For the first time at this competitive gymnastics event, our women’s team made the podium, qualifying for the 2024 Olympics
The Canadian women’s national artistic gymnastics team recently had a historic performance at the FIG Artistic Gymnastic World Championship in Liverpool. For the first time ever, Canada had a podium performance at a World Championship where they finished in third place, with a score of 160.563. As expected, the United States won the gold medal with a score of 166.564, and the United Kingdom took home silver with a score of 163.363.
Canada’s podium finish qualified team Canada for the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris. In the lead up to the final rotation of the competition, Canada was sitting in fourth place, two-tenths of a point behind Japan. During the last rotation, Japanese gymnast Kokoro Fukasawa fell on uneven bars which resulted in a major deduction in her overall score.
Canada had an amazing rotation on the balance beam in the final rotation, which ended up being the second highest combined score for a team on balance beam during the competition. Canada’s composure on the balance beam saw Canada move into third place after the final rotation. The anchor for Canada on the balance beam was Ellie Black, who is very much an icon in the world of Canadian gymnastics, as this was the 27-year-old’s seventh time at a World Championship.
Black has had many amazing individual performances, but by the elation on her face when her team won the bronze, we could see how truly amazing she is as a teammate and overall competitor. In a post to Instagram, Black stated “Making History! First ever team medal for Canada at World Championships and qualified a full team to the Paris 2024 Olympics. I am speechless and blown away. Beyond proud of this team and what we just accomplished.”
Her final performance ended up sealing the deal for Canada winning the bronze medal. Black’s performance wasn’t over, as she also qualified for the event finals on balance beam, vault, and the All-Round Final. Black would take home the silver medal on balance beam with a score of 13.566. She just nearly missed out on the gold medal, as her Japanese competitor Hazuki Watanabe won gold with a score of 13.600. Black finished just shy of the podium during vault finals, placing fourth, along with a fifth-place finish during the All-Round Finals.
In reaction to Black leading Canada to a historic performance, Olympic Champion and CBC Sports analyst Kyle Shewfelt had this to say about Black: “For over a decade, Ellie has led the Canadian women’s gymnastics team to overwhelming success, but that is just part of the story. She exemplifies Canadian values – she is focused and determined, she always sees the bright side, she treats others with kindness and respect, and she is a fierce competitor on the competition floor.”
This result showcases how Canada can and should be a part of the conversation going into the Olympics. However, it’s now Canada’s job to prove that this podium finish isn’t just a one-off. Although Canada qualified last in the team final, it proves that anything is possible and that in sport the ability to capitalize on your opportunities is vital in achieving success. Therefore, Canadians should remain hopeful that Canada will succeed in achieving another historic result at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, as they have proven that they are capable of doing so.