Rose-Kaying Woo tops field in women’s qualification at Canadian gymnastics championships
GATINEAU, Que. -- Reigning Canadian junior champion Rose-Kaying Woo of La Prairie, Que., topped a field of mostly senior competitors on Thursday to place first in the women’s qualification at the Canadian gymnastics championships.
Woo, too young for this summer’s Pan Am Games but eligible for the 2016 Olympics, placed first on beam, second on vault and third on both uneven bars and floor for a total score of 56.200 points.
Isabela Onyshko of Minedosa, Man., placed second with 55.950 points and two-time Canadian all around champion Ellie Black of Halifax was third at 55.100.
The top 16 advanced to the all around and apparatus finals on Sunday.
Black, Canada’s top female gymnast since her meteoric rise to win a spot on the 2012 Olympic team, was upbeat despite faltering on the beam, normally one of her strongest events, and praised the 15-year-old Woo for her impressive performance.
“Rose is doing awesome and I’m super happy for her,” said Black. "It’s definitely good to have people pushing and competing for those top spots and this is pushing all the girls to increase their difficulty, get their routines consistent and work on their execution.”
Black placed second in three of the four events but dropped to eighth on the beam.
“It didn’t go the way I planned but that’s okay, that’s part of it and I was able to put that aside and do a good floor routine and a good vault after beam."
National women’s team director Dave Brubaker of Sarnia, Ont., said it didn’t surprise him to see Woo top the field.
“I think we have a few juniors who are very capable of pushing the seniors and strengthening the team. We can’t always expect Ellie to be perfect. She made some mistakes but what I really like is her leadership. She didn’t feel bad about her beam performance and she fought to the end of the meet.”
The competition continues on Friday with the women’s junior qualification and the men’s junior all around finals.