Strong Start for Canadian Rhythmic and Acrobatic Gymnasts at Pan American Championships
DAYTONA BEACH, USA (October 13, 2017) – Canadian Rhythmic and Acrobatic gymnasts have started off on the right foot at the 2017 Pan American Championships in Daytona Beach, USA on Friday with many athletes qualifying for event finals.
2017 Senior and Junior Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics all-around champions Carmen Whelan of Aurora, ON and Michel Vivier of Toronto, ON have both qualified for the finals in hoop and ball following terrific performances.
Whelan’s James Bond theme hoop routine scored her an impressive 15.400 points, putting her in second place and more than one point ahead of third position. She also scored 12.950 points in her ball routine to qualify for the finals on both apparatus.
Vivier finished second in both apparatus, scoring 14.200 points in hoop and 14.100 points in ball. “This is my first year in junior and I feel very proud having the opportunity to represent Canada at my first major international competition,” said Vivier following competition. “I’m happy to have made finals in both hoop and ball and look forward to competing Saturday in the qualification with clubs and ribbon.”
Senior national team member Katherine Uchida of Toronto, ON also advanced to the ball and hoop final, finishing in fifth place in ball with 13.500 points and seventh in hoop with 12.900 points. “Today, I started on ball, which is my favourite routine,” explained Uchida. “I started with a strong routine considering it was the first one of the competition and I’m happy with the result. Hoop was a little bit shaky, but I was glad there weren’t any big mistakes and it was a good start for the rest of this long competition.”
Sophie Crane of Toronto, ON also advanced to the junior hoop final in fourth place with 13.500 points, while Natalie Garcia of Mississauga, ON advanced to the ball final in fifth place with 13.050 points.
The senior team comprising of Whelan, Uchida and Athena Tsaltas are currently in second place overall with Whelan sitting in third place in the all-around final with two apparatus to go. Uchida and Tsaltas currently sit eighth and ninth respectively.
Vivier, Crane, and Garcia currently sit second, third and fifth respectively in the junior all-around competition and second overall in the team event with two apparatus remaining.
The junior and senior rhythmic groups both sit in fourth place following the first apparatus, 5 hoops. The junior group will compete in the 10 clubs event while the senior group will compete in 3 balls and 2 ropes on Saturday.
In acrobatic gymnastics competition, the first formally selected Canadian national team proved across the board that they are able to compete internationally, putting up big scores and working towards advancing to the event finals.
Alexandra D’Souza, Charlotte Penner, and Erin Oswald of Oakville Gymnastics are veterans in the sport and together they form the junior group, which is the highest level of Acrobatic gymnastics in Canada. The junior women’s acrobatic group scored 26.960 points in their dynamic routine where they performed to a modern remake of California Dreaming.
“We just got this new dynamic routine about three weeks ago so we were really happy with our performance today,” said D’Souza. “We know where we made mistakes and what to improve upon for our World trials coming up in a couple of months so I’m really happy with how we did today and how we will continue to improve. Tomorrow we want to go out and do the best routine that we can, we’ve had this routine for a long time so hopefully we can hold all of our balances well and do the best performance possible for the judges.”
In women’s 11-16 pairs, Canada currently sits in third (Ava Gokiert and Evelina Merkulov of Calgary Acro) and fifth (Karyzza Guillermo and Nikki Krigos of Gymnastics Mississauga) following the balance routine. 11-16 women’s group (Lola Gray, Piper Lafayette, and Cassandra Larner of Oakville Gymnastics) sit in third place with 25.100 points, almost three points ahead of fourth position.
In men’s 11-16 pairs, Kristian Diana and Maxwell Hendershot of Oakville Gymnastics have 23.400 points following the balance routine. 11-16 mixed pairs gymnasts Mila di Salle and Theo Rotts Chan also of Oakville Gymnastics have 26.100 points heading into day two. Both pairs will perform their dynamic routines on Saturday before competing in the finals on Sunday.
"Our athletes had a really strong start to the competition,” said Meredith Warner, manager of sport development at Gymnastics Canada. “I can see a huge amount of growth since the last time we were all together in June. The hard work they have put into their training over the summer months shows how dedicated they are to preparing for this event and the upcoming season. We are looking forward to seeing more from them all tomorrow!"
The women’s 12-18 Canadian pair (Mikaela Pingol and Juliana Summer of Oakville Gymnastics) currently sits in third place with 26.350 points, just .050 out of second place. In women’s 12-18 group, Canada currently sits in first (Kiana Wilson, Ashlee Chan, and Kiara-Carin Kacvinsky of Oakville Gymnastics) and in fourth (Allison Attard, Emmanuelle Shemko, and Ally Swanepoel of Oakville Gymnastics) following the dynamic routine.
Please click here for full Rhythmic Gymnastics results and Acrobatic Gymnastics results.
For a competition schedule and live scoring, click here.
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