Halifax, NS – After enjoying the opening ceremonies last night at the Halifax Metro Centre, the 137 gymnasts competing at this year’s Games, representing all provinces and two territories, were back in the gym today, training at the Canada Games Centre one last time, before competition kicks off tomorrow.
Leading the field this year is an impressive list of 18 national team members from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The four provinces are all strong contenders for gold in the team competitions taking place on Sunday for the women and on Monday for the men.
With Ontario and Quebec winning the last five team championships on the women’s side, chances are we will see one of them on top again this year. But expect team BC to be a serious contender for the title, as they present an impressive line-up, led by newly named senior national team member Briannah Tsang of Burnaby, B.C.
Team Ontario is also looking very strong on paper with four national team members, all from the Oakville Gymnastics Club: Elyse Bolger, Mikaela Gerber, Sabrina Gill and Jordyn Pedersen.
Team Quebec is counting on Eliane Kulczyk to play a key role in the Team, All-Around and Apparatus Finals. Eliane is a powerful gymnast that has quickly moved up from the regional and provincial ranks to become the leader and captain of Team Quebec.
On the men’s side, the same four provinces have well balanced line-ups, which promises an exciting and down to the wire competition. Defending champion, Team BC, led by 2010 National Champion in the Tyro category, Zachary Clay is hoping to retain their title against 2007 runner-up, Team Alberta and bronze medalists Team Ontario.
Both teams are led by all-around favourites, Bobby Kriangkum of Edmonton, AB, and Simon Porter of Mississauga, ON. Porter has however been slowed down by a virus and hasn’t been able to practice at full strength since he arrived in Halifax.
Finally, Team Quebec is hoping to climb on the podium for the first time since 1995 where they won gold.
The women’s competition begins at 9:40 am tomorrow at the Canada Games Centre with teams from Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, New-Brunswick, PEI, Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador. It will be followed by flight 2 beginning at 4:40 pm with team Alberta, BC, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.