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Archive: October 2005

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Canadian women took home two silver medals today at the Salamunov Memorial World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia. Alyssa Brown of Gymnastics Mississauga took silver in her best event, the vault, scoring an 8.85 average. The gold medal went to veteran Jana Komrskova of the Czech Republic, who averaged a 9.112 in one of her first competitions back following a brief retirement. The bronze medal went to Austria’s Sandra Mayer (8.762). 

Canada’s second silver of the day went to Rebecca Simbhudas of Pulsar’s Gymnastics in Newmarket who hit for a 9.075 score (9.9 start value) – just edging out Suzanne Harmes of the Netherlands (9.05). The Czech Republic took home its second gold in as many events with Jana Sikulova’s winning 9.35 effort.

Competition concludes tomorrow, with Brown having also qualified for the finals in the balance beam and floor exercise events.

Update! Brown finished 8th on beam and 5th on floor, in Sunday's second day of apparatus finals.


O'Neill Tumbled to Gold in Glasgow,  just as he did last week (pictured here in Stuttgart)
Photo courtesy nbbpress

Edmonton’s Brandon O’Neill took yet another gold medal on his best event, floor exercise, at the Glasgow Grand Prix in Scotland today. O’Neill earned an outstanding score of 9.687 in today’s finals to take gold ahead of Jeffery Wammes of the Netherlands (9.425). Hungary’s Robert Gal took bronze (9.262). O’Neill, a master of consistency on this event, also had the best score in yesterday’s qualification round. O’Neill also competed in two other finals today, finishing fifth in the vault with a 9.312 average, and scoring 7.925 on parallel bars, ranking him seventh.

Three other Canadian gymnasts qualified for apparatus finals in Glasgow, with veteran Alexander Jeltkov of Montreal finishing fifth on floor exercise (8.937), and eighth in the high bar (7.80). Jeltkov, a former world silver medalist on the high bar, had qualified in fourth place with a 9.012 score in preliminaries. Two Canadian women also competed in today’s finals, with the best result being Marci Bernholtz of Toronto who finished a close fourth on the balance beam – scoring an 8.937, less than a tenth from the bronze medal. Gael Mackie of Coquitlam scored 8.725 on the uneven bars en route to sixth place. Mackie had qualified in fifth with a 9.25 in preliminaries.

Full results from this week’s competition in Glasgow can be found at the 2005 Glasgow Grand Prix website.


O'Neill reflects on his win
Photo courtesy nbbpress

Edmonton’s Brandon O’Neill added another floor exercise title to his collection today at the DTB Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. O’Neill, who earlier this year took floor gold at the University Games and Pan American Championships, scored 9.562 in the finals today to take the gold medal, an improvement from his seventh place finish in preliminaries. Patrick Dominguez of Switzerland took second with a 9.525, followed by Robert Gal of Hungary (9.325). This victory and his consistency on this event makes him a definite contender for a medal at next month’s world championships. 

O’Neill also competed in preliminaries on the vault, another strong event for him – where he finished 17th in a strong field with a 9.206 average.

The Canadian women were also well represented in Stuttgart, with Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Toronto qualifying for the balance beam final with a 9.212 score in preliminaries, good enough for the fifth best score. In today’s finals, she maintained her fifth place ranking with an 8.837 score. The gold medal went to Olympic balance beam champion Catalina Ponor of Romania (9.65), with China’s Wang Lili taking silver, and European all-around champion Marine Debauve of France the bronze (9.35). 

Hopfner-Hibbs also competed on uneven bars in preliminaries, where her 8.412 left her in 17th place. Olympian Gael Mackie of Coquitlam also competed on the uneven bars (9.025, 11th) and balance beam (8.212, 13th).

Full results can be found on the International Gymnast and Gymmedia websites.


Peng Peng Lee was the top Canadian in today's all-around competition at the Top Gym competition in Charleroi, Belgium. The Sport Seneca athlete finished 7th AA, with 32.850 points. American Shawn Johnson won the event, with Aluissa Lacusteanu (ROM) and Ivana Hong (USA) finishing second and third, respectively.

Other Canadians finished close behind Lee; Stéphanie Desjardin (8th AA), Carly Magnacca (9th AA), Dominique Pegg (12th AA), Emma Willis (13th AA), and Lindsay-Noel Taylor (14th AA). Full results are available at the Top Gym web site.

The apparatus finals will be contested tomorrow. Lee currently sits in third place, going into tomorrow's beam final.


Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Sports Seneca in Toronto took the gold medal on the balance beam at the Massilia Cup competition in Marseilles, France, yesterday. Hopfner-Hibbs, the Canadian champion on this event, earned a 9.363 to take the gold over American Ashley Priess (9.225) and Australia’s Ashleigh Brennen (9.15). On Saturday, Hopfner-Hibbs combined with Marci Bernholtz of ASF in Richmond Hill, Ontario, to take the bronze medal in the team competition, scoring 71.050 to finish behind the host French team (72.925), and the United States (72.257). In their bronze medal effort, the Canadian team finished ahead of Russia, who fielded two Olympians (Elena Zamolodchikova and Natalia Ziganshina).

While Bernholtz and Hopfner-Hibbs competed as Team Canada 1, three other Canadian duos entered the competition. Junior national team members Nansy Damianova (Gymnix) and Dawn Patulli (Wimgym) represented Canada 2, finishing eighth (66.975) just ahead of Canada Junior 2 - Charlotte Mackie and Brittany Rogers (both of Omega). Team Canada Junior 1, featuring Kristina Vaculik (Gemini) and Sydney Sawa (Calgary) finished 12th, with a 64.10 score.

In the individual all-around, Bernholtz finished a strong fourth place, scoring 35.725 score, while Hopfner-Hibbs finished eighth, scoring 35.325. Other Canadian all-around results include: Mackie (12th), Damianova (13th), Patulli (21st), Rogers (22nd), Sawa (24th) and Vaculik (27th).

Hopfner-Hibbs – who also finished seventh on the uneven bars in the finals – was not the only Canadian to compete in the apparatus finals yesterday. Bernholtz finished fourth on bars with an 8.962, just 0.013 shy of the bronze medal, and seventh on floor exercise. Mackie competed in two event finals, finishing fifth on the both balance beam and floor exerice events. All three Canadian event finalists showed original elements, with Bernholtz competing a new opening sequence of jump to handstand mount to half turn, immediate toe-on Shaposhnikova to high bar, Hopfner-Hibbs with her trademark aerial cartwheel to two layouts series, and Mackie a one armed-Onodi (Mackie is the only gymnast to have performed this skill internationally to our knowledge).


Edmonton’s Brandon O’Neill, the current Pan American floor exercise champion, repeated his feat at the Pan Am championships in Rio De Janeiro yesterday, claiming the gold medal with an impressive 9.475 score. Guillermo Alvarez of the USA took silver with a 9.113, while Calgary’s Adam Wong took bronze with an 8.575. O’Neill also picked up a silver medal on vault, where his 9.169 average left him in a three way tie for silver, behind Cuba’s Abell Drigg Santos (9.513), and equal with Fernando Fuentes of Venezuela and Filipe Pena of Chile. The Canadian men picked up two other invidual medals with Wong and Calgary’s Grant Golding taking silver and bronze on parallel bars respectively with scores of 8.988 and 8.85, behind AA champion Drigg Santos who took another gold with a 9.325. Golding and Wong also finished fourth and seventh on rings, scoring 9.3 and 9.275, and Nathan Gafuik, also of Calgary, finished seventh in the high bar finals, scoring 8.375.

Canada was also well reprented in the women’s apparatus finals, with Gymnastics Mississauga’s Alyssa Brown taking bronze in the balance beam event with an 8.988 score. The US women finished 1-2 on the event, led by Chellsie Memmel’s 9.50 and Bianca Flohr’s 9.30. Brown also competed in the vault (9.125) and uneven bars (8.925) where she finished fourth and fifth respectively. Aisha Gerber of Cambridge competed in the floor exercise finals, placing sixth and scoring 8.55.

Canada earned eight medals overall at this year’s championships, which served as a qualifier for the multi-sport Pan American Games scheduled for 2007. Full results from the championships can be found at the following links: men’s results and women’s results.


Canada’s men’s and women’s artistic teams took home bronze medals in the team competition today at the Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The women’s competition was held earlier today, and the Canadian women combined for a 102.179 score in a 4-4-3 format competition, to take the bronze behind the United States and Brazil, who scored 110.959 and 108.691 respectively. Chellsie Memmel of the United States took first place in the all-around, as she did two years ago at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic. Brazilian veteran Daniele Hypolito finished second with her teammate Lais Souza rounding out the podium with the bronze. The top Canadian all-arounder was Gymnastics Mississauga’s Alyssa Brown, who finished 10th with a 34.352. Aisha Gerber of Cambridge finished 12th with 34.226. Gemini’s Brittnee Habbib finished 15th all-around (33.276), while Rebecca Simbhudas of Pulsars ended up 29th (31.214). Full women’s scores can be found here.

The men’s competition concluded tonight, with the United States again taking top spot with a combined score of 159.825, to edge out a very strong team from Puerto Rico, who finished a very close second (159.56). The Canadians scored 158.675 for bronze – a team score that included the top floor score of the day (26.70). Cuba’s Abel Driggs won the all-around with a 54.45, followed by Puerto Rico’s Luis Varga, (54.075) and the host nation’s Joisah Rodrigues (53.175) The top Canadian all-arounder was Nathan Gafuik of U of Calgary (10th with a 52.175), and Canadian all-around champion Adam Wong (Calgary Gymnastics Centre) finished 12th (51.55). The other two Canadian men - Grant Golding (U of Calgary) and Brandon O’Neill (Capital City) did not compete on all events, but put up strong individual scores, including a 9.425 on rings for Golding and a 9.50 and 9.475 respectively on floor and vault for O’Neill. Full men’s scores are available here.

Competition concludes tomorrow with the apparatus finals, where Canada should be well represented.

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