Double Bronze for Team Canada on Day One of the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships
Gymnastics Canada – Everett, USA (April 8, 2016) – Team Canada’s women’s trampoline team and the men’s artistic team landed on the podium with bronze medals during day one of competition at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Everett, Washington.
The bronze medal winning trampoline team featured senior team athletes Samantha Sendel of Aurora, ON, Samantha Smith of Richmond Hill, ON, and junior team athlete Kalena Soehn of Red Deer, AB. Together, the women combined for a score of 286.810, which put them just behind the United States and Japan who won gold and silver respectively.
“I went up and did my skills, I can’t ask for more. As a team we all did very well and I’m very excited to take home bronze,” said Samantha Sendel.
Sendel and Smith have both qualified for the senior trampoline finals, which take place on Saturday evening.
Following a fantastic performance by the women’s trampoline team, the men’s artistic team put their best foot forward and also walked away with a bronze medal. The men’s artistic team comprised of Damien Cachia of Calgary, AB, Joel Gagnon of Minnesota, USA, Aaron Mah of Vancouver, BC, Justin Karstadt of Toronto, ON, Scott Nabata of Kamloops, BC, and Anthony Tawfik of Mississauga, ON.
“Tonight we went in and got the job done,” said Damien Cachia, “warm-ups went well and things worked out amazingly. It was awesome being out there with the guys and winning third place was a surreal feeling”.
Finishing behind the United States and China, team Canada finished with a score of 333.200 overall and competed well on every apparatus.
Top eight finishers from each apparatus will qualify for the men’s junior and senior individual event finals on Sunday. Team Canada’s youngest gymnast Anthony Tawfik is expected to advance to the junior finals following his strong performance in the team event, “I now have a chance to win more medals in the finals,” he said, “I have won other international medals before for Canada, but this is by far the biggest one”.
On the men’s trampoline team side, Canada missed the podium, finishing 5th overall and did not qualify any athletes for the individual finals. In the junior trampoline event, Zachary Blakely of Calmar, AB, finished in 9th place of 11 with Montreal’s Jérémy Chartier finishing in 11th.
It was a family affair in the senior trampoline event, with brothers Keegan and Kyle Soehn of Red Deer, AB looking to advance to the individual finals on Saturday. Following sister Kalena’s team bronze medal earlier in the day, both Keegan and Kyle fell short of advancing to the finals with Kyle finishing in 9th place overall and Keegan finishing in 13th of 15.
“We went out today and put on a great show for the crowd,” said Kyle Soehn, “we tried our best and unfortunately today we were just a little bit out of the finals. We will be back next time and looking for a better performance to make it into that final”.
On day one of rhythmic gymnastics, Canada is sitting in second place overall behind the Americans in the team event after the hoop and ball events. In the senior competition, Toronto’s Katherine Uchida is sitting in 6th after two events with Montreal’s Natali Nikolova .100 points behind in 7th place. Cindy Huh of Vancouver, BC is in 14th place out of 20 with the remaining events on Saturday.
In the junior all-around competition, Alexandra Chtrevenskii of Montreal, QC and Sophie Crane of Toronto, ON sit 2nd and 3rd respectively after the hoop and ball events. Mississauga’s Natalie Garcia currently sits in 6th place going into day two.
The Pacific Rim Championships continue on Saturday when the women’s artistic team and all-around competition begins. Day two will also see Samantha Smith and Samantha Sendel compete in the senior women’s trampoline finals, while the rhythmic gymnastics team and all-around competition continues with remaining events.
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