Terrific Showing for Canadian Rhythmic Gymnasts at Pan American Championships
YUCATAN, MEX (November 9, 2016) – Canadian senior and junior rhythmic gymnasts yielded successful results at the 2016 Pan American Championships in Yucatan, Mexico over the last couple days winning seven medals including team, individual, and group awards.
Canada kicked off the competition with every athlete qualifying for at least two apparatus finals in addition to strong showings in the junior group all-around and individual apparatus events. Senior gymnast Megan Hamilton (Vernon, BC) qualified for finals in hoop, clubs, and ball, while Athena Tsaltas (Toronto, ON) qualified for the hoop, clubs, and ribbon finals, and Erika Bernard (Maple Ridge, BC) qualified for the ball and ribbon finals. On the junior side, Alexandra Chtrevenskii (Montreal, QC) qualified for all four apparatus finals, with Sophie Crane (North York, ON) qualifying for the rope and hoop finals, and Natalie Garcia (Mississauga, ON) qualifying for ball and clubs finals.
Canada did not disappoint when the finals began, winning one silver, and two bronze medals. Canada’s junior group, made up of Maria Chekhter, Selina Chekhter, Jacklyne Elias, Gloria Hauer, Jessica Zhang, and Alexandra Zilyuk, all of Toronto, captured the silver medal with a final score of 22.800, while the junior team, comprised of Chtrevenskii, Crane, and Garcia won bronze in the all-around competition.
Following in the juniors’ footsteps, the senior team of Tsaltas, Bernard, and Hamilton also won bronze in the all-around team competition scoring 130.150 to comfortably land in the final place on the podium. “I’m not used to competing this early in the season,” said Tsaltas following the routine. “This competition has motivated me more than ever to train hard and work with more consistency.”
Day three of competition would see Canada win two more silver medals including a stellar performance by junior gymnast Chtrevenskii in the hoop final, narrowly missing top prize by only .050 points with a final score of 13.700. The junior group also finished with a silver medal, scoring 11.000 points in the ball routine. “This was our last competition competing our programs, and we’re looking forward to developing the new choreographies and building on our experiences from here when we return to Toronto,” said the group.
On the final day of competition, Canada added another silver and bronze medal to finish on a high note. The silver medal would once again come from the junior group, this time in their ribbon routine. The girls scored 11.100 points to finish the championship with three silver medals. The bronze medal was awarded to Garcia, who scored 13.650 in the junior ball event. “I was disappointed with my rope and hoop routines and really focused today,” said Garcia. “My goal is to qualify for Youth Olympic Games and I’m using this international competition as an important learning experience.”
Both junior and senior gymnasts left it all out on the floor throughout the competition and their hard work and determination paid off. The gymnasts will now return to training and look forward to debuting their new routines throughout the season.
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