Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Japan Takes the Lead in the Men's Qualification at the World Championships 2015

On the first day of the men’s qualifications, Japan took the lead, finishing almost two points ahead of its rival China (358.884-357.027). None of them was perfect, however. Even Kohei Uchimura, regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, made a mistake in his performance on the floor event while executing a tucked double-double in the fourth rotation. 

Nevertheless, he still proved his superiority by executing an astonishing performance on the rest of his routine. He finished first place in the all-around qualifications after posting a score of 90.564.
“My head hit the floor and I felt uncomfortable… I felt dizzy,” Uchimura said. “It could have affected my last two events but I managed to compete with them by concentrating.”

A disappointed look was seen on Uchimura’s face after his fall on the floor exercise, of which he blamed for having to wait a long time before he can perform his routine, as the judges were busy deliberating over his team mate’s score. 

"I waited a long time and my body cooled down,"Uchimura said.

"So I couldn't move as I wanted to. At the beginning of the exercise it was fine, but at the end, I couldn't perform as I had wished."

"It might have been better to come down from the podium and rest, which I didn't do," he said. "This is not an excuse. I have experienced long waiting times before."

Japan began on the vault, where “King Kohei” performed a clean roundoff half-on to Randi to earn his highest score of 15.633. The Japanese team took the lead on the floor, vault and the high bar exercise after the fourth subdivision. 
Two Japanese newcomers Naoto Hayasaka and Kazuma Kaya had mixed results in their country’s first place ranking. Kaya earned a score of 88.431, making him the second best Japanese all-arounder. Additionally, his score of 15.300 on the pommel horse was the team’s highest score on the event. Hayasaka had difficulties on the floor and pommel horse event but his score of 15.200 on the vault makes up for it.

"Kazuma gave a really good performance," Uchimura said. "I feel the younger teammates really helped the team a lot. I can feel their youthful energy."

On the other note, Deng Shudi, the leader of the Chinese team sits in the third place in the all-around event, despite falling in the first rotation on pommel horse. The Chinese team recovered after earning the highest scores on rings (60.266), with the help of Liu Yang’s score of 15.866, and on parallel bars, where the Chinese team posted a score of 62.099.

"I am satisfied but I was not perfect," Liu said. "Rings is my strongest apparatus, but today I did not feel strong enough."

China, whose team has won every major international competition over the last decade, appeared rough in areas, so, with the help of Uchimura, this could be the Japanese team’s biggest opportunity to finally claim the gold in the team event.

Over the past four World Championships and the last two Olympic Games, Japan has always been second to its rival, China. Nothing was more heartbreaking than being a tenth-of-a-point behind China in the 2014 Summer Olympics.

Great Britain, currently sitting in the third place, competed in the first subdivision. After struggling on the high bar, where both Brinn Bevan and Max Whitlock fell while trying to execute their routine, the British team got on a roll. Similar to Uchimura’s experience, Bevan was also forced to rechalk a few times while waiting for his turn to perform. The World Championship newcomer shook it off and finished with a score of 14.666 on both the floor and pommel horse event.

The British team obtained the second-highest score on the floor and the best score on pommel horse, after Louis Smith and Max Whitlock obtained a score of 15.533 and 15.266, respectively.

Daniel Purvis is currently ranked second in the all-around qualifications. He performed well on parallel bars, as was Nile Wilson, who amassed a score of 15.500. After Bevan committed a mistake while performing his Tsuk-double pike on vault, Kristian Thomas saved the event by executing a wonderful Yurchenko-double pike.
"We want to do as well as we can in the Team Final," Whitlock stated. "We won bronze in the Olympics and were fourth last year, but the potential is there, and it depends what we do on the day to get one of those medal places."

Russia currently sits in 4th place (352.692) paced by the all-arounders Belyavskiy David (88.665), Kuksenkov Nikolai (87.398) and Nargonyy Nikita (87.331).

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Ellie Black Leads Canada as the Country Qualifies for the Rio 2016 Olympics

Last Summer, Ellie Black, a Canadian gymnast, introduced herself to Canadians by winning five medals (three of which are gold) at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
This time, the Halifax-born gymnast has introduced herself to the international stage. At the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships last week, the 20-year-old Canadian athlete delivered an astonishing performance that has put Canada in a hopeful position to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

With Black leading the pack, the Canadian team managed to finish seventh against 24 other countries, earning her country a spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics. The top eight teams will automatically move forward to the Olympics while teams ranked 9th to 16th will get another chance to secure a berth at the Olympic Test Event on April

“It’s a sigh of relief for the team,” said Kyle Shewfelt, a 2004 Summer Olympic gold medallist. “They don’t have to focus on peaking in April, coming down, and then peaking for the Games. Now, everyone gets to have a nice rest. They can regroup, build up their degree of difficulty and then maybe at the Olympic Games make the team final. And there, anything can happen.”

Now considered as one of the best gymnasts in the world, Black performed a dazzling performance on each of the four events earning her a total score of 57.299 to finish fourth in the all-around competition.

For that reason, she will move forward to the team, all-around and individual final on the balance beam later this week.

“At this World Championships, a lot of people’s eyeballs are bugging out of their head going: ‘Ellie Black – wow, Sneaky, sneaky little Canadian,’” Shewfelt said. “On the Internet, a lot of people in the gymnastic universe are really talking highly about her.”

“What I love about Ellie is that she’s such a rock. She goes in and she’s so confident when she competes. She’s able to stay up on the apparatus. She fights for the tenth (of a point), you can see. And she becomes better in competition than she is in training. And that’s what you want to see from an athlete. You want them to rise.”

While other competitors such as the Romanian team collapsed under the pressure, the Canadian team took the opportunity to move up in the competition.

“It’s kind of surreal at this point,” said Canadian gymnast Brittany Rogers, who attends and competes for the University of Georgia. “We knew that we had a decent shot going into it that we would come top-eight. But we knew anything could happen. It’s gymnastics. Falls happen. Catastrophes happen.”

“We’re feeling fortunate to be here.”
Aside from Canada, the United States, China, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Russia and the Netherlands are also a part of the top eight teams who will automatically move forward to the 2016 Olympics.

Canada joined the competition on the bubble, but delivered two days of astonishing performances from Ellie Black, Britanny Rogers, Victoria-Kayen Woo, Audrey Rousseau, Sydney Townshend, and Isabella Onyshko.

Aside from that, Onyshko will also move forward to the all-around final after finishing 24th overall.

“This is incredible,” Black commented on the overall results. “It was our goal to come in and do our best for Team Canada and hopefully come in top eight. To come in seventh and qualify a team for the Olympics is amazing. We all had a fantastic day of competition. We all did our best routines and really put everything out there for the team.”

The Canadian women’s team has qualified for the Olympics for two times in a row. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the Canadian team made a history by finishing fifth, Canada’s best-ever Olympic gymnastics team result.

Black learned a valuable lesson at the Championships. She has now become a leader.

No longer a stranger in Canada or in the international stage, she’s now facing the challenge of handling the pressure of expectation.

“We know what she’s capable of,” said women’s artistic gymnastics’ National Team Director Dave Brubaker “I think lately there has been a lot of pressure, because of the Pan-Ams and all of the hype attached to that. So we need her to focus on what makes her successful, not the outcomes.”

Speaking of the outcomes, everything is going well so far.

“The team competition, that was my main goal, to help the team out as much as I could,” Black said. “And then the second individual goal is already accomplished.

“From this, we’re just looking to enjoy the rest of the competition and do our best.”

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kohei Uchimura: A Japanese Gymnastics Legend

Those who had the opportunity of reaching the podium with Kohei Uchimura depicts him as a remarkable artistic gymnast. “King Kohei”, “The Bolt of Gymnastics”, “Superman”, or in the most positive sense – a “monster” are only some of the titles that are given to this Japanese gymnastics legend. 

Given that he’s a five-time consecutive World all-around champion, this 26-year-old Japanese gymnast can be considered as the greatest male gymnast  of all time.
Aside from his dominance in the World All-around competitions which earned him a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records, Uchimura is captivating for his unending search for perfection, the Holy Grail of Gymnastics. If some in this generation have chosen to perform an increased level of difficulty in exchange of a good execution, Uchimura returns Men’s Artistic Gymnastics to all its nobility.

This search for perfection started since he was still a child. At the age of 3, he learned his first gymnastics skills with the help of his father, Kazuhisa, a former artistic gymnast. His father trained him at his own gymnastics club in Nagasaki. When he was 15 years old, Uchimura travelled to Tokyo to continue his training together with his idol Naoya Tsukahara, a key member of the gold-medal winning Japanese men’s artistic team at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the year 2007, while still a teenager, Uchimera joined the Japan’s National Team, where he instantly became famous for his astonishing feats.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Uchimura was the youngest member of the Japanese Men’s team, but that didn’t stop him from being one of the top performers. Despite the error that Uchimura commited while dismounting at the Pommel horse in the individual all-around final, he still managed to finish with a silver medal to go along with another silver medal in the Olympic team event.
It was in the following year that Uchimura began showing his extraordinary superiority in the sport, after finishing as a World Champion in the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships in London. He finished 2.5 points ahead of the second placer, the same score margin that separated 2nd from the 8th place.

Despite the lack of height, standing only 5 feet 3 inches, that didn’t stop this legendary gymnast from dominating the sport. Not even an injury has managed to hinder his path. At the 2010 World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam, despite having a shoulder program, he still managed to defend his World All-around title along with three additional medals.

One year later, he took part in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo despite experiencing a pain in his calf, but was such a “machine” that he still managed to finish 3 points ahead of the second placer, the same margin that separated 2nd from the 14th place. After winning his third World all-around gold medal, Uchimura earned a standing ovation from the audience that lasted for two minutes upon the completion of his final routine “I thought it was an earthquake. I’ve never received such applause,” he said.
After such a winning streak, getting a gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics was not a surprise anymore. On his way to Rio, the Japanese gymnastics legend displayed no sign of struggle in the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, obtaining another two World titles with little to no difficulty.

However, despite having an impressive collection of World (a total of 16 medals, including 7 gold) and Olympic Medals (five, including 1 gold and 4 silver), there is still one dream that the Olympic champion has yet to fulfill, to win a gold medal with his team at one of the great international competitions. Since 2008, the Chinese team has always been ahead of the Japan at the World Championships and Olympic Games.
Perhaps the Japanese team will eventually end up as gold medalists one of these years, fulfilling Uchimura’s ultimate dream. As of now, “King Kohei” plans to extend his gymnastics adventure until 2020, when Japan will host the Olympics for the first time since 1964.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Australian Artistic Gymnast Beams on Brave Balancing Act

“Survivor” is the description that Peggy Liddick, the head coach of Australian women’s gymnastics used to describe Mary-Anne Monckton

Monckton, a 20-year-old Australian gymnast, is a member of Australian women’s team for the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow. She came back from a severe ankle injury after undergoing a left ankle reconstruction surgery last November, following the devastating selection disappointment in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she was selected as one of the two travelling athletes. 

The persistence of the young athlete caught the attention of the women’s national head coach.
“Mary-Anne was never really a superstar in her junior career, but she just has staying power,” Liddick said. “She’d get some injury that took her out for six months, and then she’d pop back up and would win something, and then she’d get another injury, she’d disappear, and then pop back up. So it was just her refusing to give up that really caught my eye, and then I thought ‘you know, she’s actually got some good gymnastics’.”

Her gymnastics skills are competitive enough to finish with a silver medal in the balance beam and team event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and to take part at the 2014 World Championships in China regardless of her ankle injury that undermined her training and performance for the year 2014. Also, good enough to be the most experienced Victorian artistic gymnast who will compete for the upcoming World Championships in Glasgow next week, October 23.

"People always see the end result, and that's only about five minutes of performance. A lot of hard work goes into it, so I'm just really excited that hanging in there after last year is really starting to pay off now," said Monckton, a 20-year-old gymnast who started gymnastics at the age of five, whose family moved to Canberra at the age of seven and to Melbourne, at the age of 15, and currently attends her tertiary studies and part-time work while training for more than 30 hours a week simultaneously.

"I knew that I could come back, but it was just to which kind of level was uncertain. But I just kept pushing and I was really determined to get back to the level that I was at last year's world or even better, and this year I've had a much better preparation and I'm feeling in great shape physically and mentally, so I'm really excited for the next couple of weeks."

As of now, her ultimate goal is to claim an Olympic berth by being a part of the top eight teams in the upcoming world championships, which would guarantee an Olympic team slot for next year’s Rio Olympics. On the other hand, her personal goal is to make it to the apparatus finals, and if by any chance, win a medal. Beam remains to be her best apparatus event, in which she has a top-10-quality routine and an elite 6.4 start value. On such an unstable and terrifying apparatus, she can do anything as long as she remains calm during the execution of the routine. 

"A lot of other girls find it quite scary," Monckton admits. "I mean, it's one-and-a-half metres in the air and it's 10 centimetres wide, so it's as wide as your iPhone.”

"When I was younger, I just would do skills on the floor and then my coach would say 'go to the beam' and I didn't really have much fear, and it's always been like that with me. There's some things that I get a little bit scared or anxious about, but when I go for it I just have this exhilaration that I can't find anywhere else. I just love being able to do flips up there; it's really fun."

However, her coaches, Peggy Liddick and Tracey Penaluna, a senior coach at the VIS, must sometimes protect perfectionist Monckton against her own self. Not physically, as her dedication and diligence guarantees that she’s never idle in the gym. The adjustment lies more on the psychological side; to prevent the young athlete on dwelling with minor slip-ups and mistakes, and rather focus on the process and not on the outcome. 

"She's a joy to have around but, if anything, she's too hard on herself," says Liddick. "I have to sort of protect Mary-Anne from Mary-Anne sometimes because she's her own worst critic." There are, however, no issues with her professionalism. "She's probably one of the hardest workers in the gym, and I don't mean just when I say do 10, she'll do 11, it's not that. It's when nobody's watching … she really wants to do this."

If ever the Australian team fails to make it on the top eight teams, there is still a chance to secure a berth at the Olympic test event on April, on which four more teams will get the chance to claim an Olympic qualification. Furthermore, if ever Monckton would be a part of the selection team, she would be required to add a floor routine to her repertoire as the members will be reduced from seven to five in the Rio Summer Olympics.

Even so, expect that the young athlete will do whatever is needed, as this young athlete whose love for the sport originated from being capable of doing what other kids couldn’t, is still managing a degree of difficulty that most would see as too great. "She has every reason to say it's all too hard, but she still comes to the gym every morning, never misses a day," says Liddick. "It's just something that she wants, really deep down, and that's why she's here. And I'm glad she is."

The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships will take place at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. The Australian team is comprised of Georgia-Rose Brown, Georgia Godwin, Madelaine Leydin, Emily Little, Larrissa Miller, Mary-Anne Monckton, Kiara Munteanu.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ballerinas are Resistant to Dizziness, Research Says

It turns out that, ballerinas aren’t just a master of graceful movements and fancy footwork, they also have a “pirouette-proof” brains.

A study has determined the significant differences in their brain structures that allow them to avoid the feeling of light-headedness whenever they’re doing a set of endless pirouettes.
It strongly suggest that ballet dancers’ years of training have allowed their brains to develop a way to suppress the signals that are transmitted by the balance system in their inner ear, which would otherwise make them feel dizzy and may lead to loss of balance.

This finding, which was published in the Cerebral Cortex journal, could promote a better treatment for the sufferers of chronic dizziness, a problem that affects one in four people at one point in their lives.

Usually, the sensation of dizziness comes from the vestibular organs in the inner ear. This fluid-filled structure becomes aware of the rotation of one’s head with the use of the tiny hairs -- which can detect the movement of the fluid.

The fluid in the vestibular system continues to move even after a series of rapid spinning, which gives the sensation like you are still rotating.

Practitioners of ballet are able to execute a series of pirouettes without having the feeling of light-headedness. The findings proved that ballet dancers doesn’t just rely on “spotting” – a technique used by dancers while performing a series of dance turns, which involves the rapid movement of the head in order to fix their eyes on the same spot. 

Twenty-nine female ballerinas and twenty female rowers of the same age and fitness level were recruited by the researchers at the Imperial College London. The participants were spun around while sitting in a chair in a dark room. They are instructed to turn a handle in time with how fast they felt like they were still turning around after they had stopped.
The researchers observed and measured the volunteers’ eye reflexes triggered by the signals coming from the vestibular organs. Subsequently, they have also analyzed the subjects’ brain structure through the use of MRI scans. The ballet dancers’ eye reflexes and their perception of spinning have diminished faster compared to the rowers

The Scientific American explained the reason behind it. “They were able to show that dancers had a decrease in the vestibular-ocular reflex. They moved their eyes less as they whipped around…And they also felt the turning less than controls. More importantly, the dancers sense of turning, and the vestibular-ocular reflex, were UNCOUPLED. They were not related to each other. So even though their eyes were moving in the reflex, they didn’t feel it!”

According to Dr Barry Seemungal, a neurologist who researches the brain mechanisms of dizziness and its treatment “Dizziness, which is the feeling that we are moving when in fact we are still, is a common problem.”

“I see a lot of patients who have suffered from dizziness for a long time. Ballet dancers seem to be able to train themselves not to get dizzy, so we wondered whether we could use the same principles to help our patients.” He continued.
The brain scans showed significant dissimilarities in the brain of the two sets of participants. The differences are found in two parts of their brain: an area in the cerebellum where sensory input from the vestibular organs is processed and in the cerebral cortex, which is in charge for the sensation of dizziness. The area in the cerebellum was smaller in the brain of the dancers.

Dr. Seemungal believes that this is because the brains of ballerinas have adopted not to use their vestibular systems, and instead rely on highly coordinated pre-programmed movements.

Seemungal stated that “It’s not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance.”

“Their brains adapt over years of training to suppress that input. Consequently, the signal going to the brain areas responsible for perception of dizziness in the cerebral cortex is reduced, making dancers resistant to feeling dizzy. If we can target that same brain area or monitor it in patients with chronic dizziness, we can begin to understand how to treat them better.” 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Philippines Hosts Another FIG Academy for Rhythmic Gymnastics

The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines had hosted another week-long FIG Academy in the country which was held from September 20 until September 27, 2015. It took place at the Gymnastics Association National Training Center located at Malate, Manila.

The event, a level 2 Academy for Rhythmic Gymnastics was held exactly a week after the Philippines organized a Level 2 Academy for Aerobic Gymnastics
It was the 6th FIG Academy that was hosted by the country, the 35th Academy for Rhythmic Gymnastics and the 209th FIG Academy that was held since the academy program has started 12 years ago.

There were 17 coaches who partook in the said Academy. Six countries were represented by these coaches, including Hongkong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the host country, Philippines. The participation in this Academy was partially funded by the Asian Gymnastics Union through the use of International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG) Development Fund.

Dr. Katja Kleinveldt, a German coach who abandoned her career as a medical doctor in order to fulfill her passion of coaching and teaching Rhythmic Gymnastics became the course leader for this Rhythmic Academy. Kleinveldt is currently the National Coach of Germany. She was accompanied by two other experts from Europe who are both in charge to discuss all of the technical lectures.

One of them was Nadya Alexandrova of Great Britain, a former national coach of Great Britain and Bulgaria and a member for the FIG Academy Working Group for Rhythmic Gymnastics. Another expert was Natalia Gorbulina, a Russian coach who has handled some of the world-renowned rhythmic gymnasts and was also a part of the Academy Working Group.
The examination proper was comprised of a theory examination and two practical examinations – first is the construction of a mini-routine and the other one is the demonstration of a rhythmic gymnastics skill.

Due to the coaches’ low level of experience, majority of the participants in the Academy achieved a relatively low score. Most of the scores are ranging from 51% to 87%. Despite being low, it shows a significant improvement compared from the Level 1 Academy that was held last year.

Cherrie Kwek, a rhythmic gymnast from Singapore got the highest mark of 87%. Philippines’ Enida Tolentino got the second highest score and the third best result was obtained by Whynn Reroma of the host country, Philippines.

The International Federation of Gymnastics expressed their sincerest gratitude for the Cynthia Carrion, the President of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, for her eagerness and passion on hosting this event in an excellent facility with a lot of remarkable participants and a wonderful support staff. They have also acknowledged the efforts of Secretary General Bettina Pou for taking care of all the preliminary organizational work and assuring that all the necessities and demands were met during the Academy.

The FIG Academy Programme will resume with a very busy schedule until the end of this year. The programme will provide coach education workshops at the Men’s World Championships and the Trampoline World Championships and will also organize Academies in Jamaica, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Namibia, Benin, China and Qatar on November and December.

The FIG Academy Program

The FIG Coaches’ Academy Program is an education program provided by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for coaches of various countries in all of the FIG disciplines (Men’s Artistic, Women’s Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline, Aerobic and Acrobatic). The program began with a goal of supplying the coaches with appropriate knowledge in accordance with the principles and content of the FIG Age Group information.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Karen Cockburn Aims to Secure Another Olympic Berth

Canadian trampoline gymnast Karen Cockburn proves that age is just a number.

At the 2015 Pan American Games held at the Toronto Coliseum last July, the 34-year-old trampoline gymnast managed to finish in first place through the first two qualifying routine  of the women’s trampoline competition.

Cockburn, a three-time Olympic medallist, finished with a total score of 97.465 points after posting a score 51.870 in the first routine and 45.595 in her second.

26-year old reigning World Trampoline Champion, Olympic and Pan Am Games champion Rossanagh MacLennan, finished with 6th place after getting a score of 47.555 in her 1st routine and 22.710 for the second one, to post a total score of 70.265.

"It's awesome. I have my family and my daughter here watching. For the first time she's watching me compete at an event like this, so it's special, gives you that extra energy and support." She said.

21-year-old Brazilian gymnast Camilla Lopes Gomes finished second after garnering a score of 95.765.

Still recovering from a broken left ankle obtained during her training in preparation for the 2014 World Trampoline Championships in Daytona last November, Karen Cockburn attributed her success to the motivation she got from the crowd, which included her friends and her “immediate family” members – her spouse, former Olympic medallist Mathieu Turgeon, and also her one-year-old daughter, Emilie.

"It's awesome. I have my family and my daughter here watching,” Cockburn said after the competition’s first two qualifying routines “For the first time she's watching me compete at an event like this, so it's special, gives you that extra energy and support."
Additionally, Cockburn also pointed out that her quick recovery and training preparation for the Pan American Games has gone off pretty well.

Should the 34-year-old trampoline gymnast continue to perform very well at the upcoming World Championships in Odense on November, we cannot see any reason on why she won’t compete at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics next year.

Canada can earn two Olympic places in the 2016 Women’s trampoline Olympics should they get two top-eight places at the World Championships.

“I'm coming off injury so if I continue to feel better and my training goes well, hopefully we'll earn some Olympic spots at the World Championships this fall, and if so I'll move forward to next year and definitely try for that,” Cockburn said.

Cockburn also has some unfinished business to deal with after she was pulled out from the 2011 Pan Am Games prior to the final in Mexico because of an illness.

On the other hand, in the men’s trampoline event, Jason Burnett, a 28-year old gymnast from Nobleton finished with fourth place with a total score of 101.560.

Jason Burnett was .295 points behind Columbian gymnast Recalde Hernandez, who ended up in the third place and gaining a spot on the medal podium.
Canadian trampoline gymnast, Keegan Soehn, acquired the first place with his score of 103.870.

Recovering from an ACL injury, Jason Burnett stated he is gradually rounding into form that aided him to secure a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Taking that into consideration, Burnett stated that he plans gradually steer right back into action with a moderate level of difficulty

 “I’m only 10 months post ACL surgery, so I'm taking some time to come back from that. So I'm fairly strong, just not 100 per cent yet,” he said.

He also stated that he is looking forward to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics in order to represent Canada.

“We'll have our Olympic qualifier in November at the world championships over in Denmark. With any luck I can place within the top eight there to qualify Canada for the Olympic Games in Rio and then I'll compete for the spot internally back home."

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held at Rio de Janerio, Brazil starting on August 5, 2015.

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