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Alex Watters and Evan Cruz win multiple medals at Elite Canada Gymnastics Competition

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 11pm

HALIFAX, NS (February 4, 2017) – Day two of the Elite Canada artistic gymnastics competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia featured the junior and novice all-around competitions for the women and apparatus finals for the men.

In the junior women’s all-around final, it was newly crowned 2016 junior athlete of the year Ana Padurariu who took the gold medal with a final score of 55.100 after finishing first on all four apparatus. “I’m pretty happy, I did almost my best on every event,” said Padurariu who trains out of Gemini Gymnastics in Oshawa, ON. “Floor was my most fun event today, the routine is much more bubbly than my last one!”

Victoria-Georgiana Jurca (GYM-FLY) finished behind Padurariu in second place, scoring 49.700 while Elizabeth Holmstrom (Capital City Gymnastics Centre) rounded out the podium, scoring 49.400 to capture the bronze medal.

Kyra Cato and Sophia King from the Calgary Gymnastics Centre took gold and silver respectively in the novice all-around competition, followed by Jenna Sartoretto (Futures Gymnastics) in third.

On the men’s side of the competition, day two saw apparatus finals for both junior age divisions and the senior gymnasts. In the junior 14-15 men’s competition, it was Felix Dolci of Laval Excellence and Evgeny Siminiuc of Futures Gymnastics who dominated the competition, with Dolci taking gold on floor, rings, and vault, while Siminiuc took gold on parallel bars and horizontal bar.

In the junior 16-17 men’s apparatus finals, Chris Kaji (Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics) was a double gold medallist taking home gold on rings and horizontal bar, as was Darren Wong (Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics) who took gold on floor and tied with David Sandro (Gold Medal Gymnastics) for gold on the parallel bars. Elel Baker from Gymnastics Mississauga won gold on the pommel horse and William Emard from Laval Excellence rounded out the gold medals, taking home the vault title.

In the senior men’s competition, it was René Cournoyer of Club Gimnika who took centre stage winning three gold medals and one bronze to add to his previously won all-around title from Friday night. Cournoyer finished almost a point and a half ahead of second place finisher Zachary Clay (Twisters Gymnastics) on rings, while Yadollahi Parsa (Centre Père Sablon) took bronze. Cournoyer also won gold on the vault, ahead of William Black (Halifax Alta Gymnastics Club) and Carter Shelton (University of Calgary), and on the parallel bars ahead of Clay and Evan Cruz (Halifax Alta Gymnastics Club).

“I did a very good job today and yesterday so I feel great,” said Cournoyer following competition. “I kept it calm and trusted my training. There is no competition other than being the best that I can be.”

Thierry Pellerin won gold on the pommel horse, ahead of Jackson Payne (Calgary Gymnastics Centre) and Cournoyer. Hometown gymnasts Cruz and Jeremy Bartholomeusz of Halifax Alta Gymnastics Club also took home top prizes in the finals, Cruz winning gold on the floor ahead of Ryan Oehrlein (Gold Medal Gymnastics) and Wolfe Gazer (University of Calgary), while Bartholomeusz won gold on the horizontal bar ahead of Samuel Paquin (Centre Père Sablon) and Anderson Loran (Team Saskatchewan).

“I was coming into today hoping to do my best on everything and I did fairly well on all my events so I’m happy,” said Cruz. “I love competing at home. I see a bunch of people that I know in the stands and it’s always nice to have them see what I do since they don’t always get the chance to.”

As the men’s competition comes to an end at Elite Canada, men’s artistic gymnastics national team director Tony Smith is looking forward to the future. “We’re on the right track and some of the guys have really improved their difficulty levels,” he said. “René really cleaned up today, he was a good gymnast last year but he is a more mature gymnast this year and has increased his difficulty in pretty much every event and his execution is incredible. I think we will see some pretty big things from that man this cycle.”

The Elite Canada competition wraps up tomorrow with the junior and senior women’s apparatus finals at 11:00am AST.

For all the competition results, click here.

To stream the competition online, and view the archives, click here.


First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. Gymnastics Canada works closely with the twelve Provincial Federations and the 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coaching and judging education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experience through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit for more information, or follow us @CDNgymnastics.


For more information, contact:

Julie Forget
Director, Communications and Marketing
Gymnastics Canada
Cell: 819.210.2064
Email: [email protected]