Whelan and Garcia take all-around titles at 2017 Elite Canada in Rhythmic Gymnastics
Gymnastics Canada – MARKHAM, ON (March 19, 2017) – Carmen Whelan of Aurora, ON came ready to show her friends and family what she’s made of Sunday at the final day of competition at the 2017 Elite Canada rhythmic gymnastics competition at the Markham Pan Am Centre.
Whelan, ranked first coming in to the final day of competition, ended up taking gold in all four apparatus to finish the competition on the top of the all-around podium as well, with a total score of 62.750. Though she was firmly ahead of the rest of the competition with her hoop, ball, and ribbon routines, Whelan did end up in a three-way tie for gold in clubs with Katherine Uchida (Toronto, ON), and Carmel Kallemaa. Kallemaa lives and trains in Toronto but represents Estonia internationally.
“Today I felt much stronger. I went in feeling good with lots of confidence and I just went out there and I fought for everything,” said Whelan following the competition. “Expression-wise I felt like I was holding back a bit at this competition so I could focus on my apparatus because I know that apparatus is the biggest thing. If you drop, the whole score goes down, so for the next World Cup I want to focus on my apparatus, but I also want to increase my expression during the routine to bring it out even more so the judges can really see me.”
Whelan and Uchida, who finished second all-around with a score of 58.650, will next head to a series of World Cup competitions to test out their skills on the international stage before returning to Canada for the Canadian Championships in May. Athena Tsaltas of Toronto rounded out the senior all-around podium with a total score of 57.000.
In the junior competition, Natalie Garcia of Mississauga, ON finished on top of the podium with her hoop, clubs, and ribbon routines to also take the all-around title with a total score of 60.000, almost 7 points ahead of silver medallist in the all-around Michel Vivier of Scarborough, ON (53.750), and bronze medallist Gabriela Georgieva of Vancouver, BC (53.250). Garcia’s hoop routine scored an impressive 16.400 – the highest score of the junior competition.
“I was really proud of my hoop routine in today’s final,” said Garcia. “Usually my hoop routine isn’t my strongest, and it’s a new routine this year, so to do a really good routine like that and to get a high score was just amazing for me. That’s my best-ever on any apparatus at any competition.”
Teresa Orr, national team director for rhythmic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada, was pleased with the results of the competition: “I think that Carmen did a super job the whole weekend. This was her first time out testing new routines in front of her friends and family, and she’s really improved with her apparatus handling, and with her expression, she’s really matured, so it’s looking good for our seniors. Carmen and Katherine will be going to Baku (AZE), and the Sofia World Cup with the senior group this spring, and Katherine is leaving on Monday for the Aphrodite Cup – so these will all be a good test to see how they rank internationally.”
To watch archived video coverage of the event, visit gymcan.tv.
To view the full results, click here.
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