Forgive me if you’ve heard this before: Ellie Black has posted a best-ever Canadian all-around result at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.
From 13th in 2013 to ninth last year and now to seventh place in 2015, Black has been steadily on the rise and is clearly among the world’s elite all-arounders, putting her name into the mix as a podium contender. This is just the latest great achievement for the 20-year-old who won five medals at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, including Canada’s first all-around gold at the Games since 1979.
“I was looking forward to trying to improve so just to go out and have a performance that was a step up from last year was very satisfying,” Black told Gymnastics Canada.
Black had qualified for the all-around final in fourth place. On Thursday she improved upon her scores on three of four apparatus, gaining 0.233 on vault, 0.267 on uneven bars and 0.259 on floor exercise. But she also had an unfortunate fall on her best event, beam, dropping her from the 14.600 she had earned in qualifying to just 13.300. She’ll have another chance at a medal on Sunday in the beam apparatus final, for which she was the third-ranked qualifier.
“It’s a risky routine that she’s doing so it’s hard to hit all the time,” her longtime coach David Kikuchi told Gymnastics Canada. “But her vault and floor and bars were pretty much as good as we could have asked. Overall it was a great performance and I’m really proud of how she came back with her very best floor routine after the mistake on beam.”
Black’s final score was 56.758. The top score of the day was the 60.399 by American Simone Biles who claimed an unprecedented third straight all-around world title ahead of teammate and reigning Olympic champion Gabby Douglas. Larisa Iordache of Romania dropped one spot from her silver medal finish last year to round out the podium.
“It’s not every day that you get to compete with the top girls in the world so that is definitely an amazing experience on its own and it definitely gives you the confidence to go back home and work harder,” Black added.
Another Canadian also took a huge step forward as Isabela Onyshko moved up from her 29th place finish last year to an impressive 16th with a final score of 55.332.