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Inaugural Canadian Championships in Acrobatic Gymnastics conclude in Oakville

The 13-19 women’s group from Calgary Acro, comprised of Lauren Bligh, Camile Calvo, and Emma Carlton showcased a combined routine on Sunday that was set to the same music that they used to place fourth in the 12-18 age category at the 2018 World Age Group Competitions – a highest-ever finish for Canada, and which garnered them the Canadian title in their class this weekend.

The 12-18 mixed pair of Mila Di Salle and Theo Chan from Oakville Gymnastics also added the title of Canadian Champions to their list of accomplishments after putting down the highest score of the competition with their combined routine on Sunday.

“The score we got in our combined routine was definitely a highlight,” said Di Salle, who along with Chan also finished fourth at last year’s World Age Group Competitions in the 11-16 category. “It was the highest score we got out of all of our routines, and it’s our best routine.”

Chan added: “It’s nice to have Gymnastics Canada here so that we finally have a sanctioned event and are more official, which gets us one step closer to getting into the Olympics.”

Competition was fierce in the 11-16 women’s pair and women’s group events with many teams fighting for the podium. For the pairs competition, it was Ryann Martin and Fiona Jones from Calgary Acro who took the gold medal, followed by Mira Lam and Chloe Fiore from East York Gymnastics, and Amanda Fletcher and Samantha Nugent from Gymnastics Mississuaga rounding out the podium.

In 11-16 women’s group it was Joelle Attard, Ally Attard, and Karyzza Guillermo from Oakville Gymnastics Club who topped the podium, followed by Janiya Ericson, Tatum Stock, and Keira Weber from Capital City Acro taking the silver, and Natalie Rup, Lailia Marziali, and Sofia Marziali from Gymnastics Mississauga taking the bronze.

There were only two men’s pairs in the competition this weekend, but both were strong fan favourites. The Youth pair of Emerson Wong and Reis Glowsky from Oakville Gymnastics are following in the footsteps of the other men’s pair who train out of Oakville as well – Max Hendershot and Kristian Diana.

“We’re hoping to make it to Pan Am Championships – that’s the next big competition for us, and then hopefully World Age Groups again next year,” said Hendershot who acts as the “base” in the pair. “This was a pretty good competition for us. We’re just looking forward to learning some harder skills to get more points. We know that we can do clean routines, and nail our skills.”

For the acro community, this event really showed the potential for growth of the sport in Canada. “The level of performance for all of the development categories really showed all of the work that the athletes and coaches have put in over the last few years to improve their skill level and execution,” said Meredith Warner, Program Manager for Sport Development at Gymnastics Canada. “The level of performance with the 11-16 age group was really impressive – they’ve really come up a lot in the last two years. We also had a full panel of national level judges at this competition which also shows the growth in this discipline.”

Next up for these athletes is a selection camp on Monday to determine the athletes that will move on to represent Canada at the Pan American Championships in Monterrey, MEX this November, followed up by the 2020 World Age Group Competitions next May in Geneva, SUI.

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