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Gym gems shine

21 Mar 06 21:20
Australia's Joshua Jefferis claimed two gold medals at the Games.

Australia's Joshua Jefferis
claimed two gold medals at the

The Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics at Rod Laver Arena drew crowds to capacity at every session throughout six days of competition.

Commonwealth superpowers Australia, Canada and England shared the majority of the medals winning 36 of the 42 on offer.

The home nation and Canada shared evenly in the golden spoils with six medals each, however Australia topped the standings with a total of 18 medals - six of each colour. Canada claimed six gold, four silver and three bronze (13), while England took home two in each medal category.

South Africa won its first Gymnastics medal through Francki Van Rooyen who placed third in the Women's Floor exercise.

Other medallist nations were Malaysia, Cyprus, Wales and Scotland.

The Men's Team competition kicked off the Artistic Gymnastics Program, with the experienced Canadians going one better than their efforts in Manchester by winning the gold medal. Australia nabbed the silver, followed by England with the bronze.

Tables were turned in the following day's Women's Team Finals, with Australia - boasting only one Olympian, Monette Russo, in an inexperienced squad - emerging triumphant.

The defending champions won the gold from England and Canada.

In the Men's All Round Final, Australia's Joshua Jefferis took out the gold. His teammate Philippe Rizzo had to settle for bronze after Canadian Nathan Gafuik pinched the silver on the final apparatus, the High Bar.

Chloe Sims completed an Australian All Round double, winning gold in her first senior international competition in the Women's Final.

Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs was an unlucky silver medallist, despite tying for first place with Sims. She was demoted one spot following a count-back, causing great debate among coaches, judges and the public about the essence of the new international scoring code.

Aussie glamour girl Hollie Dykes hung on for the bronze, narrowly pipping England's Imogen Cairns.

The first part of the Individual Apparatus Finals started on Monday, with eight gymnasts competing in each of the Women's Uneven Bars, Women's Vault, Men's Pommel Horse, Men's Still Rings and Floor disciplines.

The Men's Pommel Horse was conquered by Louis Smith of England, with Australia's Prashanth Sellathurai taking silver and Canadian Grant Golding, bronze.

Australia secured both gold and silver on the Still Rings with Joshua Jefferis scoring 15.825 and Damian ISTRIA, 15.700.

Malaysia and Cyprus were the only other nations to get a look in with Cypriot Irodotos Georgellas taking out the bronze in the rings and Malaysian Ng Shu Wai's silver Floor routine.

Canadian Hopfner-Hibbs took the gold on Uneven Bars from American-born English representative Shavahn Church. Russo claimed bronze.

Cairns took gold in the Women's Vault Final, with Alyssa Brown of Canada finishing second, followed by Australian Naomi Russell.

Men's Vault, Men's Parallel Bars, Men's High Bar and Women's Balance Beam and Women's Floor were contested on the last evening of apparatus finals.

Dual Commonwealth Games gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, from Canada, claimed his second gold medal on the Men's Vault. He scored 16.357, followed by teammate Gafuik (16.113) and Australia's Samuel Offord (15.862).

Canada continued to rack up the medals, with Golding grasping gold in the Parallel Bars final. He won with a score of 15.450, from Australian duo Rizzo (15.250) and Jefferis (14.800).

The effervescent Istria, who loves punching fresh air, won his first senior international individual gold medal on his favourite apparatus, the High Bar.

He scored 15.600, from Welshman David Eaton (15.000) and Scotland's Adam Cox (14.950).

Hopfner-Hibbs added another gold medal to her swag, winning the Balance Beam Final by 0.025 points. The only woman to qualify for all four individual apparatus finals, Hopfner-Hibbs won with a score of 14.950, from Dykes (14.925) and Becky Downie from England (14.075).

Dykes claimed her first senior international individual title on the women's next rotation, the Floor Exercise Final, with a score of 14.650.

Her Australian cohort Ashleigh Brennan, collected the silver (13.925), with Van Rooyen (13.900) picking up the Republic's first women's Commonwealth Games medal.

The Rhythmic Gymnastics competition begins at Rod Laver Arena on Day 9 (24 March).

- Games News Service

For more results, visit Gymnastics Artistic Schedule and Results section of this Website.

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