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Archive: September 2006

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Last weekend Gym Richelieu's Laurie-Eve Pépin-Gagné and Cynthia Lemieux competed at the 20th Bosphorus Cup in Turkey's capitol city of Istabul. Pépin-Gagné finished 19th, with her best score (12.400) coming on both beam and floor. Lemieux competed just bars and beam, scoring 13.400 on bars and 12.400 on beam. The competition was won by Belgian Aagje van Walleghem, with Lithuania's Jelena Zanevskaja taking second and the home country's Dilasu Eroglu (TUR) placing third.


Today Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique confirmed the seven member men’s team for next month’s world championships in Aarhus, Denmark. The team consists of Nathan Gafuik (U of Calgary), Grant Golding (U of Calgary), Ken Ikeda (Abbostford Twisters), David Kikuchi (Alta), Brandon O’Neill (Capital City), Kyle Shewfelt (U of Calgary), and Adam Wong (Calgary Gymnastics Center). No alternate has been specified. The final roster is expected to be announced at month's end, and the men compete their preliminary round on October 14.


Today Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique confirmed the six women selected to compete for Canada at next month's World Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. The team will be: Marci Bernholtz (ASF), Alyssa Brown (Gymnastics Mississauga), Crystal Gilmore (Cambridge/Taiso), Brittnee Habbib (Gemini), Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (Seneca), and Gael Mackie (Omega).


Gael Mackie of Omega and Alyssa Brown of Gymnastics Mississauga were named to the 2006 world championships team today, after finishing first and second, respectively, at a selection activity held at Gymnastics Mississauga. Mackie scored a 56.35 in the all-around and Brown a 55.40. Mackie fell forward on her bar dismount but hit some new elements elsewhere, including a Yurchenko 1 ½ on vault and a double pike off beam. Mackie told Gymn.ca that she was happy with her performance and that she had a pretty good day except for the uneven bars. She was very happy to land her new vault. She hopes to compete in the all-around at the world championships.

Brown, whose best events of the day were uneven bars and vault, said she was “really excited” to be named to the team as one of the top two all-around gymnasts at the selection activity. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little,” she told Gymn.ca. “To be in the top two and named to the team is an amazing feeling.”

Finishing in third place (and likely to be named to the team officially tomorrow when the team will be announced) was 2000 Olympian Crystal Gilmore, who, despite a few mistakes along the way, showed some upgrades, including an attempted Yurchenko 1 ½ on vault, a back full twist on the beam (which she consistently competed in her first career and she landed here) and a double back off beam (which she hopes to soon upgrade to a double pike) that she has not competed in eleven years. Gilmore told Gymn.ca that she has been training with her former coach Elvira Saadi at Cambridge Kips for the month of August and that she worked very hard over the summer to upgrade her routines. About her new vault, she said that the Yurchenko 1 ½ was “Very hard to learn because vault has never been my forte.” Although she missed her vault in the competition she landed many successfully this week in training and in the warm-ups. 

As of July 1st, Gilmore is a carded member of the national team, which she is very excited about. She was glad to be able to prove to the national coach that she is back and able to contribute to the team. The carding money has helped her tremendously, as she had previously been supporting her training by coaching herself – which she really enjoyed – but now she is able to focus more on training. She is also said it would be cool to return to the world championships with her husband David Kikuchi, the current Canadian men’s all-around champion, who is very likely to be named to the men’s team following their next trials, in two weeks. Kikuchi was at the competition tonight to support Gilmore. The couple began dating shortly before competing at the 2001 world championships.

The world championship team will be named tomorrow and will be chosen from among the other participants from tonight’s selection activity. Canadian all-around champion Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Seneca only competed on bars and beam due to a slight ankle injury. She debuted a toe-on piked Tkatchev on uneven bars and had a great save on her triple turn on beam, where she earned the highest difficulty score of the meet, a 6.6. Marci Bernholtz of ASF, who recently verballed to compete for UCLA starting in the fall of 2008, competed on vault, bars, and beam only. She has battled injury the last two seasons, including a genetic problem with her knee, which required a special gel treatment aid in strengthening her cartilage. She and coach Paula Johnson hope that she will back to full strength on vault and tumbling following another treatment on her knee in four months. Their long term goal remains the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Other contenders for the team who competed tonight include Brittnee Habbib of Gemini who showed a new floor routine (nice triple twist mount); Rebecca Simbhudas of Pulsars, who had several mistakes at tonight’s meet but showed nice stalder work and a Jaeger release on bars; and Aisha Gerber of Cambridge who only competed a modified floor routine (new music but watered down tumbling). According to her coach Elvira Saadi, Gerber has been through a growth spurt and is working hard to adjust the timing of her skills. Cynthia Lemieux of Gym-Richelieu, originally on the roster, did not compete.

Select video clips will be available later this week.

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