Aside from the Senior competitors on Friday night, the Junior competition was also a highlight of the Elite Canada event with new up and coming stars showing what they’re capable of. While most still prefer to perform lower difficulty and try to go as clean as possible, others are real daredevils and threw D-scores that could rival many Seniors. The next generation of gymnasts is here and ready to fight for their place on Team Canada.
In the All-Around competition, Chrobok’s teammate Ana Padurariu completely stole the show. Seriously, she could have competed with the Seniors and she would’ve beaten all of them by over two points. As it is, she took home the Junior All-Around title with a total of 55.100 after an excellent day of competition. On vault she kept to her FTY after missing her Yurchenko 1.5 in warm-ups and hit it beautifully with just a tiny hop back for a 13.900, while on bars she had a small form break on her original inbar piked Tkachev but was generally clean for another score in the high-13s. As usual, beam was her highlight event where she debuted a new awesome (and scary!) mount, while also hitting a kickass side aerial to LOSO to LOSO series and a double pike dismount for a total of 14.200. Finally on floor she was very clean and expressive in her performance, with just a short landing on her double pike dismount bringing down her score into the low-13s. Looking stronger and stronger with each competition, Ana is set to completely rule the Junior division this year in Canada and also internationally where she will be among the top players. Hopefully she will manage to stay healthy as she gets closer to her Senior debut in 2018 and continue to show upgrades and amazing performances to help team Canada.
In second place, over four points behind Padurariu, was Victoria Jurca with a final score of 49.700. On vault, she performed a very unique Khorkina I (Yurchenko half-on half-out back pike) for a score in the mid to high-13s, while on bars she had a solid routine but with form issues everywhere receiving just 11.650. Unfortunately, she had a fall on her front tuck and wobbles on other skills keeping her score in the 11s, despite showing a good level of difficulty. She was able to recover nicely on floor with her confidence and difficult tumbles making up for some short leaps and execution errors and gathering a score in the mid-12s. While not at Padurariu’s level, Victoria presents difficult skills on all four events and could become an important asset for Canada if she managed to clean up her execution and form.
In Bronze medal position was Elizabeth Holmstrom with 49.400, proving that clean execution can make up for low difficulty and still allow you to fight for medals. On vault, she performed a simple Yurchenko layout with just a slight piking at the hips for a mid-13 and on bars she was showed a 3.3-difficulty routine without a same bar release move and just a double tuck dismount but she hit it cleanly for a score in the low-11s.Sadly, beam gave her some grief with a fall on her side aerial to score just below 12, despite showing some interesting skills such as a split jump mount and a front tuck. As for floor, she was able to post the second highest score of the day on the event with a 13.000 (just behind Padurariu) after performing a solid routine with simple tumbles (double pike, 2.5 to front tuck, double tuck) but confident landings and expressive choreography.
Beyond the medalists were Jaden Gorsline in fourth with 48.950 after issues on floor and low difficulty on bars, 12-year-old Zoe Allaire-Bourgie in fifth with 48.850 after a fall on beam, Charlotte Innes in sixth with 48.800, Myrelle Morin in seventh with 48.250 and Xuan Patenaude in eighth with 47.950.
In Event Finals, Padurariu once again ruled the competition, taking all four titles and topping her all-around score from Saturday’s finals with a total of 55.900 with a difficulty of 21. On vault, she presented a FTY and a Yurchenko 1.5, both quite clean for an average of 13.800, followed by Victoria Jurca in second place with 13.725 after her original Yurchenko half-on half-out back pike (albeit a bit tucked) and a FTY, with Charlotte Innes taking Bronze with a score of 13.600 for her FTY and Tsukahara layout. Outside the podium were Lucia Jakab in fourth with 13.475, Elizabeth Holmstrom in fifth with 13.300, Megan DiPietro in sixth with 13.275, Lea Atanganain seventh with 12.975 and Ilka Juk in eighth with 12.950.
On bars, Padurariu picked up her second gold of the day after a solid and difficult routine, including her famous inbar piked Tkachev with much better form than on Saturday to score 13.950. Over 1.5 points behind her were Éloise Monat and Zoé Allaire-Bourgie tied for second place with 12.400 after clean but low-difficulty work from both. Aside from the three medalists, Imogen Paterson was fourth with 11.825, Maëlle Delourmel fifth with 11.250, Victoria Jurca sixth with 11.225, Jaden Gorsline seventh with 10.700 and Megan DiPietro eighth with 9.725.
She might have taken Gold on all four events, but beam was where Padurariu really shined. Her routine is difficult, original, entertaining and cleanly executed and earned her a final score of 14.675, boosting a massive difficulty of 5.9 due to her side aerial to LOSO to LOSO series, switch ring and double pike dismount. Jillian Langille grabbed the Silver medal with a final score of 12.550 after a clean but much easier exercise than Padurariu (a full point below in D-score), while Chloé Lorange took Bronze with 12.400. Rounding up the finalists were Jaden Gorsline in fourth with 12.175, Gabrielle Deslauriers in fifth with 12.150, Charlotte Innes in sixth with 10.525, Kiera Wai in seventh with 10.050 and Myrelle Morin in eighth with 9.950.
Finally on floor, Padurariu once again amazed the crowd with her routine, combining powerful tumbles with expressive choreography to win yet another title with a score of 13.475. Winning her second Silver of the day, Zoé Allaire-Bourgie finished second with 12.775 despite her low difficulty level and Chloé Lorange was third with 12.750 to match her beam bronze. Behind them were Myrelle Morin in fourth with 12.600, Elizabeth Holmstrom in fifth with 12.475, Jillian Langille in sixth with 12.100, Charlotte Innes in seventh with 11.900 and Victoria Jurca in eighth with 10.575 after some issues.
In the end this competition showed how the younger generation of Canadian gymnasts is coming along, with Padurariu clearly showing that she’s in a league of own and that she could easily challenge other Juniors at the international level and fight for medals side by side with them. Aside from Ana, other gymnasts also revealed tons of potential with some opting for more difficult skills, while others chose to play it safe and go clean with easier routines. The results proved that both strategies worked and combining execution with difficulty will certainly provide Canada with a great pool of top level girls to choose from for major competitions in the near future. While these gymnasts are still too young to compete at this year’s Worlds in Montreal in front of their home crowd, they’ve shown that they belong on the highest levels of the sport in their country and that they will be fighting for a place on Team Canada before you even know it.
Full results here.