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Archive: April 2006

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Hopfner-Hibbs at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships
Photos courtesy of Brian Jones
(Click for larger images)

The Canadian men’s team took home three of the six senior apparatus gold medals as the Pacific Alliance Championships concluded in Honolulu, Hawaii last night. Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary dominated the men’s floor exercise final, living up to his Olympic gold medal status by taking the gold medal with a 15.60 (6.1 A, 9.5 B). China’s Feng Jing was second (15.025), tied with Japan’s Yosuke Hoshi. Shewfelt also struck gold on the vault, leading a 1-2 Canadian finish on the apparatus with teammate Nathan Gafuik taking silver by a very close margin. (16.375 to 16.312). Bronze went to David Sender of the United States. (16.225). Gafuik, also of Calgary, took Canada’s third gold medal of the evening on the final event the highbar, outclassing the competition with a 15.85 total, which included the best A (6.40) and B (9.45s) of the field. Hoshi took silver for Japan (15.625) followed by countryman Hidetoshi Mizutori (15.60). Grant Golding, al so of Calgary, added to Canada’s medal haul with a bronze medal performance on the pommel horse, scoring 14.65 to finish behind Feng and Tapei’s Lin Hsiang-Wei who scored 15.525 and 15.00 respectively. All four members of Canada’s men’s team (who all train in Calgary) qualified for the apparatus finals, with 2005 national all-around champion Adam Wong finishing in fourth place on floor exercise (14.825). Golding also competed in finals on rings (eighth, 14.525), and parallel bars (fifth, 15.00), and Shewfelt came fifth in the high bar final (15.05).

The Canadian junior and senior women also had a successful final day of competition, taking home five bronze medals between them. In seniors, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Sport Seneca in Toronto was a double bronze medallist in both the balance beam (15.25) and floor exercise (14.875) events. Alyssa Brown of Gymnastics Mississauga took home bronze in the vault event, averaging 14.212 over two vaults. Hopfner-Hibbs also competed in the uneven bars final, finishing fifth (15.125). The United States dominated the apparatus finals, winning all four events and finishing first and second in everything but vault. Jana Bieger took gold in the vault ahead of Mexican veteran Yeny Ibarra (14.912-14.35); all-around co-champion Nastia Liukin took bars ahead of teammate Shayla Worley (15.975-15.40), and finished second to teammate Chellsie Memmel on the balance beam (15.70-15.625), while Memmel finished second to Bieger on floor exercise (15.50-15.40).

In the junior women’s finals, Nansy Damianova of Gymnix took bronze in the vault with a 14.95 score (juniors did only one vault), and Gemini’s Kristina Vaculik added a bronze medal on the uneven bars, with a 14.50. Vaculik also competed in the balance beam finals, scoring 14.05 for seventh place, and floor exercise where her 14.55 left her in sixth.

Team Canada also picked up more medals in the rhythmic and trampoline events, including a 1-2 finish from Yana Tsikaridze and Carly Ovara in the senior ribbon event. In trampoline, Carl Rom-Colthoff took silver in the junior men’s compeition, and in junior women’s Samantha Sendel took bronze. In senior trampoline, two time Olympic medallist Karen Cockburn took bronze, as did Jason Burnett in the senior men’s event.

This has been a highly successful weekend for the Canadian gymnastics teams as they have shown their ability to hit routines under pressure and they continue to show they can be a force to be reckoned with on the international scene. Full results and commentary can be found at the USAG Pacific Alliance Championships homepage.


After leading the competition through five rotations, the Canadian men’s team came within 0.2 of defeating the Olympic champions from Japan at the Pacific Alliance Championships in Hawaii last night. In the end Japan took the gold with a 268.80, with Canada scoring 268.60. Canada finished ahead of traditional gymnastics powers China, the United States, and Korea who finished fourth through sixth respectively. The top all-arounder Nathan Gafuik, who took the bronze medal with a combined 90.45 points. China went one-two in the all-around, led by Lu B0 and 2001 world all-around champion Feng Jing who scored 91.05 and 90.45. Canada’s other all-arounder, national all-around champion Adam Wong finished 10th with an 86.75 score. The other two Canadian men split events, with Olympic champion Kyle Shewfelt outscoring the field on his two best events, floor exercise (15.45) and vault (16.55), while Grant Golding put up strong scores on the pommel horse (14.90) and parallel bars (15.45). All four men’s team members train in Calgary, Alberta.

The Canadian senior rhythmic team also took silver in the team competition yesterday, just behind the United States. In the all-around competition, Yana Tsikaridze took the silver medal with a total of 52.000, two points ahead of teammate Carly Orava who took bronze with 50.00. Cynthia Valdez of Mexico took the gold, scoring 53.250. The other Canadian team members were Stefanie Carew and Rachel Cossar. The junior rhythmic team took bronze behind the United States and China. The top all-arounder was Demetra Mantcheva in fifth. Jessica Ho finished 11th,Katya Zaitseva 12th, and Rossie Cossar 14th.

Canada will be well represented in the apparatus finals and the competition concludes today. Full results including commentary from the senior artistic events can be found at the USA Gymnastics Pacific Alliance site.


Canada’s senior women’s team took home the bronze medal last night at the Pacific Alliance Championships in Hawaii. Led by strong all-around performances by Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Sport Seneca and Gymnastics Mississauga’s Alyssa Brown, team Canada totaled 172.05 to take the bronze medal behind the United States (183.15) and Australia (177.05). Hopfner-Hibbs and Brown, both fresh off of a multi-medal effort at the Commonwealth Games, ranked fourth and sixth respectively in the official all-around standings, scoring 58.95 and 57.70 respectively. The format of the Pacific Alliance Championships allows every gymnast to compete on all events, but only two athletes per event are eligible for a placement in the all-around. Hopfner-Hibbs took her best mark on the uneven bars, a 15.05 which included a 6.6 A score, which equaled the highest A score for any athlete on any event. Brown scored a 14.70 on vault to take her best score. The other two Canadian team members, Aisha Gerber of Cambridge Kips and Marci Bernholtz had an inconsistent day, with multiple falls between them. Still, Bernholtz qualified for the vault final with a 13.625 average.

The American women took the top three scores in the all-around, with world all-around champion Chellsie Memmel tying for first place with teammate Nastia Liukin with a 61.05 total. Interestingly, the two gymnasts should have shared the gold medal at last year’s world championships, with the gold going to Memmel by 0.001 due to the truncating of scores. This is the second major international meet under the new code of points to involve a tie in the women’s all-around, after Hopfner-Hibbs tied with Australian Chloe Simms at the Commonwealth Games, with Hopfner-Hibbs being relegated to second due to a controversial tie break procedure. Jana Bieger put up the third best all-around total, just 0.05 behind her two teammates, but the bronze medal officially went to Australia’s Hollie Dykes with a 60.55.

Competition continues today and tomorrow. Official results including commentary from the senior women’s team event can be found at the USA Gymnastics Pacific Alliance Website.


The Pacific Alliance Championships are currently talking place in Hawaii, and the Canadian junior women got the team off to an excellent start tonight by finishing second in the team competition. The heavily favoured Americans took first place, scoring 181.450, defeating the Canadians by over 10 points. Team Canada earned 171.30, just edging out team China who scored 171.05. The American women dominated the all-around, with their gymnasts finishing first through fourth. Shawn Johnson scored 61.00 for first place, with Bianca Flohr ranking second (60.15) followed by Shantessa Pama (60.15) and Rebecca Bross (59.70). The top Canadian scorer was Nansy Damianova of Gymnix, who ranked sixth and scored 58.10. She showed significant increases to her A score compared to the recent international meet hosted by her home club, and took her best score of 14.60 on vault. . Finishing just behind Damianova in the all-around standings was Kristina Vaculik of Gemini, who scored 57.45. Vaculik’s best score was 14.80 on floor exercise, and notably she had A scores of 6.0 on both uneven bars and balance beam, the highest for team Canada on any event. Brittany Rogers and Charlotte Mackie, both of Omega Gymnastics, finished 15th and 16th respectively, scoring 55.05 and 54.85. Both gymnasts took their best scores on the floor exercise, scoring 14.4 and 14.7 respectively.

Competition continues later tonight with the senior women’s team and all-around events. Full results (which are being updated after each rotation during the competition) can be found at the USA Gymnastics Pacific Alliance site.


Willis and Patulli 4th and 5th AA
Photo courtesy of Dave and Liz Brubaker (Click for larger image)

Emma Willis of Bluewater gymnastics in Sarnia and Wimgym’s Dawn Patulli (Beaconsfield, Quebec) finished fourth and fifth respectively in the all-around at the Romanian International Championships earlier today. Willis scored 53.00 across four events, just edging out teammate Patulli who scored 52.95. Willis, 13 and competing in only her second overseas competition said she was “pleased and surprised” with her showing, particularly on the uneven bars where she qualified for tomorrow’s apparatus finals. Patulli, who has previously represented Canada internationally in France and Mexico, qualified for beam finals where she was pleased to have made her new dismount (a 2 1 /2 twist), and said that her overall result was “very satisfying.” Romania’s Sandra Izbasa took first place in the all-around competition. Complete results are not yet available at this time. Apparatus finals take place tomorrow.


Pottsville Gymnastics is hosting their annual Friendship Classic competition this weekend. Last night featured the elite competition, with four Canadians taking part. Nicole Heikkila was the top placing Canadian, finishing 5th AA and second on beam. Cynthia Lemieux placed 7th AA, followed by Lisa-Marie Farley. In the junior division, Kim Levesque placed 5th overall.

Senior All-Around
1. Mayu Kuroda JPN 56.300
2. Kayla Hoffman USA 56.200
3. Christine Nguyen USA 55.350
4. Olivia Vivian AUS 54.050
5. Nicole Heikkila CAN 53.900
6. Kailey Tissue USA 53.500
7. Cynthia Lemieux CAN 52.100
8. Lisa-Marie Farley CAN 50.400

Senior Vault
1. Christine Nguyen USA 14.650
2. Kayla Hoffman USA 14.350
3. Kailey Tissue USA 13.600

Senior Uneven Bars
1. Darya Zgoba UKR 15.550
2. Mayu Kuroda JPN 15.450
3. Olivia Vivian AUS 14.950

Senior Balance Beam
1. Darya Zgoba UKR 14.750
2. Nicole Heikkila CAN 14.500
3. Christine Nguyen USA 14.300

Senior Floor Exercise
1. Kayla Hoffman USA 14.700
2. Mayu Kuroda JPN 14.550
3. Kailey Tissue USA 13.400

Junior All-Around
1. Catherine Nguyen USA 55.500
2. Alia Mustafina RUS 55.350
3. Valeria Savelyeva UKR 52.850
4. Carol Byrnes USA 51.500
5. Kim Levesque CAN 49.250

Junior Vault
1. Alia Mustafina RUS 13.700
2. Catherine Nguyen USA 13.200
3. Valeria Savelyeva UKR 13.100

Junior Uneven Bars
1. Catherine Nguyen USA 13.950
2. Alia Mustafina RUS 13.250
3. Valeria Savelyeva UKR 13.050

Junior Balance Beam
1. Alia Mustafina RUS 14.800
2. Catherine Nguyen USA 14.600
3. Valeria Savelyeva UKR 14.100

Junior Floor Exercise
1. Catherine Nguyen USA 13.750
2. Alia Mustafina RUS 13.600
3. Carol Byrnes USA 13.450



The roster for the upcoming 2006 Pacific Alliance team has been announced, and Canada is field a strong contingent. The senior men's team will be led by 2004 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Shewfelt. Joining him are fellow Calgarians Adam Wong, Grant Golding, and Nathan Gafuik.

Marci Bernholtz, Canada, sr. women (71)

Alyssa Brown, Canada, sr. women (72)

Jason Burnett, Canada, sr. men's trampoline (153)

Stefanie Carew, Canada, sr. rhythmic gymnastics (204)

Anita Cirillo, Canada, jr. women's trampoline (193)

Karen Cockburn, Canada, sr. women's trampoline (177)

Rosie Cossar, Canada, jr. rhythmic gymnastics (231)

Rachel Cossar, Canada, sr. rhythmic gymnastics (205)

Nansy Damianoba, Canada, jr. women (102)

Nathan Gafuik, Canada, sr. men (7)

Aisha Gerber, Canada, sr. women (73)

Grant Golding, Canada, sr. men (8)

Jessica Ho , Canada, jr. rhythmic gymnastics (232)

Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, Canada, sr. women (74)

Charlotte Mackie, Canada, jr. women (103)

Rosannagh Maclennan, Canada, sr. women's trampoline (178)

Demetra Mantcheva, Canada, jr. rhythmic gymnastics (233)

Carly Orava, Canada, sr. rhythmic gymnastics (206)

Brittany Rogers, Canada, jr. women (104)

Carl Rom-Colthoff, Canada, jr. men's trampoline (170)

Samantha Sendel, Canada, jr. women's trampoline (194)

Kyle Shewfelt, Canada, sr. men (9)

Kyle Soehn, Canada, jr. men's trampoline (171)

Charles Thibault, Canada, sr. men's trampoline (154)

Yana Tsikaridze, Canada, sr. rhythmic gymnastics (207)

Kristina Vaculik, Canada, jr. women (105)

Adam Wong, Canada, sr. men (10)

Katya Zaitseva, Canada, jr. rhythmic gymnastics (234)

A full roster roster is available at USAG, host federation of this event.


Kiev played host last weekend to the Stella Zakharova Cup. Canadians Stefanie Paccito and Jennifer Lezeu placed 15th and 16th AA, respectively. Both girls qualified to event finals, where Paccito achieved Canada's highest placement, 5th place on vault. She also placed 6th on bars and 7th on floor. Lezeu finished 8th on both vault and floor. China's Zhang Xing won the AA competition and beam title. Top on bars was the Czech Republic's Krystina Palesova. The host nation took top honors on vault thanks to Valeria Maksyuta and floor thanks to 2004 Olympian Olga Scherbatykh.

2006 Stella Zakharova Cup
March 25-26, Kiev

Women's All-Around
1. Zhang Xing CHN 57.300
2. Anastasia Koval UKR2 57.150
3. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR1 57.100
4. Olga Kozich UKR 56.950
5. Marina Sergiyenko UKR1 56.850
5. Olga Scherbatykh UKR1 56.850
7. Hu Yuhong CHN 56.650
8. Alina Kozich UKR2 56.500
9. Krystina Palesova CZE 56.450
9. Jiang Yuyuan CHN 56.450
11. Gaelle Mys BEL 55.700
12. Dorina Boszogo HUN 55.100
13. Valentina Golenkova UKR1 55.000
14. Valeria Maksyuta UKR2 54.400
15. Stefanie Paccito CAN 54.200
16. Jennifer Lezeu CAN 53.700
17. Angelina Kislaya UKR 53.550
18. Momoko Ozawa JPN 53.400
19. Ainur Agayeva UKR 53.200
20. Tatiana Golubitskaya UKR2 53.050
21. Mei Kusuda JPN 52.900
22. Valeria Savelieva UKR 52.650
23. Galina Ivanets BLR 52.550
24. Stephanie van Meerbeeck BEL 52.000
25. Eva Verbova CZE 51.700
26. Kriszta Szarka HUN 51.100
26. Cindy Rauwe BEL 51.100
28. Olesya Ischenko UKR 50.900
29. Martina Strnadova CZE 50.500
30. Bojana Peranovich CRO 50.400
31. Martina Stoyshig CRO 50.000
32. Lus de Neve BEL 49.900
33. Tanja Delladio CRO 49.400
34. Tina Tkalcec CRO 49.300
35. Marija Fister CRO 49.250
36. Oksana Novikova BLR 48.850
37. Szandra Kekegzi HUN 48.600
38. Karina Topalova KAZ 48.350
39. Lyudmila Dmitranitsa BLR 47.900
40. Orsolya Nagy HUN 46.050
41. Alyona Gorbach BLR 45.950
42. Olga Mokhovtsova BLR 45.050
43. Deng Ying CHN 42.350
44. Olga Dunaytseva UKR 40.950
45. Tatiana Lariyna BLR 36.200
46. Natalie Simon BEL 35.250

Women's Vault
1. Valeria Maksyuta UKR 14.250
2. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 14.175
3. Ying Deng CHN 13.475
3. Dorina Boszogo HUN 13.475
5. Stephanie Paccito CAN 12.950
6. Tanja Delladio CRO 12.275
7. Kriszta Szarka HUN 12.150
8. Jennifer Lezeu CAN 12.000

Uneven Bars
1. Krystina Palesova CZE 15.250
2. Hu Yuhong CHN 15.200
3. Anastasia Koval UKR 15.100
4. Jiang Yuyuan CHN 14.950
5. Valentina Golenkova UKR 14.550
6. Stephanie Paccito CAN 13.300
7. Gaelle Mys BEL 12.550
8. Dorina Boszogo HUN 11.800

Balance Beam
1. Zhang Xing CHN 15.800
2. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 14.950
3. Hu Yuhong CHN 14.750
4. Krystina Palesova CZE 14.650
5. Alina Kozich UKR 14.500
6. Galina Ivanets BLR 14.250
7. Mei Kusuda JPN 14.100
8. Momoko Ozawa JPN 12.700

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Olga Scherbatykh UKR 14.900
2. Zhang Xing CHN 14.800
3. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR 14.600
4. Jiang Yuyuan CHN 13.950
4. Stephanie van Meerbeeck BEL 13.950
6. Gaelle Mys BEL 13.700
7. Stephanie Paccito CAN 13.500
8. Jennifer Lezeu CAN 11.300