Lopez and Ferrera win Beam and Floor Gold in Veracruz

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Jessica Lopez of Venezuela and Yesenia Ferrera of Cuba became the beam and floor champions this evening at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.

Also on beam, Mexico’s Ana Lago took home the silver medal while Ferrera of Cuba added a second bronze to her collection. On floor, the silver medal went to Lopez while Dovelis Torres of Cuba picked up bronze.

Lopez, who has been a rock all week, showed yet another phenomenal routine for a score 14.25, beginning with huge amplitude on her switch leap. She nailed her bhs-bhs-layout series, switch side, wolf jump full, side aerial, sissone to front aerial, and full turn before hopping her 2.5 a tiny bit forward. It was easily the cleanest routine of the day – by a long shot – and she seemed very happy to pick up her third title of the competition.

Though Lago spent a significant amount of time out of competition due to injury, she proved tonight that she is finally back. Her routine was gorgeous and she showed such a calmness and focus, it’s not a surprise she ended up on the podium. Her front aerial to wolf jump to split jump series was excellent, her standing arabian was hit very well, and though her layout in her flight series looked a bit piked, she hit it well and then went on to nearly stuck her double tuck, earning a 13.85 for her effort.

Ferrera may not be the tidiest beam worker, but she had a relatively solid routine today, including her split jump to sissone to front aerial, bhs-loso, and double pike dismount. She earned a 13.525 on the event with a 7.825 execution score after a few checks and a rough sheep jump, but for the most part, she showed a real fierceness on this event.

A favorite for the podium, Ana Sofia Gomez of Guatemala unfortunately fell almost right away on her bhs-tuck full, landing with one foot on the floor and the other still on the beam. The rest of her routine was pretty excellent, and incuded some solid connections, excellent leaps and jumps, and a double pike with a slight hop back. Despite the fall, she still managed to place fourth with a 13.35, but it had to be a bummer to come so close to the medals, especially knowing that without the fall, she likely would have had gold.

Elsa Garcia of Mexico unfortunately fell on her side somi, which wasn’t even close to being in line with the beam. Overall her routine looked a bit ‘off’…even her number was dangling by just one pin! She had a few checks and wobbles, her layout in her series looked piked, and then hopped back her double tuck dismount, earning just a 12.5.

Ferrera absolutely killed it on floor, though she actually has too much power and could benefit from reeling it in a bit! She’s like Simone Biles in that sense…she’d add so much more to her execution if she could stick those landings. She had rebound bounces on both her full-twisting double layout and double layout, though I thought her 2.5 looked mostly controlled (she just took a small step), and she went into a controlled lunge on her double tuck. Tumbling aside, she really sold her performance well and had the whole crowd screaming for her at the end; her performance earned a 14.1.

Once again, Lopez hit almost everything on floor, including her whip to triple full (with a small hop to the side) and double pike. Her 2.5 to front layout looked very messy, however, and her foot went out of bounds as she stepped forward, though she still managed a 13.6.

Torres picked up a 13.425 for her powerful tumbling, including double layout (with a step back), 2.5 to front full, whip whip through to double tuck (with a hop), and a double pike to finish. She’s not as exciting as her teammate but is a fantastic tumbler with pretty high difficulty that no doubt helped her to the bronze spot.

I thought Paula Mejias of Puerto Rico had a routine that surpassed both Lopez and Torres, however I believe she was slammed on her execution in terms of her leaps and dance elements, and had the added disadvantage of going first. She had a nice 2.5 to front full, double arabian, and a near-stuck whip to double back, and though she was just about a tenth behind Torres with a 13.3, sadly she was left off the podium (and cameras showed her crying into her coach’s arms for a solid two minutes).

Garcia again was unlucky in her performance as she’s been all week, showing several bounces and hops in her routine, including a step forward on her double arabian that brought her foot out of bounds. She didn’t seem bothered by it, however, and always had a bright, genuine smile for the home crowd screaming her name.

Honorable mention for the night goes to Isabella Amado of Panama, who showed real finesse on both events tonight. Amado, who trains at Excalibur in Virginia and was a medalist at the Medellin World Challenge Cup two weeks ago, finished fifth on beam and sixth on floor but had no major errors, aside from going over time on beam. She also has a lot of joy when she competes, which you can see in nearly every movement she makes, and her beam is actually shaping up to be a pretty difficult routine, including a nice bhs-bhs-layout series and a double pike dismount. She looked as impressive to me in Medellin as she did in Veracruz and I hope we see more of her in the future.

That concludes the women’s artistic gymnastics competition at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games! Check out full results for beam and floor finals below.

Balance Beam Event Final Results

Rank Athlete Nation D E ND Total
1 Jessica Lopez Venezuela 5.4 8.850 14.250
2 Ana Lago Mexico 5.6 8.250 13.850
3 Yesenia Ferrera Cuba 5.7 7.825 13.525
4 Ana Sofia Gomez Guatemala 6.1 7.250 13.350
5 Marcela Sandoval Colombia 5.2 7.825 13.025
Isabella Amado Panama 5.5 7.625 -0.1 13.025
7 Elsa Garcia Mexico 5.8 6.700 12.500
8 Leidys Rojas Cuba 5.6 6.850 12.450

Floor Exercise Event Final Results

Rank Athlete Nation D E ND Total
1 Yesenia Ferrera Cuba 6.1 8.000 14.100
2 Jessica Lopez Venezuela 5.4 8.300 -0.1 13.600
3 Dovelis Torres Cuba 5.8 7.625 13.425
4 Paula Mejias Puerto Rico 5.4 7.900 13.300
5 Elsa Garcia Mexico 5.6 7.600 -0.1 13.100
6 Isabella Amado Panama 5.0 7.550 12.550
7 Karla Retiz Mexico 5.2 7.275 12.475
8 Catalina Escobar Colombia 5.4 6.300 11.700

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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