Gymnastics Canada announced the selection of their World Championships team at the end of last week.
Unsurprisingly, Ellie Black – their star who has captured several titles this year, including all-around gold at the Pan American Games – is leading the team again this year. She is joined by 2014 Worlds teammates Isabela Onyshko and Victoria-Kayen Woo, 2012 Olympic vault finalist Brittany Rogers, 2014 Youth Olympic Games finalist Sydney Townsend, 2015 Pan Am Games finalist Madison Copiak, and new senior Audrey Rousseau, who will face her first big international test in Glasgow.
It seems as though some of the selections were made to give the young seniors a shot at international experience. Both Chant and Peterman were part of last year’s Pan Ams and Worlds teams and Chant has made several major international vault finals, whereas Townsend and Rousseau are still pretty green. Chant could very well fill a role on this team, but it makes sense to let a younger gymnast test the waters before diving into the Olympic year.
Townsend’s biggest contribution to a team could be her vault. She’s been out for much of this season, but has competed a DTY in the past and could add a big score there if she has this vault back. Rousseau, meanwhile, has a lovely bars set and nice work on beam, though has a history of being a little inconsistent at times. But if she hits the way she did in Jesolo, she could contribute great scores to the team.
I suppose the theory of giving less experienced gymnasts a shot could also apply to Rogers. Sure, she’s an Olympian and an NCAA superstar who competes nearly every weekend for the University of Georgia each spring, but she hasn’t really done anything at the elite level since London. When she returned at Canadian Championships, she definitely looked a little below the level you might expect from her, not having her full difficulty back and showing a few bloopers, but she only had a few weeks after NCAA Championships to get an elite program together. Since then, she’s been training an Amanar and looks great otherwise, so it’ll be fun to see how far she’s come since May.
It’s an interesting team with a few surprising choices, and while it will take a big push for them to land in the team final this year – they’re good, but so are about five other teams all pushing for those last few team finals spots – they should have no problem making it to the Test Event, where with the addition of a couple of their 2000 babies they should be a major threat, and could definitely repeat their success of 2012.
Article by Lauren Hopkins