Zakutney wins gold at Canadian gymnastics championships

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The Canadian Press
5/25/2013 1:50:43 AM
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OTTAWA -- Sam Zakutney took a step toward an Olympic dream Friday at the Canadian gymnastics championships.

After charging into the lead on Wednesday in the Tyro class, the Ottawa native kept up the pace on the second day to win the all around gold with a total score of 161.250 points.

Anthony Tawfick of Mississauga, Ont., placed second with 160.650 points and Ryan Oehrlein of Georgetown, Ont., was third at 159.050.

"My goal wasn't to win but just to do my best," said Zakutney, 14, who is aiming for a berth at the Youth Olympics next summer.

"I just focused on my technique and the steps I needed to do the skills properly and that allowed me to push my limits," added Zakutney, who had a large group of supporters in the stands cheering loudly every time he performed a routine.

"It can be a bit stressful when everybody's yelling and there's so much noise, but it's just really nice to know that people are encouraging me to do my best."

In the men's junior competition, Steven Chaplin of Mission, B.C., took the all around gold with a combined score of 152.250 over two days of competition.

Justin Karstadt of Toronto was second with 151.850 points and first-day leader Matthew Halickman of Montreal dropped back to third with a score of 150.800.

"I just wanted to hit all six of my routines, make a few finals and finish in the top five all around," said Chaplin, 16, who exceeded expectations in his national debut as a junior.

Chaplin will be going for more medals in the event finals on Saturday.

In other events, Meixi Semple of Oshawa, Ont., won the all around women's national novice title and Jade Chrobok of Toronto took the all round gold in the high performance novice event.

In the trampoline preliminaries Lexi Geisbrecht of Calgary and Keevin Madigan of Toronto qualified first in the women's and men's junior competition.

The championships conclude Saturday with finals in artistic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling.

Gymnastics (Photo: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
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