July 10, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Ellie Black, a 2012 Olympian from Halifax, reached the podium twice in women’s artistic gymnastics at the 27th Summer Universiade, on Wednesday.
In a field full of world-class gymnasts, Black’s performance in the floor routine final landed her a silver medal after scoring 13.750. She added bronze at the beam with a 14.400 score.
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Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
Before today, Canada’s only FISU Games medal in women’s artistic gymnastics was a third-place finish by Anita Botnen at the beam 30 years ago in Edmonton. Canadian women had not competed in the sport at the Universiade since 1999.
“It’s incredible and I’m so happy,” Black said of the two medals around her neck. “In my vault final, I didn’t medal but that was still the highlight because I’ve landed one vault I’ve never competed before. This has been amazing to represent Canada so well. I am so proud and to bring home medals is incredible.”
After placing second in the all-around final on Tuesday, two-time Olympian Kseniia Afanaseva of Russia triumphed in the floor with a 14.350 score. Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas, who also competed last summer in London, shared silver with Black at 13.750.
In the beam, China’s Yelinzi Zhang placed first with 15.150, followed by Aliya Mustafina of Russia at 14.525.
The women’s gymnastics competition in Kazan included an impressive field in all events. According to many experts who attended the event, the floor and vault finals were stronger than at the 2012 Olympics. Three Olympians competed in the beam competition with Black, including Mustafina, who won the 2012 gold in uneven bars. In the floor routine, all but one competitor had Olympic experience. The same held true for the vault and uneven bars.
“It was a really tough field to be in,” Black said of her competitors. “In the all-around, I was in the top group, I was competing with the top gymnasts in the world and it was incredible to be a part of that.”
The Haligonian also had a pair of fourth place finishes in Kazan, in the all-around (55.000) on Tuesday and the vault (14.862) tonight.
Un Jong Hong of North Korea, the 2008 Olympic vault champion, and Russia’s Kseniia Afanasevan, a two-time Olympian, tied for the gold medal in the vault scoring 15.125. Russia also took bronze in the event with Maria Paseka scoring 14.950.
Black, who helped Canada finish fifth in the team competition in london, won four medals at the Canadian championships in June. The 17-year-old will now wear the Maple Leaf at both the Pan-American Championship and World Trials in August.
“Like any competition, this gave me experience,” she said. “This is a huge multisport competition and it was a great experience for me to be here with Canada.”
CANADA’S UNIVERSIADE MEDALS IN ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS:
2013 (Kazan, Russia): Ellie Black, floor (silver)
2013 (Kazan, Russia): Ellie Black, beam (bronze)
2011 (Shenzhen, China): Nathan Gafuik, vault (silver)
2011 (Shenzhen, China): Nathan Gafuik, individual all-around (bronze)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Brandon O’Neill, floor (gold)
1985 (Kobe, Japan): Brad Peters, parallel bars (bronze)
1983 (Edmonton, Canada): Philippe Chartrand, high bar (gold)
1983 (Edmonton, Canada): Warren Long, vault (silver)
1983 (Edmonton, Canada): Anita Botnen, beam (bronze)
1983 (Edmonton, Canada): Women Team Competition (bronze)