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Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 22 July 2019 08:07    PDF Print
Pan Am Games ‘Building Block For Our Team,’ Says Black
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Although Ellie Black was the most decorated Canadian athlete in any sport at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, she told IG her sights for the 2019 Games that begin this week in Lima, Peru, are clearly set on a successful team performance.

“I had an amazing experience in Toronto 2015, but every competition is a different and new experience, so I am just looking forward to sharing this competition with this new team and helping to guide them the best I can,” said Black, who won three gold medals (all-around, balance beam, floor exercise), one silver medal (team) and one bronze medal (vault) at the Games four years ago.

“My goals are more focused on our Canadian team. This is a great chance to get back out there on the international stage as a team. We are focusing on using this competition to help us prepare for Olympic qualification at the World Championships in the fall.”

Black, the 2017 world all-around silver medalist, said she is managing her personal expectations as well as others’ expectations for her as the defending Games all-around champion. She is also prioritizing Canada’s performances over her own potential medal haul.

“It’s important to have goals for yourself, but those aren't always aimed towards winning,” said the 23-year-old Black. “I can't focus on the expectations of others. All I need to do is focus on our new goals, our plan, the process and using this competition as a stepping stone as we build towards Worlds. I am excited to have another opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games.”

The Canadian team in Lima includes Black, fellow 2015 Games competitor Victoria Woo, Shallon Olsen, Brooklyn Moors and Ana Padurariu.

Black said the Canadian women’s aim in Lima will be an optimal performance in its own right.

“For our team, our goal is to use this competition for experience and practice,” she said. “We will go out and aim to show our best gymnastics and make Canada proud. We always hope to have good results for Canada but we try to focus on the process instead of just the end result.”

Success in Lima could benefit Black and her teammates as they prepare for this fall’s Worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, from which nine teams will advance to next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The top three teams at last year’s Worlds in Doha, where Black led Canada to a history-best fourth-place finish, have already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

“Participating in Lima will be a perfect chance to compete again as a team, gain more podium and international experience, and work on our consistency and executing our routines the way we want in competition,” Black told IG. “It is a building block for our team as we continue to build in our preparations for the World Championships. It will be a fun and exciting step in the process.”

International Gymnast magazine’s recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:

Brooklyn Moors center poster (April 2019) Ana Padurariu cover photo and interview (March 2019)

“A Canadian in Control” - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie profile (September 2018)

“Canadian Grace” - Brooklyn Moors interview (December 2017)

Ellie Black on cover collage (September 2017)

“Canadian Candor” - Ellie Black and Zachary Clay interviews (July/August 2017)

“Canadian Pace-setter” - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)

“Canadian on a Roll” - Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)

Chrobok, Meixi Semple on cover inset photo (March 2016)

“Canadian Beacon” - Black interview (September 2015)

Christine Peng-Peng Lee chat (April 2015)

Megan Roberts profile (April 2015)

“Canadian Promise” - Black chat, Robert Watson profile (July/August 2014)

Isabela Onyshko profile (July/August 2014)

“Making Tracks” - Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)

"Aiming to Top the Charts" - Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)

"Canadian Diversity" - Ellie Black and Hugh Smith profiles (July/August 2013)

"Sudden Impact" - Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or to order back issues, click here.

Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 20 July 2019 19:56    PDF Print
Biles, McClain Win 2019 US Classic Titles
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles (World Champions Centre) successfully defended her all-around title at the 2019 US Classic Championship held at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. Biles (also winner at the event in 2014, 2015 and 2018) competed clean start to end to post 60.0 in the all-around to snatch another title by yet again fairly large margin. Second and third place finishers were Riley McCusker (MG Elite) 57.9 and Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) 57.7, who also went four-for-four.

Biles competed a Cheng on vault to post top score on the event (15.65), and also outscored the field on floor by a wide margin despite landing her new pass (Biles to punch front layout) entirely out of bound (15.0/6.8). She was also rock-solid on bars and beam performing cleanly and posting 14.45/6.2 and 14.9/6.2.

With her complex routine on beam (switch leap to ring leap mount, front aerial split ring to ff step out, side aerial to layout-layout, leap to side somie, switch ring to ff to ff swing down, round off, ff, 2 1/2 twists) Kara Eaker from GAGE posted best score on the event 15.4/6.8, and her all-around of 56.8 was the fourth best of the day. Teammate Leanne Wong was fifth with a 56.65. The 2019 American Cup winner hit every routine but gave a few tenths away on a late toe full on bars, and big steps on her landings on double layout dismount on bars and 3 ½ twists on floor. Sixth was Morgan Hurd from First State with a 56.5. Hurd topped the field on bars with a clean routine sticking her full twisting double tuck dismount 14.7/6.0.

Jade Carey (Arizona Sunrays) impressed on floor with a clean double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, double twisting double tuck and front tuck step out to double tuck to post 14.25/6.1, tie for second best on the event with McCallum. Carey was also strong on vault competing a Cheng and a double twisting Yurchenko for the vault title. For complete results click here.

In the junior competition Konnor McClain from Revolution Gymnastics won the all-around title with a 55.6, ahead of Sydney Barros (Texas Dreams) 55.3, and Olivia Greaves (MG Elite) 54.75. McClain posted top scores on vault 14.8 and beam 14.35, while Greaves had the best bar routine with a 14.2. The top score on floor was 13.7, which came from Skye Blakely (WOGA) who placed fourth in the all-around with a 53.95. For complete results click here.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 19 July 2019 12:06    PDF Print
Adlerteg on Tokyo 2020: ‘I’m Going To Try All Ways To Qualify’
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Known primarily for her medal-winning fortitude on uneven bars, Swedish veteran Jonna Adlerteg told IG that her third-place all-around finish at the recent Swedish Championships was a positive step on her way towards her second Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo.

“I've been trying to compete more than bars for quite a while now, but I've always had some kind of setback,” said Adlerteg, a 2012 Olympian, the 2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist on uneven bars and a two-time European Championships medalist on uneven bars. “But now I was finally ready to go so I thought the Swedish nationals would be like a good try for me, with no pressure and no expectation. And I've been enjoying both training and competing on all apparatuses now.”

Adlerteg said she was provisionally content with her performances on the other three apparatuses at the Swedish Championships, where she also finished first on uneven bars and first on balance beam.

“I'm just glad I could compete,” said Adlerteg, who turned 24 on June 6. “I wasn't as prepared as usual since it was early in the season and I also did very easy routines. I'm satisfied I've made it this far but I need more training to reach my potential.”

Although a knee injury kept Adlerteg out of the 2016 Rio Olympics, she is confident she can qualify for the 2020 Games. She has been competing on uneven bars in World Cup meets as one way to earn a spot, but aims for a good all-around performance at this fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart as another possible route to Tokyo.

“I think I'm going to try all ways to qualify,” said Adlerteg, who is coached by Sebastian Melander and Helena Andersson in Eskilstuna, Sweden. “So my plan is to complete all-around in Stuttgart but my priority is going to be bars.”

Adlerteg also looks to improve upon her fifth-place finish on uneven bars at the European Championships in Szczecin, Poland, in April. She qualified first to the final, where she yielded 0.20 points in difficulty and subsequently dropped out of the medals when she did not connect her intended opening

To challenge for a medal in Stuttgart, Adlerteg is focusing on both difficulty and execution.

“I'm always aiming for better execution,” she told IG. “I might be able to get the D-score a little higher but I'm putting most of my effort to get a higher E-score.”

International Gymnast magazine’s coverage of Swedish gymnastics includes: Jessica Castles center poster (November 2018)

“A Swedish Champ from Argentina” - Marcela Torres profile (October 2015)

“Swinging for Success” - Adlerteg profile (May 2015)

“Swedish Achiever” - Ida Gustafsson short profile (June 2013)

“Scouting Scandinavia” - IG’s visit to clubs in Sweden and Norway (March 2011)

“Swedish Upswing” - Swedish women’s team feature (November 2010)

“Swedish History-maker” - Adlerteg profile (November 2010)

“Sweden’s Standout” - Mans Stenberg profile (March 2010)

“Veronica’s Date: 2008” - Veronica Wagner profile (February 2005)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by Travis Seefried    Saturday, 06 July 2019 15:31    PDF Print
Looking Back At The 1st Junior Worlds
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

The first ever Junior World Championships were held in Györ, Hungary from June 24 through June 30, 2019. With more than 250 athletes from 62 nations competing, the competition served as a test event to determine if it will be added every other year to the FIG calendar. The Junior Worlds were open to girls born in 2004 and 2005 and boys born in 2002 and 2003. The team and all-around medals were determined the first day of competition. These rounds also served as qualifications to two days of apparatus finals. Russia dominated the junior women’s competition by claiming the team title (111.654) by more than two points over second place China (109.497) and third place USA (109.380). Russian Viktoriia Listunova claimed the all-around title (55.323) over teammate Vladislava Urazova (55.298) and China’s Ou Yushan won the bronze medal (54.931).

In the event finals, USA’s Kayla DiCello won the vault title over Jennifer Gadirova (Great Britain) and Urazova. On bars, Urazova and Listunova earned the top two places while China’s Wei Xiaoyuan finished in third. Another Russian, Elena Gerasimova was crowned beam champion over Wei and DiCello. All-around champion Listunova impressed the judges and fans alike with the floor title over Yushan and Gerasimova. In the end, Russia won nine world medals, five of them gold, which certainly served as a strong message to the rest of the world.

In the junior men’s competition, Japan soared to the team title (162.754) over Ukraine (159.828) and Italy (159.179). Just like the Russian junior women, the Japanese junior men posted a one-two finish in the all-around with Shinnosuke Oka (80.674) edging teammate Ryosuke Doi (80.477) for the gold. Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun finished with the bronze (80.264).

Korea’s Sunghyun Ryu won the floor title with Canada’s Felix Dolci and Ukraine’s Nazar Chepurnyi finishing in second and third. Japan finished one-two again on pommel horse with Takeru Kitazono winning the gold over Oka. Edvins Rodevics (Latvia) won the bronze. Dolci gave Canada its first ever world title with the rings gold. Finishing in second and third were Diogo Soares (Brazil) and Haonan Yang (China). Romanian Gabriel Burtanete won the vault title over Yang and Great Britain’s Jasper Smith-Gordon. Kitazono picked up another gold medal on parallel bars while Yang and Oka rounded out the top three. Chepurnyi earned the gold on high bar over Ivan Gerget (Russia) and Krisztian Balazs (Hungary). Just as the Russian junior women had done, the Japanese junior men proved to be the supreme team of the competition earning seven medals in total, four of them being gold.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by Admin    Monday, 17 June 2019 08:55    PDF Print
Skye Blakely Making A Splash Early In Elite Career
(6 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

By Ashlee Buhler

From the moment she stepped onto the podium at her first elite competition, it was clear Skye Blakely had something special. With a rare blend of power, grace and poise, Skye makes competing at the sports highest level look easy.

Her journey in the sport started at the age of 3. At the time her mother had already enrolled her in ballet and tap classes and was looking to add another activity; so gymnastics it was.

As a young girl progressing through the sport, she looked up to 2012 Olympic Champion Gabby Douglas. “When I started watching her I had recently joined the competitive team at my gym,” Skye said. “I was inspired because she looked like me and she was so talented.”

In 2018, Skye joined the coveted elite ranks, following in the footsteps of her older sister Sloane Blakely, who became an elite in 2016. Being able to train alongside her sister has been a great source of motivation, Skye said.

“I love having a sister who is also elite. We get to go on this journey side by side. One way we push each other is when one of us gets a new skill, the other will be motivated to get it too. We also encourage each other when one of us is having a bad day. Being side by side motivates us to be the best we can be.”

The Blakely sisters train together at WOGA in Frisco, Texas. Sloane was added to the senior national team in February 2019, while Skye became a member of the junior national team after a phenomenal performance at the 2018 U.S. Championships.

Skye left a lasting impression at her first-ever appearance at the U.S. Championships, finishing third on vault, second on bars, fifth on floor, and fourth all-around. After having to take time off the season prior to nurse an elbow injury, Skye couldn’t have asked for much more.

“After coming back from an injury, being able to have a strong first season of elite really helped my confidence,” she said. “Before my elite season I hadn’t competed in a while so I was still trying to gain confidence. By the end of season I had gained a lot of faith in Christ and in who I am as a gymnast and person.”

Skye started her 2019 season strong by making her international debut at the Gymnix International. She helped team USA to the gold medal as well as bringing home gold on vault, gold on bars and a bronze in the all-around.

In the gym she is currently working on a few upgrades to ensure she stays competitive with the talented field of up-and-coming gymnasts. “I am working on a tucked double double on floor, a half-on entry on vault, and a front handspring-front tuck on beam.”

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.
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