On the final day of competition of the 32nd FIG World Trampoline Gymnastics Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the final four sets of medals were awarded. If any one word could sum up the theme of the day, it would be “persistence,” with winners who waited out their long careers for their first golds.
Three-time Olympian with 11 World Championships medias, 36 year-old Tatsiana Petrenia from Belarus finally won the coveted Women’s Individual Trampoline event, making her 12 World Championships medal golden. Twenty-five year old Bianca Zoonekynd from South Africa, a double silver medalist in the Women’s Double Mini-tramp event in 2010 and 2011 waited years for her overdue gold. Not only was a first gold in Women’s Double Mini-tramp for South Africa, it was a sweet win for Bianca after recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident earlier in the year. Finally, Dmitri Ushakov, 29 year-old from Russia, was always a contender, particularly since his silver medal in the 2012 Olympics, be never made the podium in Men’s Individual Trampoline at a World Championships, until yesterday, winning silver. He was edged out by a slim .275 margin by the defending World Champion, Gao Lei from China.
The Men’s Tumbling World Champion was another story. Young, fresh face from China Zhang Kuo beat out a formidable competition to stand on top of the podium.
But, he was not he only fresh face or up-and-comer who made their mark on this competition. The Japanese finally stood on the podium in the Women’s Trampoline event with Ayano Kishi’s silver. In third was 19 year-old from Canada, Sophiane Methot, the heir apparent to Canada’s Queen, double Olympic Champ Rosie MacLennan.
Aside from the youth and the experienced, it should be noted that France, once a dominating team on the world stage, is making a come-back with strong fourth place finishes in both the Men’s and Women’s Individual Trampoline events. Allan Morante pushed one of the most decorated male Olympic trampoline champions of all time, bronze medalist Dong Dong from China, only missing a podium appearance by .015! Lea Labrousse proved her strength, only missing a medal by .625 behind Methot.
Rounding out the medals yesterday, in Men’s Tumbling, were Anders Wesch from Denmark and Elliott Browne from Great Britain. In Women’s Double Mini-tramp were Polina Troianova from Russia and Lina Sjoeberg from Sweden.
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Until next year!!