August 8, 2014

Rosie MacLennan, Patricia Bezzoubenko lead Canadian team at Pan American Gymnastics Championships

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – World and Olympic trampoline champion Rosie MacLennan of Toronto and Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnastics star Patricia Bezzouhenko of Thornhill, Ont., are set to lead a strong Canadian team at the Senior Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Mississauga, Ont., August 19-September 1. MacLennan, who also holds the Pan Am women’s trampoline title, is looking as strong as ever leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics while Bezzoubenko is aiming to dominate the Americas in rhythmic gymnastics the way she did last month at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she won five gold medals. More than 300 competitors from over 20 countries will be vying for medals and a spot at the 2015 Pan American Games in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. Joining MacLennan and the powerhouse Canadian women’s trampoline team are three-time Olympic medal winner Karen Cockburn of Toronto and Samantha Sendel of Aurora, Ont., ranked fifth at the 2013 world championships. Eight-time Canadian men’s champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Jason Burnett of Toronto leads the men’s squad. In artistic gymnastics the Canadian women’s team consists of Commonwealth Games floor finalist Stefanie Merkle of Petersburg, Ont., Alezza Yu of Stouffville, Ont, Gabriella Douglas of Georgetown, Ont., Sabrina Gill of Oakville, Ont., Jordyn Pedersen of Mississauga, Ont., Kirsten Peterman of Cambridge, Ont., and Victoria Kayen Woo of La Prairie, Que. The men’s artistic team is led by veterans Jackson Payne of Edmonton and 2013 Canadian all around champion Hugh Smith of Halifax. Payne, the 2011 Canadian men’s all around champion and two-time world championship team member, makes his much anticipated return to major competition after a two-year hiatus. Other members of the team are Damien Cachia of Calgary, Mathieu Csukassy of Montreal, Scott Nabata of Kamloops, B.C. ,Simon Porter of Toronto, and Robert Watson of Coquitlam, B.C. Joining Bezzoubenko on the rhythmic gymnastics team are Maria Kitkarska of Montreal, Annabelle Kovacs of Vancouver and Carmen Whalen of Toronto. A separate rhythmic team is also competing in the group event, including 2012 Olympians Katrina Cameron of Mississauga, Ont., and Anjelika Reznik of Vaughan, Ont. Other members of the group are Victoria Reznik, twin sister of Anjelika, Maya Kojevnikov of Toronto and Lucinda Nowell of Kanata, Ont. Gymnastics Canada: Ron Scammell, Communications Consultant Tel: 613-298-9196 Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:           Marc-André Plouffe, Executive Director, Communications Tel: 514-861-5487 / Cell: 514-592-3871 Email: maplouffe@olympic.ca Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788 Email: jalmeida@olympic.ca Luc Beaudin, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations Cell: 514-206-6720 Email: lbeaudin@olympic.ca