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Archive: March 2006

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World floor exercise silver medalist Brandon O’Neill of Edmonton took home a second medal at the Cottbus Cup, held last weekend in Germany. On Saturday O'Neill captured silver in the floor exercise. O'Neill took took honors on vault Sunday, the outstanding performance surprising even him. ‘’This was totally unexpected," O'Neill confided. ‘’I’ve never even medaled on vault before at a World Cup. But I had two unbelievable ones today."

Fellow Canadians Ken Ikeda and Rebecca Simbhudas also competed in the finals, Sunday. Ikeda placed eighth on pommel horse while Simbhudas finished seventh on beam.

Full results can be found at Gymmedia.


Golden Girl in Melbourne
Photo by Grace Chiu

Canadian rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Orlando arrived in Melbourne with a lofty goal; sweep all rhythmic gold medals. Today she fulfilled that dream, adding gold on all apparatus finals to her team and all-around victories. In doing so, she ties the all-time record for most medals won at a Commonwealth Games. She also now holds the record for most golds won in her sport, at a Commonwealth Games.

For Orlando, the thrills just kept coming. Prince Edward presented her with her ball medal, and she's been named to carry the Canadian flag in tonight's closing ceremonies.


World floor exercise silver medalist Brandon O’Neill of Edmonton took home a silver medal on his best event today at the Cottbus World Cup competition in Germany, with teammate Ken Ikeda of Abbotsford, B.C. taking bronze on the pommel horse. O’Neill took out some difficulty in his routine, finishing with a full twisting double back instead of the double-double he normally does; he had missed the pass in prelims and has been battling minor injuries since arriving in Germany. O’Neill scored 15.425, nearly three tenths behind first place finisher Diego Hypolito of Brazil. Hypolito and O’Neill also finished first and second on floor at last year’s world championships. Ukraine’s Yevgeny Bogonosyuk took bronze with a 15.425.

In the pommel horse final, Ikeda hit a clean set with a 5.7 difficulty level (one of the lower A scores in the final) to score 14.875 to take the bronze medal behind Krisztian Berki of Hungary and Germany’s Thomas Andergassen, who scored 15.575 and 15.00 respectively.

Marci Bernholtz of ASF in Richmond Hill also competed in today’s apparatus finals, finishing eighth on the uneven bars. She successfully caught her new transition skill, a toe-on Khorkina 2 both days, but stumbled on her dismount in today’s final to score slightly lower than she had in qualifying (13.7 versus 14.15). Competition concludes tomorrow with the finals in the vault, parallel bars, and high bar for the men and the balance beam and floor exercise for the women. O’Neill will represent Canada in the vault, Ikeda in the parallel bars, and Rebecca Simbhudas in the balance beam.

Full results can be found at IG online and Gymmedia, including detailed reports on the competition.


Canadian rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Orlando captured the all-around title today in Melbourne, at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She finished nearly four full points ahead of Malaysia's Durratun Nashihin Rosli, who's 50.825 total was good enough for silver. Canada's Yana Tsikaridze took bronze, with 49.575 points. Full results are available at the 2006 Commonwealth Games web site.

Competition concludes tomorrow with the apparatus finals.



Qualifications were held today in Cottbus, Germany at the Cottbus Cup. Canadians Brandon O'Neill and Ken Ikeda rebounded after a disappointing World Cup in France last weekend. O'Neill qualified to two finals, vault (4th place) and floor (7th). He also placed 23rd on the parallel bars and 26th on high bar. Ken Ikeda also qualified to two finals, pommel horse (4th) and parallel bars (6th). He also placed 19th on vault and 23rd on floor.

Joining the men in Cottbus this weekend are representatives from Canada's women's national team, Marci Bernholtz and Rebecca Simbhudas. Both girls have recently recovered from the flu. Bernholtz qualified to the bars final in 8th, also finishing 10th on vault, 12th on beam, and 15th on floor. Simbhudas earned a spot in the beam final, qualifying in 6th position. She also finished 15th on vault, 17th on bars, and 15th on floor. 

Apparatus finals begin Saturday and conclude Sunday.

Qualifying scores:

Women's Vault
1. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 14.700
2. Jana Bieger USA 14.500
3. Jana Komrskova CZE 14.425
4. Lais Souza BRA 14.400
5. Katja Abel GER 14.150
6. Joanna Skowronska POL 14.150
7. Veronica Wagner SWE 13.675
8. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 13.600
9. Irina Isayeva RUS 13.550
10. Marci Bernholtz CAN 13.500
11. Laura Gombas HUN 13.400
12. Joanna Litewka POL 13.375
13. Andrea Gufler AUT 13.150
14. Nadezhda Vysotskaya BLR 13.125
15. Rebecca Simbhudas CAN 13.100
16. Noora Lappetaläinen FIN 13.000
17. Huang Lu CHN 13.000
18. Sandra Mayer AUT 12.875
19. An-Katrin Perdieus BEL 12.875

Uneven Bars
1. Li Ya CHN 15.850
2. Jenny Brunner GER 14.750
3. Jana Sikulova CZE 14.700
4. Tania Gener ESP 14.550
5. Jana Bieger USA 14.450
6. Irina Isayeva RUS 14.450
7. Polina Miller RUS 14.300
8. Marci Bernholtz CAN 14.150
9. Laura Campos ESP 14.100
10. Joanna Skowronska POL 13.600
11. Sandra Mayer AUT 13.550
12. Viktoria Makshtarova BLR 13.500
13. Katja Abel GER 13.400
14. Tali Liak ISR 13.300
15. Huang Lu CHN 13.300
16. Tanja Gratt AUT 13.250
17. Rebecca Simbhudas CAN 13.200
18. Marta Pihan POL 13.200
19. Steliana Nistor ROM 13.050
20. Jana Komrskova CZE 12.700
21. Noora Lappetaläinen FIN 12.600
22. Lais Souza BRA 12.550
23. Dora Sarpaneva FIN 11.500
24. Laura Gombas HUN 11.400
25. An-Katrin Perdieus BEL 10.400

Balance Beam
1. Jana Bieger USA 15.250
2. Steliana Nistor ROM 14.900
3. Irina Isayeva RUS 14.650
4. Lais Souza BRA 14.600
5. Li Ya CHN 14.400
6. Rebecca Simbhudas CAN 14.250
7. Veronica Wagner SWE 14.150
8. Lenika de Simona ESP 14.150
9. Jana Komrskova CZE 14.100
10. Catalina Ponor ROM 14.100
11. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 13.900
12. Marci Bernholtz CAN 13.650
13. Katja Abel GER 13.550
14. Viktoria Makshtarova BLR 13.500
15. Laura Campos ESP 13.500
16. Marta Pihan POL 13.500
17. Veronika Ozanova CZE 13.250
18. Vered Finkel ISR 13.050
19. Dora Sarpaneva FIN 12.850
20. Joanna Litewka POL 12.400
21. Andrea Gufler AUT 12.400
22. Adela Sajn SLO 12.350
23. Laura Gombas HUN 12.050
24. Svenja Hickel GER 12.000
25. An-Katrin Perdieus BEL 11.900
26. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 11.550
27. Tali Liak ISR 11.450
28. Noora Lappetaläinen FIN 10.650

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Irina Isayeva RUS 14.350
2. Lenika de Simona ESP 14.350
3. Marta Pihan POL 13.900
4. Lais Souza BRA 13.800
5. Catalina Ponor ROM 13.700
6. Laura Gombas HUN 13.650
7. Tania Gener ESP 13.400
8. Jenny Brunner GER 13.250
9. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 13.200
10. An-Katrin Perdieus BEL 13.100
11. Veronica Wagner SWE 13.100
12. Katja Abel GER 13.000
13. Veronika Ozanova CZE 12.950
14. Andrea Gufler AUT 12.800
15. Marci Bernholtz CAN 12.800
16. Rebecca Simbhudas CAN 12.700
17. Vered Finkel ISR 12.650
18. Noora Lappetaläinen FIN 12.350
19. Jana Sikulova CZE 12.300
20. Adela Sajn SLO 12.200
21. Nadezhda Vysotskaya BLR 11.950
22. Joanna Litewka POL 11.250

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Diego Hypolito BRA 15.600
2. Takuya Nakase JPN 15.300
3. Tomas Gonzalez CHI 14.900
4. Yevgeny Bogonsyuk UKR 14.750
5. Robert Gal HUN 14.750
6. Fabian Hambüchen GER 14.600
7. Brandon O'Neill CAN 14.600
8. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 14.550
9. Niki Böschenstein SUI 14.500
10. Luiz Augusto dos Anjos BRA 14.200
11. Anatoly Vasilyev RUS 14.100
12. Eugen Spiridonov GER 14.100
13. Sean Golden USA 13.850
14. Alin Jivan ROM 13.800
15. Razvan Selariu ROM 13.800
16. David Vyoral CZE 13.750
17. Samuel Piasecky SVK 13.700
18. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 13.600
19. Mohamed Serour Sayed EGY 13.600
20. Ivica Bago CRO 13.600
21. Kostas Barmpakis GRE 13.600
22. Martin Konecny CZE 13.600
23. Marco Baldauf AUT 13.550
24. Sain Autalipov KAZ 13.550
25. Thomas Christensen DEN 13.450
26. Flavio Franconi SUI 13.350
27. Felipe Pina CHI 13.150
28. Vitaly Kardashovs LAT 13.050
29. Tomislav Marcovic CRO 13.050
30. Sascha Palgen LUX 12.900

Pommel Horse
1. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.400
2. Krisztian Berki HUN 15.250
3. Zhang Hongtao CHN 15.100
4. Ken Ikeda CAN 15.000
5. Thomas Andergassen GER 14.900
6. Sasha Artemev USA 14.900
7. Robert Seligman CRO 14.850
8. Anatoly Vasilyev RUS 14.700
9. Jose Luis Fernandez ESP 14.650
10. Vig Hidvegi HUN 14.450
11. Hitoshi Aoyama JPN 14.400
12. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 14.050
13. Sascha Palgen LUX 13.850
14. Thierry Wilmes LUX 13.850
15. Eugen Spiridonov GER 13.800
16. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 13.700
17. Riku Koivunen FIN 13.650
18. Kensuke Murata JPN 13.600
19. Roman Kulesza POL 13.550
20. Andreu Vivo ESP 13.550
21. Anton Fokin UZB 13.550
22. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 13.500
23. Claudio Capelli SUI 13.400
24. Philippe Sager SUI 13.300
25. Jhonny Parra VEN 12.900
26. Sid Ali Ferrojani ALG 12.900
27. Fabian Leinlehner AUT 12.750
28. Marco Baldauf AUT 12.600
29. Saso Bertonceli SLO 12.300
30. Luiz Augusto dos Anjos BRA 11.800

Still Rings
1. Alexander Safoshkin RUS 16.200
2. Chen Yibing CHN 16.100
3. Yuri van Gelder NED 16.000
4. Roman Zozulya UKR 15.950
5. Thomas Andergassen GER 15.450
6. Walid Said Abdalla Eldariny EGY 15.400
7. Alexander Vorobyov UKR 15.400
8. Takuya Nakase JPN 15.350
9. Ildar Valeyev KAZ 15.150
10. Sean Golden USA 14.950
11. Roland Kiraly HUN 14.900
12. Razvan Selariu ROM 14.850
13. Roger Sager SUI 14.700
14. Olli Torkkel FIN 14.600
15. Yan Mingyong CHN 14.450
16. Robert Weber GER 14.400
17. David Hirschorn DEN 14.350
18. Carmona Regulo VEN 14.350
19. Mathias Lee Hansen DEN 14.300
20. Krzysztof Muchorski POL 14.250
21. Fatch Ait Saada ALG 13.800
22. Flavio Franconi SUI 13.650
23. David Vyoral CZE 13.600
24. Alin Jivan ROM 13.600
25. Anton Fokin UZB 13.550
26. Yevgeny Zorins LAT 12.900

Men's Vault
1. Diego Hypolito BRA 16.100
2. Robert Gal HUN 16.050
3. Fabian Hambüchen GER 16.000
4. Brandon O'Neill CAN 15.950
5. Feng Zhe CHN 15.925
6. Sean Golden USA 15.900
7. Andrei Isayev UKR 15.725
8. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 15.725
9. Eugen Spiridonov GER 15.700
10. Martin Konecny CZE 15.675
11. Alin Jivan ROM 15.675
12. Anatoly Vasilyev RUS 15.675
13. Vitaly Kardashovs LAT 15.575
14. Takuya Nakase JPN 15.550
15. Ivica Bago CRO 15.550
16. Niki Böschenstein SUI 15.525
17. Felipe Pina CHI 15.500
18. Tomas Gonzalez CHI 15.400
19. Ken Ikeda CAN 15.350
20. Fernando Fuentes VEN 15.325
21. Flavio Franconi SUI 15.325
22. Sascha Palgen LUX 15.200
23. Razvan Selariu ROM 15.050
24. Sain Autalipov KAZ 15.025
25. Mohamed Serour Sayed EGY 14.775
26. David Vyoral CZE 14.700

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 16.050
2. Feng Zhe CHN 15.850
3. Vasilios Tsolakidis GRE 15.550
4. Anton Fokin UZB 15.300
5. Roman Kulesza POL 15.200
6. Ken Ikeda CAN 15.150
7. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 15.100
8. Fabian Hambüchen GER 15.100
9. Claudio Capelli SUI 15.050
10. Andreu Vivo ESP 15.000
11. Kensuke Murata JPN 15.000
12. Hitoshi Aoyama JPN 14.950
13. Eugen Spiridonov GER 14.900
14. Andrei Isayev UKR 14.750
15. Walid Said Abdalla Eldariny EGY 14.700
16. Philippe Sager SUI 14.700
17. Riku Koivunen FIN 14.650
18. Alexander Artemev USA 14.600
19. Luiz Augusto dos Anjos BRA 14.550
20. Adam Kierzkowski POL 14.400
21. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 14.350
22. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.350
23. Brandon O'Neill CAN 14.150
24. Alexander Safoshkin RUS 13.900
25. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 13.850
26. Ildar Valeyev KAZ 13.800
27. Daniel Popescu ROM 13.600
28. Jose Luis Fernandez ESP 13.350
29. Sascha Palgen LUX 12.800
30. Yevgeny Zorins LAT 12.350
31. Fabian Leinlehner AUT 12.350

High Bar
1. Christoph Schärer SUI 15.800
2. Hitoshi Aoyama JPN 15.450
3. Fabian Hambüchen GER 15.350
4. Vlasis Maras GRE 15.350
5. Roger Sager SUI 15.100
6. Anatoly Vasilyev RUS 15.050
7. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 14.800
8. Kensuke Murata JPN 14.800
9. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 14.700
10. Luiz Augusto dos Anjos BRA 14.600
11. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 14.500
12. Epke Zonderland NED 14.450
13. Roman Kulesza POL 14.450
14. Marco Baldauf AUT 14.400
15. Jose Luis Fernandez ESP 14.350
16. Marko Brez CRO 14.350
17. Ken Ikeda CAN 14.300
18. Riku Koivunen FIN 14.200
19. Martin Konecny CZE 14.200
20. Robert Weber GER 14.150
21. Andreu Vivo ESP 14.100
22. Marijo Moznik CRO 13.900
23. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 13.800
24. Yevgeny Bogonsyuk UKR 13.650
25. Samuel Piasecky SVK 13.100
26. Brandon O'Neill CAN 12.750
27. Thomas Christensen DEN 12.150
28. Yevgeny Zorins LAT 12.000
29. Fabian Leinlehner AUT 10.450


Team Canada wins gold
Photo by Grace Chiu

Team Canada captured the gold medal in yesterday's team competition in Melbourne, at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Alexandra Orlando led the team, which included Carly Orava and Yana Tsikaridze, to a total 128.775 points. Malaysia finished second (124.175) and Australia third (117.175). Rhythmic competition continues with the all-around and event finals.


The Canadian gymnasts continued their medal haul today as the apparatus finals continued at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. On the first day of apparatus finals yesterday, Calgary’s Adam Wong upset the reigning Olympic floor exercise champion Kyle Shewfelt, also of Calgary, after Shewfelt fell on his opening piked Arabian double front. Wong took home the gold with a 14.975, ahead of Shu Wai Ng of Malaysia and Shewfelt who scored 14.85 and 14.7 respectively. In the other men’s events from day one of finals, Calgary’s Grant Golding took bronze on one of his best events the pommel horse, scoring 14.875. Finishing in fourth was David Kikuchi of Halifax, who scored 14.525. Gold and silver went to England’s Louis Smith and Australia’s Prashanth Sellathurai who scored 15.775 and 15.60 respectively. Two Canadian men also competed in the pommel horse finals but finished out of the medals in fourth (Golding) and fifth (Wong) respectively.

Canada also took medals on the women’s side on day one, with Gymnastics Mississauga’s Alyssa Brown taking silver on the vault behind England’s Imogen Cairns 14.325 to 14.275. Brown’s Yurchenko 1 ½ was the highest scoring vault in the finals. Bronze went to Australia’s Naomi Russel who averaged 14.137. All-around silver medalist Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Sport Seneca erased some of the disappointment of losing co-gold in the all-around after a controversial tie-breaker by winning the uneven bars gold outright. She scored a 15.1 for her intricate routine that had highest A score in the final. Second went to England’s Shavahn Church (14.875) with bronze to Australian Monette Russo (14.85). Hopfner-Hibbs also finished seventh in the vault.

Canada’s medal haul continued on the final day of competition, with Hopfner-Hibbs taking another gold with a solid effort on the balance beam, scoring 14.95 to edge out Australia’s Hollie Dykes who took silver with 14.925. Bronze went to England’s Becky Downie (14.075). Brown finished eighth in the final. Hopfner-Hibbs also competed on floor exercise, being the only woman to qualify for all four apparatus finals, where she finished out of the medals in sixth.

For the men, Shewfelt successfully defended his gold medal in the vault with an average of 16.337 average. All-around silver medalist Nathan Gafuik took silver with a 16.112, with Australia’s Samuel Offord rounding out the podium in third (15.862). Canada again struck gold in the parallel bars competition, with 3 time Commowealth Games competitor Golding living up to his name and taking the title with a 15.45 score. Finishing second and third were Australians Phillippe Rizzo and all-around titlist Joshua Jefferis (15.275 and 14.80 respectively). Canada finished outside of the medals on the horizontal bar, finishing sixth (Gafuik, 14.60) and seventh (Shewfelt, 14.525) respectively.

Complete results and scores can be found at the official 2006 Commonwealth Games website.


In the first international competition in Canada to use the new code of points, two countries swept the all-around medals in the junior and senior categories at the Gymnix International Invitational yesterday in Montreal. For the senior women, Japan`s Miki Uemura took first place, scoring 56.55 across four events, as well as taking the highest individual scores on the balance beam and uneven bars. She was followed in the all-around by teammates Manami Ishizaka (a 2004 Olympian) and 2005 world uneven bars finalist Mayu Kuroda, who scored 55.45 and 55.40 respectively. All of the Japanese gymnasts showed clean execution throughout, showing good body line and polish particularly on the uneven bars. Top skills for Uemura were a stalder 1 1/2 to Jaeger combination on bars and a Yurchenko-full on vault. Ishizaka showed some nice elgrip pirouette work into a Tkatchev and full-in dismount, as well as a full-in on floor. Though she surprisngly did not score highest on the event, Kuroda was by far the most impressive on the uneven bars, with an elgrip giant with full pirouette to elgrip, Bi-pirouette to Jaeger combo, and a stuck and tight double front dismount.

The top Canadian senior was Aisha Gerber of Cambridge, who fell on bars (stalder-shoot to high bar) as well as improvising some missed pirouettes, and beam (two footed layout mount before suffering another fall during the routine). She finished well on vault, with a double twisting Yurchenko and a handspring front tuck 1/2 for event finals qualification. Gerber totaled 54.95 across 4 events. Finishing just behind Gerber with 53.80 was Marci Bernholtz, who had an up and down day after recently recovering from a bout with the flu as well as an injured knee. She did not show full difficulty, and despite falls off bars (toe-on Khorkina 2), and beam, she finished with two strong vaults (Yurchenko-full and piked front). The next two ranked Canadians were Dawn Patulli of Wimgym (53.40 points in sixth) and Crystal Gilmore (52.95) in 8th. Patulli showed some of the cleanest gymnastics of the day and was having a terrific meet until her last event where she missed a front aerial on beam as well as her 2 1/2 twist dismount. She had beautiful form throughout however. Gilmore had the second best floor score of the day (14.55) and upgraded her second pass to end with a 2 1/2 twist. She also showed new skills on beam (layout mount to two feet, which she missed) and a 2 1/2 twist dismount.

In the junior women's all-around, Samantha Pezsek of the US hit four strong events, beginning with the balance beam where she showed a standing full twist into a back pike. On floor, like many of her teammates she showed five tumbling passes: a double arabian, 2 1/2 twist to front tuck full, a side pass of a round off 1 1/2 twist, a piked full-in and a triple twist. She also vaulted a Yurchenko double twist. She totaled 58.80 points. Finishing second was teammate Bridget Sloan who vaulted a nice Yurchenko 1 1/2 for the top score of the day for the juniors on that event and showed clean and dynamic work throughout the competition. Sloan`s score of 58.20 edged out teammate Shawn Johnson for the bronze. Johnson totaled 57.95 after falling from the balance beam in her first event. She was another dynamic performer, showing a huge yurchenko double twist on vault, a piked full-in and double arabian on floor, and a full twisting double layout off bars. Shantessa Pama, the fourth American, finished fourth with a 55.10, just edging out home club's Nansy Damianova who scored 55.00. Pama, known for her incredible shoulder flexibility on bars, did well with her difficult jam dislocate to Jaeger and German giants, but fell on a low to high transition and struggled with some of her easier handstand elements. She shone on floor however with some of the best choreography of the day, as well as five passes: arabian double front, piked full-in, a 2 1/2 twist side pass, a front full layout to front full tuck, and a double pike. Damianova`s 14.80 on the uneven bars was the top junior score on that event. She included a Maloney to overshoot HS combination, a giant-full Tkatchev, and a toe-on blind turn to double front dismount. She was also strong on vault (Yurchenko-full) and floor (piked full-in, two whips through to double tuck, and double pike). Two falls off beam hurt her all-around chances, but she should be given credit to nailing one of her most difficult elements late in her exercise after already falling twice: a round-off layout to two feet.

There were some other strong performances by the Canadian junior women. Charlotte Mackie and Brittney Rogers of Omega finished 6th and 7th respectively with very clean work throughout. Rogers and Mackie are not age eligible for the 2008 Olympics. Gemini's Kristina Vaculik who finished 8th is age eligible for the next games and despite a few misses here (triple twist on floor, Tkatchev on bars) she showed why she dominated last year's Elite Canada meet with very clean and powerful work througout. This is her first meet since Elite Canada, having spent a lot of time resting a nagging soreness to her heals. Finishing in 11th despite hitting a solid four for four effort was Bluewater's Emma Willis. She hit many difficult skills, including a standing arabian on beam, a piked full-in and double arabian on floor, and an elgrip endo to elgrip giant 1/2 to Tkatchev on bars. Her coach, Liz Brubaker, explained that they did not include everything in her routines for this meet which affected some of her A scores, particulary on bars. Her 11th place was perhaps a consequence of the new code, as her performance would have indicated something better. Finishing just ahead of Willis in 10th was Seneca's Carly Magnacca, who tried some big skills including a double arabian on floor and a high Gienger on bars. Magnacca and Willis scored 51.50 and 51.15 respectively.

Competition concludes today with the apparatus finals. Full results can by found at the gymnix web site. http://www.gymnix.com/fichiers/fichiers_competition_annuelle/Resultats_web.pdf


It was a difficult day for Canadians Brandon O'Neill and Ken Ikeda today, in Lyons, France. Neither managed to qualify to a final at tomorrow's World Cup. O'Neill came closest on his specialty, the floor exercise. A missed dismount (he touched down on his double-double) dropped him to ninth, with only top 8 advancing to finals. O'Neill also finished 10th on vault, 11th on parallel bars, and 30th on high bar. 

Teammate Ken Ikeda's best placement came on the pommel horse, where he finished 12th. He also competed vault (19th), parallel bars (15th), and high bar (23rd).

Next week the pair compete in Cottbus, Germany. Joining them will be Canadians Rebecca Simbhudas and Marci Bernholtz

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Diego Hypolito BRA 15.900
2. Marian Dragulescu ROM 15.700
3. Zou Kai CHN 15.550
4. Dmitry Savitski BLR 15.300
5. Robert Gal HUN 15.250
6. Mohamed Serour EGY 15.150
7. Konstantinos Barmpakis GRE 14.900
8. Ryota Suzuki JPN 14.850
9. Brandon O'Neill CAN 14.850
10. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 14.750
11. Yevgeny Bogonosyuk UKR 14.450
12. Alin Jivan ROM 14.450
13. Eugen Spiridonov GER 14.400
14. Denis Savenkov BLR 14.400
15. Andrei Isayev UKR 14.400
16. Sain Autalipov KAZ 14.350
17. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 14.300
18. Claude Alain Porchet SUI 14.300
19. Bernando Loy Da Graca POR 14.250
20. Angel Ramos PUR 14.250
21. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 14.250
22. Sami Aalto FIN 14.150
23. Gael da Silva FRA 14.100
24. Filip Ude CRO 13.950
25. Luiz Dos Anjos BRA 13.850
26. Almeida Pedro POR 13.800
27. Dmitryos Markousis GRE 13.550
28. Marco Mayr AUT 13.300
29. Ivica Bago CRO 13.150
30. Thomas Christensen DEN 13.000
31. Wajdi Bouallegue TUN 12.950
32. Reynaldo Oquendo PUR 12.550
33. Youssef Jihad MAR 12.450
34. Ivan San Miguel ESP 12.400
35. Isaac Botella ESP 11.550
36. Jeffrey Wammes NED 10.300

Pommel Horse
1. Krisztian Berki HUN 15.150
2. Pierre-Yves Beny FRA 14.950
3. Daniel Popescu ROM 14.900
4. Merdinyan Harutyun ARM 14.750
5. Yuk Yoshimura JPN 14.650
6. Huang Xu CHN 14.650
7. Eric Casimir FRA 14.650
8. Sid Ali Ferdjani ALG 14.650
9. Teng Haibin CHN 14.600
10. Nikolai Kryukov RUS 14.450
11. Filip Ude CRO 14.400
12. Ken Ikeda CAN 14.400
13. Sami Aalto FIN 14.350
14. Alberto Busnari ITA 14.350
15. Robert Seligman CRO 14.300
16. Robert Weber GER 14.150
17. Christos Lympanovnos GRE 14.050
18. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 13.900
19. Victor Cano ESP 13.850
20. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 13.800
21. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 13.750
22. Ryota Suzuki JPN 13.750
23. Yewki Tomita USA 13.700
24. Levente Fekete HUN 13.450
25. Thomas Andergassen GER 13.350
26. Denis Savenkov BLR 13.300
27. Christoph Schaerer SUI 13.300
28. Roger Sager SUI 13.250
29. Luis Vargas PUR 13.200
30. Saso Bertoncelj SLO 13.050
31. Johnny Parra VEN 12.950
32. Luiz Dos Anjos BRA 12.800
33. Bernando Loy Da Graca POR 12.600
34. Dmitry Savitski BLR 12.550
35. Riku Koivunen FIN 12.550
36. Almeida Pedro POR 12.450
37. Manuel Carballo ESP 12.350
38. Youssef Jihad MAR 12.200
39. Ildar Valeev KAZ 12.000
40. Reynaldo Oquendo PUR 11.250

Still Rings
1. Yang Wei CHN 16.300
2. Alexander Safoshkin RUS 16.250
3. Andrea Coppolino ITA 16.100
4. Yuri van Gelder NED 15.900
5. Kevin Tan USA 15.750
6. Ivan San Miguel ESP 15.400
7. Walid Said Eldariny EGY 15.350
8. Matteo Morandi ITA 15.350
9. Thomas Andergassen GER 15.200
10. Ildar Valeev KAZ 15.200
11. Fatah Ait Saada ALG 15.200
12. Gael Da Silva FRA 14.900
13. Isaac Botella ESP 14.900
14. Regulo Carmona VEN 14.850
15. Christos Lympanovnos GRE 14.800
16. Andrei Isayev UKR 14.800
17. Robert Weber GER 14.750
18. Levente Fekete HUN 14.750
19. Olli Torkkel FIN 14.500
20. Yuk Yoshimura JPN 14.350
21. Alin Jivan ROM 14.350
22. Krzysztof Muchorski POL 14.350
23. Mathias Lee-Hansen DEN 14.300
24. Claude Alain Porchet SUI 14.100
25. Roger Sager SUI 14.050
26. Anton Fokin UZB 14.050
27. Dmitry Kasperovich BLR 14.000
28. David Hirschorn DEN 13.850
29. Reynaldo Oquendo PUR 13.800
30. Alexander Vorobyov UKR 13.750
31. Akifumi Sasaki JPN 13.700
32. Sami Aalto FIN 13.650
33. Daniel Popescu ROM 13.500

Men's Vault
1. Marian Dragulescu ROM 16.525
2. Andrei Isayev UKR 16.325
3. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 16.300
4. Diego Hypolito BRA 16.025
5. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 15.975
6. Isaac Botella ESP 15.900
7. Leszek Blanik POL 15.825
8. Marco Mayr AUT 15.800
9. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 15.725
10. Brandon O'Neill CAN 15.700
11. Claude Alain Porchet SUI 15.625
12. Ivan San Miguel ESP 15.575
13. Robert Gal HUN 15.425
14. Dmitryos Markousis GRE 15.375
15. Eugen Spiridonov GER 15.325
16. Alin Jivan ROM 15.225
17. Ivica Bago CRO 15.200
18. Sain Autalipov KAZ 15.175
19. Ken Ikeda CAN 15.175
20. Konstantinos Barmpakis GRE 15.000
21. Mohamed Serour EGY 14.725
22. Fernando Fuentes VEN 14.675

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 15.750
2. Nikolai Kryukov RUS 15.600
3. Yann Cucherat FRA 15.550
4. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 15.500
5. Vasilis Tsokalidis GRE 15.250
6. Manuel Carballo ESP 15.200
7. Huang Xu CHN 15.200
8. Adam Kierzkowski POL 15.150
9. Florent Maree FRA 15.050
10. Roman Kulesza POL 14.950
11. Brandon O'Neill CAN 14.900
12. Anton Fokin UZB 14.900
13. Andrei Isayev UKR 14.850
14. Thomas Andergassen GER 14.800
15. Ken Ikeda CAN 14.750
16. Eugen Spiridonov GER 14.700
17. Akifumi Sasaki JPN 14.700
18. Dmitry Savitski BLR 14.650
19. Kevin Tan USA 14.600
20. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 14.400
21. Christoph Schaerer SUI 14.300
22. Yuk Yoshimura JPN 14.300
23. Roger Sager SUI 14.200
24. Dmitry Kasparovich BLR 14.000
25. Ildar Valeyev KAZ 14.000
26. Merdinyan Harutyun ARM 13.750
27. Riku Koivunen FIN 13.750
28. Walid Said Eldariny EGY 13.700
29. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 13.600
30. Reynaldo Oquendo PUR 13.200
31. Almeida Pedro POR 12.800
32. Luiz Dos Anjos BRA 12.600
33. Filip Ude CRO 12.550
34. Bernando Loy Da Graca POR 12.450
35. Angel Ramos PUR 10.750

High Bar
1. Christoph Schärer SUI 15.450
2. Teng Haibin CHN 15.450
3. Florent Maree FRA 15.300
4. Yewki Tomita USA 15.300
5. Epke Zonderland NED 15.050
6. Nikolai Kryukov RUS 15.000
7. Ryota Suzuki JPN 14.950
8. Alberto Busnari ITA 14.800
9. Kai Zou CHN 14.800
10. Luiz Dos Anjos BRA 14.700
11. Robert Weber GER 14.600
12. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 14.550
13. Ioannis Zachariadis GRE 14.550
14. Angel Ramos PUR 14.500
15. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 14.500
16. Denis Savenkov BLR 14.500
17. Yevgeny Bogonosyuk UKR 14.500
18. Yann Cucherat FRA 14.300
19. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 14.300
20. Roger Sager SUI 14.200
21. Almeida Pedro POR 14.150
22. Stepan Gorbachev KAZ 14.150
23. Ken Ikeda CAN 14.100
24. Nikolai Kuksenkov UKR 14.000
25. Dmitry Savitski BLR 13.950
26. Roman Kulesza POL 13.950
27. Aljaz Pegan SLO 13.850
28. Bernando Loy Da Graca POR 13.750
29. Riku Koivunen FIN 13.450
30. Brandon O'Neill CAN 13.400
31. Vlasios Maras GRE 12.900
32. Akifumi Sasaki JPN 12.850
33. Thomas Christensen DEN 12.600


Hopfner-Hibbs (silver AA) with coach, Orchard
 Photo courtesy of Grace Chiu

After tying for the highest all-around total with Chloe Sims of Australia with 57.100, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs was awarded the silver medal following tie breaking procedures. Hollie Dykes of Australia finished with the bronze medal. Also competing in the all-around final for Canada was Alyssa Brown, who finished a respectable 6th, followed closely by Gael Mackie in 7th.

Women's All-Around

1. Chloe Sims AUS 57.100
2. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs CAN 57.100
3. Hollie Dykes AUS 55.800
4. Imogen Cairns ENG 55.750
5. Shavahn Church ENG 55.000
6. Alyssa Brown CAN 54.600
7. Gael Mackie CAN 54.050

8. Becky Downie ENG 53.700
9. Lynette Lisle WAL 53.500
10. Carol Galashan SCO 53.300
11. Rosalie Hutton SCO 52.550
12. Katie Slader NIR 51.600


Gafuik claims gold
 Photo courtesy of Grace Chiu

Calgary's Nathan Gafuik has claimed second place in the men's all-around competition at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Gafuik finished his competition on high bar, preventing a 1-2 sweep from the Australians. The competition was won by Australia's Josh Jefferis with teammate Phillipe Rizzo taking the bronze. Calgary's Adam Wong finished in fourth place.


Some of our Canadian women's routines, thanks to a friend Down Under:

Women's team final, rotation 1 featuring Mackie, Hopfner-Hibbs on bars

Women's team final, rotation 2 featuring Brown, Mackie, Hopfner-Hibbs on beam

Women's team final, rotation 3 featuring Kerbis, Mackie, Hopfner-Hibbs on floor

Women's team final, rotation 4 featuring Mackie, Hopfner-Hibbs, Brown on vault


Some personal photos of our women's team around the athletes village:



Gymn.ca is present at this weekend's L'International Gymnix, and will provide news, results, and video in the upcoming days. Here is a review of yesterday's training: 

Please note that I was able to attend the last two rotations of the first training group and then stayed for about the first half or so of the second group. These are just some of what I observed. - Chris.

Notably missing from this competition is Gemini`s Kelsey Hope, the 2005 Canadian junior champion who recently dislocated her elbow. Gymn.ca will try to update the situation soon.

Expected to make her competitive return this week-end is Marci Bernholtz of ASF, who has been sick with the flu this week, so will likely not perform her full difficulty. However she did have some bright spots in training, including a new bar routine featuring a toe-on Khorkina 2 low-high transition. Bernholtz is still planning to compete at the Cottbus world cup, according to her coach Paula Johnson. Bernholtz`s club mate Caya Colling hurt her ankle in training but still hopes to compete at least on the uneven bars.

Nansy Damianova of the host club looked strong on vault, showing a nice Yurchenko-full with tight form. On the uneven bars she looked much improved from last year, showing a nice Maloney-overshoot half handstand combination, a giant-full to Tkatchev, and a toe-on blind turn immediate double front.

Brittney Rogers from Omega showed an impressive Yurchenko 1 1\2 on vault. Rogers is not age eligible for senior competition until 2009 but she impressed with one of the best vaults shown during training yesterday.

Two strong juniors from Bluewater showed impressive work on floor. Emma Willis tumbled a piked full-in, an arabian double front (very tight tuck), a front through to a 2 1\2 twist and double pike, while younger clubmate Dominique Pegg also showed a full-in. Willis also impressed on bars with an inside stalder on the low bar and an elgrip endo on the high bar (Willis is likely the only Canadian to perform these two skills).

Aisha Gerber of Cambridge, fresh off a third place finish at the American Cup did a full run through of her impressive FX routine, landing all four passes cleanly (double arabian, full-in, 1 1\2 through to 2 1/2, triple twist).

I only saw the Americans on vault and bars. On vault, both Samantha Peszek and Shawn Johnson showed yurchenko double twist, while the two others, Shantessa Pama and Bridget Sloan performed 1 1/2s, though Sloan`s will likely be credited as a tuck. On the uneven bars, Pama was very impressive with her stoop-in dislocate to Jaeger and German giants. The Americans are very likely the ones to beat in the junior competition, as they were four years ago when they last competed at this meet.

Crystal Gilmore looked sharp in training for what will be her first international competition in nearly 5 years. She showed mostly the same skills as at the Commonwealth Games trials, but had some success training a new beam mount (layout to two-feet) as well as a round off 2 1/2 twist dismount. Her Yurchenko-full and handspring piked front vaults looked strong. It's worth noting that she was being coached on beam by former coach Elvira Saadi.

The Japanese and Brazillians were also training yesterday, with the Japanese women looking very clean and well conditioned. Unfortunately with so much going on in the arena I did not see a lot of their skills. Brazillian Olympian Camila Comin looked sharp on bars, with an intricate giant 1 1/2 to elgrip, elgrip giant-full to Jaeger combination.

Laura-Ann Chong, making her first competitive appearance since injuring her knee last fall, wore a heavy brace and didn`t train full sets, but practiced her Ricna release a lot on the uneven bars and a nice piked front salto (an E element in the new code) on balance beam.


The Canadian women's team, consisting of Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, Alyssa Brown, Brittnee Habbib, Gael Mackie, and Jenna Kerbis, overcame a series of unfortunate errors to win the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games last night in Melbourne. Australia, totalling 172.600, won the gold medal to the delight of the home crowd, followed by England (164.350), and Canada (162.550). Hopfner-Hibbs qualified for the all-around finals in third place and impressed throughout, qualifying to all four apparatus finals. She leads the entire field on the uneven bars, stands in third place on balance beam, fourth on floor exercise and fifth on vault. Brown also made a strong impact, qualifying for the all-around final in seventh place, third on vault, and eighth on balance beam.

Team Canada claims bronze
 Photo courtesy of Grace Chiu


Canada's men's gymnastics brought home Canada's first gold of the 2006 Commonwealth Games today, in men's team final. The Golden Guys consist of Kyle Shewfelt, Adam Wong, Grant Golding, David Kikuchi, and Nathan Gafuik. Canada took gold with 269.750 points, almost one point ahead of Australia (268.850). Both teams improved on their standings from the 2002 Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester, England. Bronze went to England (260.000), team gold medalists at the last Games.

Team members Grant Golding and Kyle Shewfelt spoke to CBC after the medal ceremony. "We went out there did everything exactly the way we'd been training and planning to do," Golding explained. "We just did a great job, with solid performances." Shewfelt added, "This is an important goal we all had this year - to come in here and hit all of our routines, and win the gold medal. We knew we were capable of it. We were the favourites coming in and today we handled the pressure, and we did so awesome. I'm so proud of these guys. This team is a really strong team, and we deserve this.

Team Canada realizes they've won
 Photo courtesy of Grace Chiu

Based on today's performances, all of Canada's men will continue their competition in Melbourne, including Kyle Shewfelt who has qualified in first place on floor and vault, and in second on high bar. As well, Adam Wong and Nathan Gafuik rank second and third, respectively, going into the all-around final. Full results can be found at the official 2006 Commonwealth Games website

  • Grant Golding has qualified to the pommel horse, rings, and parallel bar final.
  • David Kikuchi has qualified to the pommel horse final.
  • Adam Wong has qualified to the all-around, floor, and rings finals.
  • Nathan Gafuik has qualified to the all-around, vault, parallel bars, and high bar finals.
  • Kyle Shewfelt has qualified to the floor, vault, and high bar finals.

Floor Exercise Finalists
1. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 15.500
2. Adam Wong CAN 15.200

3. Ryan Bradley ENG 15.000
4. Joshua Jefferis AUS 14.900
5. Ng Shu Wai MAS 14.700
6. Constantinos Aristotelous CYP 14.600
7. Samuel Offord AUS 14.550
8. Ross Brewer ENG 14.200
R1 Adam Cox SCO 14.200
R2 Daniel Keatings SCO 14.100

Vault Finalists
1. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 16.400
2. Nathan Gafuik CAN 16.075

3. Ooi Wei Siang MAS 16.050
4. Samuel Offord AUS 16.000
5. Kristian Thomas ENG 15.900
6. Mayank Srivastava IND 15.900
7. Luke Folwell ENG 15.825
8. Ng Shu Wai MAS 15.750
R1 Gerhard Swiegers RSA 15.700
R2 Sharat Chandra IND 15.700

Pommel Horse Finalists
1. Prashanth Sellathurai AUS 15.350
2. Louis Smith ENG 14.800
3. Philippe Rizzo AUS 14.350
4. Grant Golding CAN 14.350
5. David Kikuchi CAN 14.200

6. Ng Shu Wai MAS 14.100
7. Andrew Mackie SCO 14.100
8. Ross Brewer ENG 14.100
R1 Troy Sender RSA 13.600
R2 Ashish Kumar IND 13.550

Parallel Bars Finalists
1. Grant Golding CAN 15.200
2. Philippe Rizzo AUS 15.150
3. Ross Brewer ENG 14.950
4. Joshua Jefferis AUS 14.800
5. Nathan Gafuik CAN 14.500
6. Adam Cox SCO 14.450
7. Mark Holyoake NZL 14.450
8. Ryan Bradley ENG 14.200
R1 David Eaton WAL 14.000
R2 Daniel Keatings SCO 14.000

Still Rings Finalists
1. Joshua Jefferis AUS 15.850
2. Damian Istria AUS 15.350
3. Grant G
olding CAN 15.150
4. Irodotos Georgallas CYP 14.950
5. Ross Brewer ENG 14.750
6. Adam Wong CAN 14.750
7. Steve Frew SCO 14.600
8. Steven Friedman RSA 14.400
R1 Ryan Bradley ENG 14.150
R2 Adam Cox SCO 13.700

High Bar Finalists
1. David Eaton WAL 15.250
2. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 14.700
3. Nathan Gafuik CAN 14.700

4. Samuel Offord AUS 14.650
5. Ng Shu Wai MAS 14.600
6. Adam Cox SCO 14.500
7. Joshua Jefferis AUS 14.500
8. Ross Brewer ENG 14.350
R1 Ryan Bradley ENG 14.250
R2 Ng Shu Mun MAS 14.100

Competition continues tonight with the women's team final.


While much attention this week-end will be paid to the Commonwealth Games taking place in Melbourne, Australia, Montreal’s Club Gymnix is hosting its annual women’s international competition beginning Friday through Sunday. This year’s edition of the competition includes delegations from the United States, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Belgium, and of course many top Canadians. The field boasts several Olympians, including two time Olympian Camila Comin from Brazil, 2000 Olympian Crystal Gilmore (competing in her first international meet in nearly 5 years), and 2004 Olympians from Japan Kyoko Oshima and Manami Ishizaka. The United States is sending four junior national team members: Shawn Johnson, Samantha Peszek, Bridget Sloan, and Shantessa Pama. This marks the first time in four years that the United States has sent a team to this meet, with the 2002 junior winner, Carly Patterson going on to take all-around gold at the 2004 Olympics.

Among the top Canadian contenders include recent Elite Canada champions Aisha Gerber of Cambridge Kips (last year’s junior all-around champion at this event), fresh off a third place all-around finish at the American Cup, and Kristina Vaculik of Gemini. Marci Bernholtz is expected to make her return to competition following injuries that left her out of the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, though she will likely not perform full difficultly. Her ASF clubmate Caya Colling will also compete for the first time in several months following various illnesses and injuries. This year’s Gymnix will also mark the return to competition of Dawn Patulli of Wimgym, who has not competed since last fall’s Massilia meet in France, and Laura-Ann Chong of Phoenix, who was injured at last year’s world championships trials. The host club will field several gymnasts, most notably junior national team member Nansy Damianova, who finished second in the all-around at this competition last year.

Competition begins on Friday, with various provincial and national stream sessions, with the junior and senior international sessions taking place Saturday night (all-around and apparatus qualifying at 7:00 pm) and Sunday afternoon (apparatus finals for both juniors and seniors at 3:30). All competitions take place at the Centre Sportif Claude Robillard, located at 1000 Emile Journeault, Montreal. For more information, visit the Club Gymnix website. Look for reports and videos following the competition.

Below is a full roster of gymnasts for the international sessions.

Dominique Pegg (Bluewater-Canada)
Emma Willis (Bluewater-Canada)
Monica Desjardins (Belgium)
Valerie Brohee (Belgium)
Natascha Jacobs (Belgium)
Sydney Sawa (Calgary-Canada)
Shawn Johnson (USA)
Samantha Peszek (USA)
Shantessa Pama (USA)
Bridget Sloan (USA)
Kristina Vaculik (Gemini-Canada)
Stéphanie Desjardins-Labelle (Gymelites-Canada)
Catherine Dion (Gymelites-Canada)
Stephanie Pacitto (Mississauga-Canada)
Léa Barro (Gymnix-Canada)
Ti Liu (Gymnix-Canada)
Nansy Damianova (Gymnix-Canada)
Camille Santerre-Gervais (Gymnix-Canada)
Katherine Biscotti (Gymnix-Canada)
Laurie-Eve Gagné
Kim Levesque (Richelieu-Canada)
Koko Tsurumi (Japan)
Brittney Rogers (Omega-Canada)
Charlotte Mackie (Omega-Canada)
Nicole Pineau (Omega-Canada)
Melanie Hew (Pulsars-Canada)
Anastasya Cherepnina (Russia)
Daria Goncharova (Russia)
Taylor Lindsay-Noel (Seneca-Canada)
Carly Magnacca (Seneca-Canada)
Alexandra Picton (Team SK-Canada)
Kimberly Genereux (Team SK-Canada)
Caya Colling (ASF-Canada)
Marci Bernholtz (ASF-Canada)
Melanie Rocca (Bluewater-Canada)
Barbara Gasser (Bluewater-Austria)
Camila Comin (Brazil)
Roberta Monari (Brazil)
Aisha Gerber (Cambridge-Canada)
Jennifer Lezeu (Mississauga-Canada)
Melissa Corbo (Gymnix-Canada)
Hélène Dellio (Richelieu-Canada)
Cynthia Lemieux (Richelieu-Canada)
Lisa-Marie Farley (Richelieu-Canada)
Mayu Kuroda (Japan)
Sakiko Okabe (Japan)
Kyoko Oshima (Japan)
Miki Uemura (Japan)
Manami Ishizaka (Japan)
Melissa Hough (Ortona-Canada)
Rebecca Simbhudas (Pulsars-Canada)
Nicole Heikkila (Seneca-Canada)
Crystal Gilmore (Taiso-Canada)
Marion Potvin (Viagym-Canada)
Dawn Patulli (Wimgym-Canada)
Laura-Ann Chong (Phoenix-Canada)


Last week Gymn.ca visited Canada's men's team as they put the final touches on their domestic training for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. The men seem comfortable and confident with their routines (CLICK TO WATCH ROUTINES), and will surely put forth a strong challenge for the gold medal. Their competition begins Thursday, March 16 at 6pm local AUS time (same day, 3am EST). Canada's women's team begin their competition the following day, Friday, March 17 at 12:30pm local time (Thursday, March 16 9:30pm EST). CBC is offering near-daily highlights packages. Check your local listings for exact times.


Gerber and Gafuik at the 2006 AmCup
Photo by Grace Chiu

Canada won big at today's American Cup, with both Aisha Gerber (Cambridge Kips) and Nathan Gafuik (University of Calgary) finishing in the medals. Gerber took top honours on vault, performing a DTY for a first place finish. Overall she finished in third place, behind Americans Nastia Liukin and Shayla Worley.

Gafuik placed ninth overall, with his strongest performance placing him in third place on vault. Japan's Hisashi Mizutori, gold medallist from the 2004 Olympics, prevented Americans Jonathan Horton and David Durante from finishing 1-2. Horton took gold and Durante the bronze. 

Gafuik returns to Calgary Sunday, where he'll resume training with Canada's men's Commonwealth Games team. Gerber opted out of consideration for the Games, preferring to focus on upgrading prior to the selection for the Pacific Alliance Championships. 

The American Cup returned to its original format this year, with preliminaries contested Friday and finals Saturday. (The American Cup deviated from its traditional AA format last year, joining the World Cup circuit and contesting apparatus finals). Full results from both preliminary and final rounds are are available at USAG. The event was the first major competition to be contested in the USA using the new COP.

Two of FIVE cameras poised on Gerber as she readied for bars, leading at the 2006 AmCup
Photo by Grace Chiu


Simpson at the 
2003 World Championships
Photo by Grace Chiu

Richelle Simpson enjoyed a remarkable gymnastics career. She holds seven of the top 11 all-around scores in Nebraska history and has a school-record 8 perfect tens in her career. In 2003 she earned one of the most coveted titles at the NCAA Championships, the all-around title. She also capped off those Championships with gold on the floor exercise. Hot on the heels of these wins she earned spots on the 2003 Canadian Pan American Games and World Championships teams, helping Canada qualify a full team to the 2004 Olympics. She hoped to make the 2004 Olympic team for Canada, until a knee injury forced her to bow out of competition. 

Last weekend Simpson was honored with the NCAA Top Eight Award, the most prestigious honour the NCAA bestows. The award is presented annually to 8 NCAA athletes and recognizes athletics success, academic achievement, and community service. The award was presented by the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, with a beaming coach Dan Kendig present. 

“I can’t even describe how proud we are of Richelle and her achievement,” Kendig told NU Media relations. “In realizing the number of people who are up for this award, for her to become one of the Top Eight Award winners is an incredible accomplishment for her, our team and the University of Nebraska. Richelle has meant so much to our program these last four years. By receiving the highest award the NCAA has to give, this just adds to her legacy as a Husker.”

The award is not the first for the accomplished Simpson. Other awards during her NCAA career include (but are not limited to) 9-time all-American, NCAA Woman of the Year top ten finalist, 2005 Big 12 Sportspersons of the Year, and 2003 Honda Award finalist. 

Simpson has remained in Lincoln since graduation, acting as an interpreter for an organization that works with refugees (she majored in French and International Business) and keeping busy rehabbing her knee. Next month she heads to Montreal, where she'll enter Cirque du Soleil's training program. Later, Simpson plans to attend law school or grad school, focusing on Human Rights. A member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll every semester, she's been awarded NCAA and Dr. Prentice Gautt Big 12 Postgraduate scholarships.

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