Black wins second gold medal at gymnastics World Cup

The Canadian Press
4/29/2012 9:44:43 PM
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OSIJEK, Croatia -- Halifax's Ellie Black won her second gold medal in as many days on Sunday at a World Cup gymnastics meet to cap a breakthrough performance.

The 16-year-old Black, who won the gold on Saturday in the women's vault, followed up with another impressive performance in Sunday's floor final, edging Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber for the title.

Silvia Colussi Pelaez, who lives in Oakville, Ont., but competes for Spain placed third. Toronto's Peng Peng Lee, who won uneven bars gold on Saturday, placed fourth.

Lee also finished fourth in the beam final.

Black is now contending for a spot on Canada's Olympic team for the 2012 Summer Games.

"With every successful competition her confidence is growing, and she has been handling all of her new challenges beautifully," said Canadian coach David Kikuchi in a statement. "I think that with her good results recently she has put herself into the Olympic picture, but Canada's depth right now is incredible."

Kikuchi, who competed for Canada at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, said Black has adapted quickly to major international events like the Osijek World Cup.

"She now has a world class vault, and difficult routines with original combinations on floor and beam that help her to stand out," said Kikuchi, who coaches Black at Halifax's Alta Gymnastics Club with Keiji Yamanaka.

"One thing that we really appreciate is the helpful and welcoming attitude that we have gotten from all of the athletes, coaches, judges, and staff. She isn't used to competing with a team, and that has probably been the best part so far."

Canada earned a full team berth at the Olympics in women's gymnastics at the final qualification meet in January. The Olympic team will be announced in June following the 2012 Canadian championships and a final selection meet in Gatineau, Que.

Among the top contenders are Lee, who led the Canadian team at the 2011 world championships and Olympic test event, Kristina Vaculik of Whitby, Ont., Victoria Moors, Madeline Gardiner and Mikaela Gerber, all of Cambridge, Ont., Brittany Rogers of Coquitlam, B.C., and Talia Chiarelli, now living in Boston.

Canadian Flag (Photo: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)


(Photo: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
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