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Canadian men’s artistic gymnastics team misses chance to qualify for Rio Olympic Games.

“We were disappointed in our performance, but we went for everything because we knew we had no choice,” said Tony Smith, National Team Director for men’s artistic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada. “Without trying our most complex elements, we knew we wouldn’t qualify. Our team survived four serious injuries in the last year, and made every attempt to overcome those losses. Today, was not our day, but we know we will have another day.”

The team, comprised of Rene Cournoyer (Repentigny, QC), Scott Morgan (Vancouver, BC), Hugh Smith (Dartmouth, NS), Jackson Payne (Edmonton, AB), Ken Ikeda (Abbotsford, BC), Sam Zakutney (Ottawa, ON), and reserve Anderson Loran (Saskatoon, SK), finished the day with a total score of 330.626. Germany finished first with a score of 350.609, followed by the Ukraine (350.160), the Netherlands (347.444), and France (346.583) who have now all qualified teams for the Olympic Games.

“I think that with our injuries, our team lost too much difficulty in our exercises, and confidence in ourselves,” added Smith. “We seemed to replace a team member every month, and it took away much of our team spirit. Losing one guy is ok, we can expect that, but losing three guys turned out to be more than we could handle.”

“I felt great today, and the team felt great,” said team veteran Ikeda who represented Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. “Everyone did their best, but we just fell short.”

Smith was Canada’s top finisher in the all-around competition, finishing 49th with a total score of 81.965. Zakutney, competing in his first senior national team assignment for Canada finished 54th with a score of 81.164, while Cournoyer finished 61st with a total score of 78.399.

Canada is now assured one spot for an individual athlete in men’s artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games. That spot will be determined by Canada’s coaching staff and will be announced, along with the rest of the Canadian gymnastics team for Rio, on June 30th in Ottawa/Gatineau.

Canada continues its quest for berths at the Olympic Games on Tuesday when Jason Burnett will look to qualify in men’s trampoline. Isabela Onyshko (Brandon MB), and Victoria-Kayen Woo (Brossard, QC) will compete in the women’s artistic gymnastics competition on Sunday as they look to gain experience for their final team selection in June. Patricia Bezzoubenko will be the last to compete on Thursday in rhythmic gymnastics.

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First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. Gymnastics Canada works closely with the twelve Provincial Federations and the 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coaching and judging 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 experience through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit for more information, or follow us @CDNgymnastics


For more information, contact:

Julie Forget
Director, Communications and Marketing
Gymnastics Canada
Cell: 819.210.2064

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