Dec. 3-5, 2002       Gatineau, QC

Gymnasts begin chase for national team and international selections at Women's Elite Canada Competition

Posted Friday, November 29, 2002 by JP Caron, Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique:

GATINEAU, Que.   Heather Purnell of Metcalfe, Ont., and world championship team member Ashley Peckett of Mississauga, Ont., headline the Elite Canada womenís gymnastics competition set for the Palais des Congrès in Gatineau, December 5-8. The competition is organized by the club Les GymÈlites de Hull.

The competition is an important event on the Canadian gymnastics calendar. It counts for 50 percent in the national team selection process and is also a base for team selections for important international events from January to April 2003.

"This is the event where the athletes start to position themselves for the big events next year such as the world championships and Pan Am Games," said Lise Gosselin-Simard, women's program director for Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique.

In senior competition, Purnell, a member of the third place team and fifth all around at the Commonwealth Games this past summer, will be a popular favorite since she trains just across the Ottawa River at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre. The 16-year-old won silver medals at the national championships in May in the all around event and and on uneven bars.

She also comes from a very athletic family. Her sister Ashley is one of Canada's top up and coming sprinters and her father Ted played for the CFLís Ottawa Rough Riders.

Peckett, is just back for the world championships in Hungary where she placed 13th on floor. She was also a member of Canada's 10th place team at the world championships in 2001.

Other favorites include, double Commonwealth Games bronze medallist (team and floor) Kylie Stone of Calgary. Also watch for 13-year-old Gael Mackie of Vancouver who won three medals including a silver on floor last month at the Pan Am junior championships.

Competition will also be held in junior and novice competition.

On Thursday, it's the novice all around competition at 6:30 p.m. On Friday, the junior all around event is at 2 p.m. and senior all around at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the novice all around final is at 10 a.m. followed by the junior apparatus finals at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, the senior apparatus finals are at 2 p.m.

Admission is $15.00 for a weekend pass or $10.00 a day for adults. For children and seniors, a weekend pass is $8.00 and a day ticket $5.00. The Palais des Congrès is situated at 200 Place du Portage.


Information; Lise Gosselin-Simard, womenís program director, Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique, tel: (613) 748-5637 (ext. 229).

Last Updated on 11/29/02
By Stu Cram