menzies, 18, of Langley, BC, Bryan Milonja, 17 of St. Bruno, Quebec, and Denis Vachon, 19, of Burlington combined to defeat the United States by a score of 96.10 to 95.50. Germany took bronze with a 95.0. "We had a very good cohesive team and that was a big part of our success. We knew we had a shot at the gold but everyone had to have a good day for it to happen," Mitruk told GCG. Individually, Menzies and Mitruk will advance to tomorrow’s final after finishing sixth and seventh respectively in qualifying. Milonja and Vachon finished 10th and 16th.

The women’s double mini team finished fifth, while Sarah Charles of Kelowna, BC qualified for the individual finals in second (tied for the first highest score, but dropped to second via a tie breaker) and teammate Julie Warnock of Burlington also made finals, finishing fifth in prelims. Sarah Caruso of Burlington finished 12th and Brenna Casey of Toronto finished 24th.

In the women’s synchro event, individual finalists Karen Cockburn of Toronto and Heather McManus of Ottawa dropped to 8th place after qualifying in second. Mathieu Turgeon of Toronto and Michel Greene of Quebec City finished 13th in the men’s synchro qualifying and Jason Burnett of Toronto and Charles Thibault of Quebec City finished 28th.

Canada also competed in tumbling events today, with Neisha Davis of Toronto finishing 17th and Burlington’s Emily Smith finishing 24th in women’s prelims. For the men, Vachon was the top Canadian in 28th. Other men’s results were Cole Roycroft of Calgary in 30th, David Poirier of Acton Vale, Quebec in 40th, and David Cowen of Edmonton 46th.


Bronze for Canada!
Photo by Grace Chiu

The Canadian women had a remarkable first day of competition at the 23rd World Championships for Tumbling and Trampoline in Hanover, Germany earlier today, while the men were edged out of finals in trampoline competition.

The four-woman team of Karen Cockburn, Heather McManus, Brenna Casey, and Savija McManus exceeded all expectations by winning the bronze medal (109.90) in the trampoline team competition, while also qualifying the maximum two athletes to the Olymic Games in Athens. This feat was accomplished through top-eight finishes in the preliminary competition by Cockburn and McManus, who finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in this morning's competition. In the earlier preliminary round, the Canadian women finished fifth as a team, earning the last berth into the final, where they went on to win bronze. Russia won the gold (116.90), followed by China (115.30), while Ukraine and Germany rounded out the top five.

"It's pretty overwhelming for us," said Cockburn to GCG, a bronze medallist at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where trampoline made its official Games debut. "I was very happy with my performance. I went in with a reliable routine because it was important to do a clean performance." Teammate Brenna Casey was equally excited, "It was very exciting for us to the medal. When I got here I increased my degree of difficulty by a fair amount so I was happy to do that and contribute to the team."

The Russian women dominated the first day of competition, with two-time world champion Irina Karavaeva (69.80) and teammate Natalia Chernova (68.40) finishing one-two in preliminary competition. Like Canada, the finish also earned the Russians the maximum two berths to the Olympic Games next year. China's Huang Shanshan (67.80) finished third on day one, followed by Ukrainian Olena Movchan (67.60) and Cockburn (67.20). Defending champion Anna Dogonadze of Germany was sixth (67.00).

McManus reflected on her 8th place finish, "This was a huge day for me. If I wasn't in the top-eight there would probably be little chance for me to go to the Olympics. There was tons of pressure and we were all feeling the intensity. All the countries here were in the same situation. I just kept telling myself to focus on my routine. And I did."

Teammates Brenna Casey and Savija McManus, both of Toronto, placed 36th and 49th, respectively.

In the men's competition, Canada was edged out of team finals in the final stages of the competition, ending their day in sixth place. Individually, Olympic bronze medallist Matthieu Turgeon was the top Canadian male athlete in 20th, followed by Bryan Milonja in 23rd. Jason Burnett fnished 34th and Michel Greene 39th. Turgeon's placement earned Canada one spot at next year's Olympics in Athens, same as in Sydney.

Like the women's competition, the preliminary round was won by Russia, who were led by Alexandre Rusakov (69.70, 1st), and five-time world champion Alexandre Moskalenko (68.50, 6th). In finals, however, the Russians were upstaged by the hometown German team, who won the gold medal in a thrilling finish by just one tenth of a point.

Competition continues this weekend with synchronized trampoline, double mini trampoline, and tumbling events getting underway tomorrow. Finals for all disciplines will be held Sunday. For full competition results, check the official event website at http://www.trampoline-world-championships-2003.com/e.html.

Gymn.ca is also pleased to offer a photo gallery by Grace Chiu.


Olympic berths will be on the line at the 23rd Tumbling & Trampoline World Championship, which are being held in Hannover, Germany from October 16 to October 19. World titles will be awarded in men's and women's tumbling, double mini trampoline, and individual and synchonrized trampoline. In the tumbling portion of the competition, there will be athletes representing 26 nations, including five with a full team of men and women. Athletes from 21 countries will compete in the double mini tramp, which includes five countries with a full team of men and women. For individual trampoline, 13 countries fielding full teams will compete, together with individuals from 28 countries.

Karen Cockburn

Canada has high hopes for 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, Karen Cockburn, who is hoping to challenge Russia's Irina Karavaeva and Germany's Anna Dogonadze for the gold medal in women's individual trampoline. At the last world championships in 2001, Dogonadze deposed Karavaeva, the two-time defending world champion, for the title. Great Britain and China also hope to pose a threat for the coveted title, the latter of which looked extremely strong in preliminary training sessions.

In addition to Cockburn, the Canadian women competing in Hannover include Heather Ross-McManus, Savija McManus and Brenna Casey. Top contenders in the men's competition for Canada include rising hopeful, Bryan Milonja, veteran Michel Greene, and Olympic bronze medallist Mathieu Turgeon. Relative newcomer Jason Burnett rounds out Canada's men's contingent.

With these world championships serving as the qualifier to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the competition in the individual trampoline (the only T&T event with Olympic status at this point) will be of the highest calibre and the pressure will be intense. Canada can qualify one athlete to the Games by placing in the top 16 individually, and new rules allow a second athlete to qualify if two place in the top eight.

The complete Canadian roster for the world championships includes:

Women's trampoline: Cockburn, H. McManus, Casey, S. McManus.
Women's synchronized trampoline: Cockburn and H. McManus; Casey and S. McManus.
Women's double mini trampoline: Sarah Charles, Sarah Caruso, Julie Warnock, Cheryl Johnson.
Women's tumbling: Emily Smith, Neisha Davis.

Men's trampoline: Turgeon, Milonja, Greene, Burnett.
Men's synchronized trampoline: Turgeon and Greene; Charles Thibault and Adam Menzies.
Men's double mini trampoline: Milonja, Menzies, Chris Mitruk, Denis Vachon.
Men's tumbling: Vachon, Cole Roycroft, David Poirier, David Cowen, Matthew Eldridge.

Competition begins tomorrow with the individual trampoline preliminaries getting underway at 10:00 am local time (4:00 am EST). Finals for all events will be held Sunday. Check back with Gymn.ca for full results as they become available. Also check the official event website at http://www.trampoline-world-championships-2003.com/e.html.


A talented but inexperienced Canadian junior men’s team took on strong junior teams from the United States and Germany today at a tri-meet held at the Burlington BG’s club in Burlington, Ontario. The team from the United States took a convincing win over the Germans, 212.10 to 203.775, with Canada finishing third with a 197.925. The Americans also swept the all-around medals, with Taqiy Abdullah taking first with a 54.1 followed by teammates Tyler Yamauchi (52.75) and Derek Helsby (51.475). The German team was led by fourth place all-arounder Phillip Boy and Matthias Fahrig, whose floor routine earned one of two 10.0 start values in the meet. (Yamauchi on rings had the other 10.0 start value).

The Canadians were led by former two-time national all-around champion (in novice and junior categories) Adam Wong, whose 51.05 score was good enough for sixth place in the all-around standings. Despite a fall from pommel horse in the first rotation (where Canada as a team had to count several breaks), he earned Canada’s highest start value of the meet with a 9.6. Wong’s 8.5 on parallel bars tied him with teammate Nathan Gafuik for the highest Canadian apparatus ranking (fourth place) of the meet. Patrick McElroy was Canada’s second highest all-arounder, scoring 49.125 for 12th place. His layout Thomas and Marinich skills on floor exercise were definite highlights for the crowd.

This competition served as important stepping-stone for the next generation of Canadian men’s gymnasts. On the heels of Canada’s impressive ninth place showing at the recent world championships in Anaheim, qualifying a full men’s team for the first time since 1988, these young gymnasts will hope to equal if not better these results as they take over the senior ranks in a few years.

Stay tuned for photos and video clips from the competition in the next few days. Full results can be found here.

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