Whelan leads senior competition following day one at Elite Canada
MARKHAM, ON (March 17, 2017) – 170 Canadian rhythmic gymnasts representing 28 clubs from across the country have gathered in Markham, ON to compete in the 2017 Elite Canada competition this weekend. This is the first official Gymnastics Canada competition testing out the new International Code of Points and judging system.
Carmen Whelan from Silhouettes of York Gymnastics Club currently leads the senior women with 30.850 points following the hoop and ball events. Whelan struggled in her ball routine, dropping the ball and having it roll out of bounds to score only 13.950 points, but came back strong in her hoop routine scoring 16.900 points, more than one point ahead of the next closest competitor.
“It was kind of a rough warm up for ball and then things weren’t going well in the routine,” said Whelan. “So I was thinking I just needed to sweat it out and work my butt off trying to get into the swing of things during my hoop routine. My goal in the finals will be to have four solid routines and not have any kinks to work out.”
Ontario gymnasts currently occupy the top five senior spots overall, including national team members Katherine Uchida of Jusco Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in second place with 30.400 points, and Athena Tsaltas of Salut Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in fourth with 30.200 points.
Elite Canada is an annual event held to determine the top junior and senior rhythmic gymnasts in Canada who will go on to compete at the Canadian Championships in Edmonton, AB in May. It also helps select the athletes that will represent Canada at major international competitions. All 2016-2017 national team members are competing here with the exception of 4-time Canadian Champion Patricia Bezzoubenko who is recovering from an injury.
“The first day of competition went really smoothly,” said Teresa Orr, National Team Director for Rhythmic Gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada. “It’s exciting to see many of our first year juniors on the rise and gaining experience here.”
In junior competition, Sophie Crane from Jusco Rhythmic Gymnastics Club leads by more than one point with 29.150 after the hoop and ball routines. Natalie Garcia of Mississauga Newnorth Gymnastics Club is in second with 28.150 points, and Gabriela Georgieva of Aura Rhythmic Gymnastics club sits in third with 27.250 points.
The new senior national group also performed together for the first time, debuting their five-hoop routine. The group consists of Elizabet Belittchenko, Renna Cukier, Vanessa Panov, Cleo Page, Anastasia Shanko, and Alexandra Udachina. The group will compete again tomorrow with their three-balls, two-ropes routine.
On Saturday, all junior and senior gymnasts will compete in clubs and ribbon. Junior flights begin at 8:30 am, while senior flights begin at 3:10pm. The top 15 junior and senior gymnasts will compete in the all-around finals and apparatus finals on Sunday.
To watch the competition online, visit gymcan.tv.
To view the full results, click here.
(Photo: Kaedyn Lashley from HPTC International in Winnipeg, MB. Credit: Trevor Hagan/GCG)
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