Canadian gymnasts dominate at Gymnix

Halifax gymnast Ellie Black (Halifax, Alta Gymnastics) led a Canadian medal sweep at the L’International Gymnix on Friday, winning the women’s senior all around title in a field of 32 athletes from six countries.

Black, the reigning Canadian senior women’s champion, finished either first or second in three of four events for a total score of 55.400 points. Aleeza Yu (Toronto, Gemini) placed second all around with 54.550 points and Stefanie Merkle (Petersburg, Ont.,Revolution) was third at 53.325.

The top international competitors were  Belgium’s Lisa Verschueren, Laura Waem and Gaelle Mys with all three placing in the top 10 all around.

Twelve-year-old phenom Irina Alexeeva of the U.S., (WOGA) also competed in the senior event although her results did not count due to age restrictions and wowed the crowd with her overall performance, including the top score on beam. Alexeeva trains under Valery Liukin, coach and father of 2008 U.S. Olympic champion Nastia Liukin.

Shallon Olsen third in junior all around

Rose-Kaying Woo of La Prairie, Que., (Gym-Richelieu) won the junior all around competition on Saturday. She placed in the top three in all but one of four events for a total of 55.441 points, edging Russia’s Angelina Melnikova (55.291) for the title.

B.C's Shallon Olsen Omega) placed third with 55.216 points.

Woo, the all around winner last month at Elite Canada, was a bit shaky in her opening beam routine but bounced back to post her best scores on floor and uneven bars.

“On floor I was more confident after beam and it went well and then on bars I was just went for it,” said Woo.

Olsen, the two-time Canadian all around junior champion, posted the highest score of the day on vault with a score of 14.996 for a double twisting Yurchenko.

In the Junior Cup team event, Woo and Olsen combined with Megan Roberts (Toronto, East York Gymnastics) and Audrey Rousseau (Montreal, Equilibrix) to win the silver medal.

The Canadian team got off to a strong start and held the lead until the final event after earning the top scores on beam and vault and tying Russia on floor. But the Russian squad came from behind on uneven bars, the last event, to edge the Canadians for the gold by less than a 10th of a point.
Italy took the bronze.

Canadians dominate event finals

Ellie Black led the Canadian charge to the podium with three individual event medals on the final day of competition at L’International Gymnix. She won gold in the floor final and added bronze medals on balance beam and uneven bars to cap a impressive performance.

“I tried a skill on floor that I had never competed before and that went well both days,” said Black, who had troubles with her new floor routine last month at Elite Canada.

Canadian gymnasts won a total of 10 out of 12 possible medals in the senior event finals, including podium sweeps on vault and floor.

Among the big winners were Isabela Onysko (Minnedosa, Man., Brandon Eagles) and Cirenne Helody (Montreal, Gym-Richelieu), with gold medals on bars and vault respectively.

Other medalists were Laurie Denommee of Montreal (Wimgym) and Kirsten Peterman of Cambridge, Ont., (Revolution) with silver and bronze on vault, Madeline McLellan of Calgary, (Calgary Gymnastics Centre), silver on beam, Stefanie Merkle of Petersburg, Ont., (Revolution) and Aleeza Yu of Toronto, Ont., (Gemini), silver and bronze on floor.

In the junior competition all around winner Rose-Kaying Woo of La Prairie, Que., (Gym Richelieu), won three more medals including gold on beam and floor and bronze medal on uneven bars.

Shallon Olsen of Vancouver, (Omega) topped the field on vault and also won a silver medal on floor.

“I think I did good on each of the events, I tried my hardest andI was happier with the outcome than yesterday,” said Olsen, who placed third in the all around on Saturday.

Only two gold medals went to other nations on Sunday. Russia’s Daria Skrypnik took the uneven bars title in the junior competition and Belgium’s Gaelle Mys placed first on beam in the senior division.

Complete results