L'International Gymnix

Eaker, Allaire-Bourgie light up L'International Gymnix

U.S. star Kara Eaker won three gold medals as American teams dominated the International Gymnix Tournament this past weekend in Montreal.

Long known as a meet that hosts greats before their star turns on the world or Olympic stage, the highly anticipated Gymnix welcomed teams from five countries for its senior team cup and seven for Saturday’s junior team cup.

Eaker and U.S. teammates Alyona Shchennkiova, Sloane Blakely and Aleah Finnegan easily won the senior team competition, topping a Canadian team consisting of 2016 Olympian Isabela Onyshko, 2018 Youth Olympian Emma Spence, World team alternate Laurie Denommee and standout Haley de Jong by a ten point margin. A poised and promising Australian team (2014 World team member Emma Nedov, 2018 Youth Olympian Kate Sayer, Elena Chipizubov and Romi Brown) took bronze.

Eaker, a beam finalist at last fall’s World Championships in Doha, began the day by sticking her Yurchenko 1.5 vault and nailed her impressive set (side aerial, layout, layout, roundoff, back handspring, 2.5 twist dismount) for a meet-high 14.666 to move into first in the all-around after three events. She held onto it even after a fall on her double pike final tumbling pass on floor to edge Shchennikova, who opened the meet with a terrific double-twisting Yurchenko vault and carried the top score of the day on bars, by a mere tenth of a point, 55.298-55.198. She won the beam title during Sunday’s event finals as well, her third gold of the meet.

Tiny Azuki Kokofugata of Japan, one of several new faces the Japanese are sending to competitions around the world this year, impressed in her senior international debut, throwing a triple full beam dismount and turning in the best score of the day on floor exercise (13.8) for third overall, then added gold on floor in event finals. The U.S.’s Sloane Blakely finished with the third highest all-around score, but was bumped due to the two-per-country rule.

Fresh from winning last month’s Elite Canada, world beam silver medalist Ana Padurariu had a rough outing in the team/all-around competition, recording multiple falls on balance beam and coming off the uneven bars, but the 16-year-old came back to win bars in event finals.

Canada’s Zoe Allaire-Bourgie, already considered an Olympic team contender although she does not become a senior until next year, won the junior all-around competition ahead of Americans Olivia Greaves and Skye Blakely. Magnificent on uneven bars (Wyler to Maloney, Pak, toe Khorkina II, pike Jaeger, full-twisting double tuck) and balance beam (bhs, layout, layout series), Allaire-Bourgie added three medals in event finals, taking gold on floor and silvers on bars and beam.

“I’m truly proud of my performance!” Allaire-Bourgie, who competes for Club Gymnix, exclaimed. “I took things one step at a time, and everything went well. I couldn’t ask for more.”

U.S. junior Skye Blakely, the only junior in the competition to show a double-twisting Yurchenko vault, won that event as well as uneven bars. The entertaining Noemie Louon of Belgium won balance beam and took bronzes on bars and floor.

The U.S. team of Blakely, Greaves, Lilly Lippeatt and Kaylen Morgan won the junior team title by five points over the Belgians (Louon, Stacy Bertrandt, Charlotte Beydts and Jutta Verkest), while Bourgie, along with Clara Raposo, Rebeka Groulx and Rachael Riley, powered Canada to bronze.

UCLA commit Emily Lee was the top all-arounder in the Gymnix Challenge All-around, a separate all-around competition, tallying 51.35 ahead of Canadian standouts Laurie-Lou Vezina (51.166) and 2015 Canadian world team member Audrey Rousseau (51.049).

Gymnix Senior Team Final

1 - USA, 165.261
2 - Canada 2, 155.296
3 - Australia, 154.963

Gymnix Senior All-around Final

1 - Kara Eaker, USA, 55.288
2 - Alyona Shchennikova, USA, 55.198
3 - Azuki Kokofugata, JPN, 52.4

Gymnix Senior Vault Final

1 - Aleah Finnegan, USA, 14.0
2 - Haley de Jong, CAN, 13.467

Gymnix Senior Bars Final

1 - Ana Padurariu, CAN, 14.466
2 - Alyona Shchennikova, USA, 14.4
3 - Emma Nedov, AUS, 13.33

Gymnix Senior Beam Final

1 - Kara Eaker, USA, 14.466
2 - Sloane Blakely, USA, 13.766
3 - Elena Chipizubov, AUS, 13.2

Gymnix Senior Floor Final

1 - Azuki Kokofugata, JPN, 13.5
2 - Haley de Jong, CAN, 12.9
3 - Alyona Shchennikova, USA, 12.766

Gymnix Junior Team Final

1 - USA, 159.463
2 - Belgium, 154.530
3 - Canada, 154.463

Gymnix Junior All-around Final

1 - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie, CAN, 54.532
2 - Olivia Greaves, USA, 53.666
3 - Skye Blakely, USA, 53.332

Gymnix Junior Vault Final

1 - Skye Blakely, USA, 14.083
2 - Olivia Greaves, USA, 13.383
3 - Rachael Riley, CAN, 13.433

Gymnix Junior Uneven Bars Final

1 - Skye Blakely, USA, 14.133
2 - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie, CAN, 14.066
3 - Noemie Louon, BEL, 13.466

Gymnix Junior Beam Final

1 - Noemie Louon, BEL, 13.2
2 - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie, CAN, 13.1
3 - Lilly Lippeatt, USA, 13.066

Gymnix Junior Floor Final

1 - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie, CAN, 13.233
2 - Olivia Greaves, USA, 13.133
3 - Noemie Louon, BEL, 12.966

Quick hits: 2019 International Gymnix, Senior Team/AA final

Rotation 1:

Kate Sayer (AUS), floor: Double tuck, bounces OOB. Looking more mature and elegant since last summer's Youth Olympic Games, where she was eighth AA. More landing troubles on double pike, but no falls. 11.5.

Aleah Finnegan (USA), vault: Yurchenko 1.5 with a big step/bounce forward, some leg form. 14.1.

Emma Spence (CAN), beam: Bhs, layout. Switch to switch half (leg form). Front aerial. Double twist. 12.3.

Romi Brown (AUS), floor: Double tuck. Good high double pike. 1.5 to front layout. Polished work from AUS so far on floor. Double full to end. 12.7.

Laurie Denommee (CAN), beam: Bhs, layout. Side aerial, wobble. Side somie, solid. Layout dismount. 12.4.

Alyona Shchennikova (USA), vault: Very nice DTY, nearly stuck. 14.433.

Emma Nedov (AUS), floor: Full twisting double tuck, well done. High double tuck. Punch front through to double full. Sits the double pike to end. Too bad! Very nice otherwise. 12.066.

Elena Chipizubov (AUS), floor: Double pike, lovely light landing. Easy double tuck. A soft, pretty exercise, practically something out of rhythmic. Double full. Full twist to end. 12.8.

Imogen Paterson (CAN), vault: Tucked FTY. 13.266.

Victoria Woo (CAN), beam: Bhs, layout. Side aerial. Switch (small wobble), wolf, scissone. 2.5 twist with a step forward. 12.433.

Jade Chrobok (CAN), beam: Switch to switch half, half not quite at 180. Off on bhs, layout. Double turn. Front aerial. Side somie. Roundoff, double pike from a single step. 11.733.

Rose Woo (CAN), beam: Off on first element, a double turn. Punch front to straddle jump, aggressive. Off agin on bhs, layout to two feet. Switch ring. Side somie. Front aerial, split jump. Switch half, big wobble. Double full dismount. 10.666.

Ana Padurariu (CAN), beam: Off on wolf double turn, just like Rose Woo! A pity. Pretty switch ring. Off again on side aerial, layout, layout. Switch half. Front aerial, split jump, bhs. Switch to sheep. Hands down on double pike dismount too. Not a good day for CAN on beam. 11.0.

Rotation 2:

Haley de Jong (CAN), floor: Nice high Arabian double front to begin. Triple full. Double tuck. 13.2.

Sloane Blakely (USA), bars: Pak. Toe shoot to high. Stalder blind, pike Jaeger. Toe blind and good high double front with a hop forward. 13.5.

Romi Brown (AUS), vault: Pretty Yurchenko full. Kate Sayer (AUS), vault: Another Y-full with a little bit of form. 13.166.

Isabela Onyshko (CAN), floor: Double tuck. Pretty, avant-garde music with an Asian feel. Punch front to double full. Double turn with leg at head to illusion turn. Switch ring to switch full. Double pike. 13.166.

Azuki Kokofugata (JPN), beam: Front aerial to double stag. Switch, sheep. Quick movements from this tiny young gymnast! Bhs, layout, big wobble but stays on. Triple full dismount. Impressive! 12.7.

Emma Spence (CAN), floor: 1.5 to double tuck, bounces out of it but stays on her feet. 2.5 to punch front that goes forward but not upward and still somehow puts it to her feet. Save of the day so far! Leg form on her leaps. Double pike to end. 12.7.

Laurie Denommee (CAN), floor: Nice double layout! Punch front to layout full, looks like she's capable of well m1ore than that. Great choice of music for her, allowing her to show off her power and finesse. Big double pike to end. Nice routine. 13.1.

Imogen Paterson (CAN), bars: Has a nice routine going but misses toe on entry into Khorkina II transition twice, then falls on the actual element. 10.5.

Fien Enghels (BEL), beam: Back dive mount. One of the nicer wolf double turns in existence. Side aerial. Bhs, layout, step back. Front aerial. Ring jump, head not far enough back. Roundoff, full dismount. Very nice set, extremely calm. 13.033.

Victoria Woo (CAN), floor: Stumbles out of triple turn. Lovely dramatic choreo. Punch front through to 2.5. Double pike, hops back but good height. 12.833.

Rotation 3:

Romi Brown (AUS), bars: Maloney to Pak. Blind to Deltchev. Open double tuck, small hop. Getting Hollie Dykes vibes with this one. 12.8.

Mikako Serita (JPN), floor: Double tuck. Triple turn, a tad off. Double wolf turn. 1.5 to front layout full, step/bounce out of it. Rudi. She's a little rough around the edges choreo-wise, but a nice start for someone so young. Double full to end. 12.433.

Sloane Blakely (USA), beam: Double wolf turn. Wonderful high standing Arabian. Switch to switch half to layout stepout, huge. Front handspring to sky-high front tuck but comes off. Front aerial. Side somie. Big easy looking double tuck dismount. Such.high.tumbling. 13.333 (5.9 D!)

Kara Eaker (USA), beam: Full turn with leg at head. Front aerial to ring jump, small wobble. Side aerial, layout, layout, beautiful. Scissone to side somie. Switch to bhs to Korbut. Switch, switch side, excellence everywhere. Roundoff, bhs, 2.5 twist, hop forward. Bravo Kara! 14.666.

Fien Enghels (BEL), floor: Italian opera music. Double tuck, bounces out of it and OOB. Punch front to full twist. Lovely form and presentation -- and performing her dance with a smile! Double full. Delightful routine from Belgium's junior national champion. 12.166.

Maellyse Brassart (BEL), floor: Full in pike. Punch front to double tuck, hop back. As with all the Belgians, unusual music choice and very thoughtful choreo. Double pike. 12.9.

Jade Vansteenkiste (BEL), floor: Tourjete full. Good high triple twist to open. 1.5 to front layout full. Switch to switch half. She's quite an actress out there! Some very raw "animal" choreo in this routine. Overcooks her double tuck and sits down -- too bad! 12.233.

Rotation 4:

Laurie Denommee (CAN), bars: Toe Shaposh to bail, toe Wyler, toe Khorkina II to high, Gienger, pirouette out of handstand, toe front half dismount. Some form here and there but nothing too serious. 12.866.

Emma Spence (CAN), bars: Pike Jaeger. Nabieva, nice! Pak. Toe full. Khorkina II. Clear hip to giants to double pike, a little low. 12.466.

Yuki Murakami (JPN), vault: FTY, very nice! 13.266.

Kate Sayer (AUS), beam: Tourjete, tentative, lacking in amplitude. Two bhs to double full. 12.433.

Haley de Jong (CAN), bars: Toe Shaposh, very nice! Pak. Maloney to bail. Toe shoot to high. Blind, half turn (feet apart), giants, pretty double layout. 13.033.

Elena Chipizubov (AUS), beam: Bhs, bhs, layout to two feet, VERY pretty. Front aerial, jump, back tuck. Punch front, very nice as well. Ring jump. A little careful with some of her leaps/jumps, but perhaps the most precise gymnast in the field. Bhs, bhs, double full. 13.0.

Emma Nedov (AUS), beam: The eponymous back dive mount. Bhs, bhs, layout to two feet, wobble. Front aerial to jumps. Switch, wolf. Switch ring, won't be credited but no wobble. Punch front, solid. Double pike with a small hop back. Well done Australia! 13.8.

Sloane Blakely (USA), floor, Nice high full in tuck, great. Arabian double front that seems to drop from the sky. Double pike, shuffle back. Double tuck, hop back. Entertaining routine, capped with excellent tumbling. 13.566.

Kara Eaker (USA), floor: Triple full, too much energy and bouces out with both feet glued together nonetheless. 2.5 to front layout full, small hop to the side. Terrific turn combo. Ladylike music and choreo. Front layout to front 2/1. Hands down on double pike! Aie. 12.466.

Jade Vansteenkiste (BEL), vault: FTY, very well done. Great height and distance. 13.666.

Three falls off the uneven bars for Rose Woo (CAN), who nonetheless nearly sticks her double front dismount. She was trying some new skills here, and is clearly still adjusting. 8.633.

Ana Padurariu (CAN), bars: Inbar blind to pike Jaeger. Misses inbar Tkatchev pike. Repeats the skill and makes it, successfully connects it to Pak. Bail to Ray, full twisting double tuck with a hop. 13.433.

#IntlGymnix 2019 Senior Women's AA -
🥇Kara Eaker, USA, 55.298
🥈Alyona Shchennikova, USA, 55.198
🥉Azuki Kokufugata, JPN, 52.4*

#IntlGymnix 2019 Senior Women's Team final -
🥇USA (Aleah Finnegan, Alyona Shchennikova, Kara Eaker, Sloane Blakely), 165.261
🥈Canada 2 (Emma Spence, Haley de Jong, Isabela Onyshko, Laurie Denommee), 155.196 
🥉Australia (Elena Chipizubov, Emma Nedov, Kate Sayer, Romi Brown), 154.963

*This was not the result that the livescoring showed -- it showed Sloane Blakely third, followed by Belgium's Fien Enghels, and even Kokufugata looked confused when called to the podium, but this is how the medal ceremony played out.