Star power

Rou­tines by Cana­dian gym­nasts high­light IGA meet

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

El­lie Black, a Cana­dian Olympic gym­nast and five-time Pan-Am gold medal­list, and her team­mate on the na­tional squad, Hugh Smith, will show off their new rou­tines Satur­day as part of the Is­land Gym­nas­tics Academy’s an­nual meet in Char­lot­te­town.

Black and Smith start warmups at 4:30 p.m., at the Delta Prince Ed­ward Ho­tel. They are part of the event, which be­gins Fri­day and runs un­til Sun­day.

The meet will draw more than 500 high-per­for­mance gym­nasts rep­re­sent­ing 14 clubs in more than 24 cat­e­gories from across Canada.

IGA ad­min­is­tra­tor Lea Rand said the com­bi­na­tion of the unique venue and the high qual­ity of com­pe­ti­tion is the main at­trac­tion for com­peti­tors and au­di­ences.

“The venue has un­der­gone some ma­jor ren­o­va­tions and up­dates over the last year and we are see­ing this com­pe­ti­tion con­tinue to grow ev­ery year,” Rand said. “We’re con­stantly com­pli­mented by coaches, judges and ath­letes at how pro­fes­sional and flaw­less this com­pe­ti­tion moves and we’re so de­lighted that our lit­tle club from Prince Ed­ward Is­land has built such a won­der­ful event.”

Black, a Hal­i­fax na­tive, helped Canada’s 2012 Olympic Team to its best-ever, fifth-place fin­ish in the team event. Black was also Canada’s lead­ing scorer on the vault ex­er­cise where she made it to event fi­nals and placed eighth in the world.

She fin­ished ninth all-around at the 2014 world cham­pi­onships, post­ing Canada’s bestever re­sult in the event. At the 2015 Pan Am Games, Black won five gold medals, in­clud­ing an in­di­vid­ual all-around (Canada’s first in the event since 1979).

She’s cur­rently train­ing for the 2016 Olympic Games later this year in Brazil.

Smith, who lives in Dart­mouth, N.S., has com­peted in three Pan Ams since 2007 and was a na­tional gold medal win­ner at the 2012, 2013 and 2015 cham­pi­onships. He also rep­re­sented Canada at the 2014 na­tion­als in Nan­ning, China.

A long­time mem­ber of the Cana­dian na­tional team, Smith is hop­ing to se­cure a spot on Canada’s Olympic team.

Sched­ule and more at www.is­landgym­nas­tic­sacademy.com.

SUB­MIT­TED

El­lie Black will per­form her rou­tine Satur­day in Char­lot­te­town.

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