| Whitby gymnast Ana Padurariu brings home five gold medals from junior Pan Am event in Bolivia|
OSHAWA — Ana Padurariu and Jade Chrobok from Oshawa’s Gemini Gymnastics brought home an impressive medal haul as part of Team Canada at the 2016 Junior Pan American Gymnastics Championships held in Bolivia.
Padurariu, a 14-year-old Whitby resident, dominated the event and won five gold medals, including the team gold, while Chrobok, a 15-year-old from Toronto, demonstrated her comeback from injury is well on its way by winning silver and gold medals.
Padurariu and Chrobok, two of Canada’s top junior gymnasts, are being given international competition experience in preparation for what they hope is a trip to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
In order to attend this competition, the duo and their Team Canada teammates (Hayley de Jong and Sayge Urban), as well as Gemini Gymnastics’ head coach, Elena Davydova, had to travel for two straight days.
During the first day of competition, Padurariu and Chrobok seemed somewhat affected by their long travels.
Padurariu fell on beam and on bars, but carried on despite spraining her finger performing one of the most difficult bar skills in the world today. She still obtained the highest score on beam and third highest on bars and captured the individual all-around title by more than 1.5 points.
Padurariu also qualified for three of the four event finals and was instrumental in helping Team Canada capture the team gold medal by more than 10 points ahead of their closest rival.
Chrobok, who is on the comeback trail from an injury that has had her out of her regular training schedule since last June, had an excellent qualification on bars, recording the highest score of the day for that event.
Although solid, she stepped out of bounds on floor, victim of excess power on her double back. She struggled on beam but recorded a solid qualification score on vault while still competing what is, for her, a lower difficulty vault. Chrobok finished seventh all-around and qualified for bar finals.
During event finals the second day, Chrobok once again performed a beautiful bar routine and won the silver medal on that event, while Padurariu won the gold medals in bars, beam and floor.
“Ana’s beam is already at a high world standard,” said Davydova, also an international brevet gymnastics judge who worked the Rio Olympics. “In fact, the routine she performed at Pan-Am would have earned her a top three finish in Rio.”
The pair’s next international event will take place in November in the Czech Republic, where they will compete at the Olympic Hopes Competition.