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Carmel Kallemaa captures first senior all-around title at 2021 Virtual Elite Canada in Rhythmic Gymnastics

Canada’s top-3 senior athletes eligible to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games and Senior Pan American Championships – Katherine Uchida, Natalie Garcia, and Sophie Crane, all elected not to compete, and will instead compete in a series of technical trials to be held in April to determine which athletes will head to the Senior Pan American Championships which are the final qualification event for Tokyo for rhythmic gymnastics.

Held virtually, the 2021 Elite Canada saw athletes and coaches submit videos of their routines taken at their home gyms from March 17-24 and judging then took place from March 27-28. Awards were handed out for the following categories: Senior Individual, Junior Individual, and group in junior development, junior FIG, and senior FIG. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in some provinces, not all eligible athletes elected to compete, and unlike in previous years, this competition was not used for selection to any future events. Athletes could also elect to perform 2, 3, or 4 routines.

Kallemaa, who for the last few seasons was a member of the Senior National Group, returned to individual competition this year and won the gold medal in ribbon (16.450), silver in hoop and clubs (19.850 & 20.600), and bronze in ball (20.150) in addition to her gold medal win in the senior all-around (77.050).

“My performances at Elite Canada weren’t the best yet,” said Kallemaa. “There is a lot of room for improvement. I have to work a lot on my difficulties and concentrate even more on my execution, but I’m happy that even during these difficult times I was able to concentrate and not get nervous. When the pandemic hit last year I never stopped training. I kept pushing myself to stay in shape and get stronger, and I felt that it was time to return to individual competition. With my mom/coach Janika Mölder, we set new goals and my passion for the sport got bigger each day. I’m happy to be back in individual and to be moving towards my new goals. I can’t wait to represent Canada on an international stage, in individual events!”

When asked about what it was like to compete virtually, Kallemaa added: “This was definitely a different kind of experience. I really love to compete, and to share my emotions and the stories of my routines with the judges and the audience. During virtual competitions I have to be able to do that through the lens of a camera, but for me competition is competition and I love it whether it’s virtual or in-person.”  

Taking the silver medal in the senior all-around competition was Sianna Tsakiridis, also from Glimmer, who also captured silver in ribbon (14.700), and bronze in clubs (17.450). Taking bronze was Julia Oprea from Adagio who also took bronze in hoop (16.650), and ribbon (13.300).

Suzanne Shahbazian from Questo RG, who was injured for the 2020 Elite Canada competition, competed in the hoop and ball competitions only and had the top scores in both to win two gold. Her 22.250 in ball was the highest score of the competition, and she scored a very respectable 20.150 with her hoop routine.

Winning gold in clubs with a score of 21.350 was Tatiana Cocsanova who finished third overall in the senior all-around at last year’s Elite Canada.

In the junior competition, Lodoen, who finished third overall in the novice competition at the 2020 Elite Canada, took the overall title with a total score of 54.600. She also captured the silver medal in clubs (15.650), and bronze in ribbon (12.800). Keira Popov from Ritmika took silver with a score of 54.300, while Phoebe Wang from York Stars RGC took bronze with a total score of 53.000.

Si Yuan Cao from Questo had the top junior score of the competition with a 16.350 for her clubs routine to take gold in that apparatus. She also had the top ribbon score (14.250) to take gold there as well. Winning gold in hoop was Pari Goyal from Olympia Rhythmic Gymnastics with a score of 14.450, while Angelina Lin from Adagio won gold in ball with her routine scoring a 15.600.

In the senior FIG group competition, the group from Glimmer Athletic Club (which also saw Carmel as a member), dominated the competition, taking gold with both their 5 ball, and 3 hoops/2 clubs routines to also win the overall gold.

In the junior FIG group competition, it was the group from Silhouettes of York that swept the podium, taking gold with their 5 ball, and 5 ribbons routines to also capture overall gold.

“We are so pleased with the enthusiasm and work by the athletes and coaches in such unprecedented and challenging times,” said Teresa Orr, National Team Director for rhythmic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada. “Considering the weeks, and for some – months of training by zoom, and the short time to prepare safely in a gym, their performances are truly a testament to their dedication and desire.”  

All of the submitted videos are available for viewing on the GymCan website at the links below:


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First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada has been supporting the mastery of movement in Canada for five decades as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. We work closely with the twelve provincial federations and 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experiences through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. for more information, or follow us @gymcan1. From here, we soar.


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Julie Forget

Director, Communications and Marketing

Gymnastics Canada

Cell: 819.210.2064


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