SPORTS

Canadian women's team locks up berth in Oympics at gymnastics test event

01/11/2012 10:55 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - France and Brazil joined Italy and Canada in securing the final spots for women's gymnastics at this summer's London Olympics on Wednesday.

The Italians posted the highest score in qualifying at the test event at the O2 Arena, with 224.621 points. Canada (221.913) was second, followed by France (220.744).

Three of the five Canadians landed high-difficulty double twisting Yurchenkos on the vault, with Ottawa's Talia Chiarelli leading the way with a score of 14.500.

Victoria Moors of Cambridge, Ont., was right behind at 14.400 and Brittany Rogers of Vancouver scored 14.200.

“I think only the athletes truly understand how much work has gone into this performance,” said Rogers.

“We missed Christmas and New Year’s this year to get ready which was really hard and it absolutely paid off here.”

Peng Peng Lee of Toronto was the top Canadian all around and tied Kristina Vaculik of Whitby, Ont., for the team’s best score on uneven bars (14.33).

“I’m so excited, this is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had,” said Lee. “We’re all thrilled with the result.”

Moors, a new addition to the team along with Rogers since the Tokyo world championships in October, was tops on floor with a score of 14.183 and Canadian all around champion Madeline Gardiner had the best result on beam with 14.133 points.

“I was very scared but I am gaining confidence every day,” said Moors, 15, the youngest member of the team and current Canadian junior champion. “Qualifying for the Games is like a dream come true.”

The final spot came down to Brazil and Belgium, and Daniele Hypolito locked it up for the Brazilians with the team's final routine on balance beam. Her score of 13.866 gave Brazil a total of 217.985, more than a point ahead of Belgium.

The United States, Russia, China, Romania, Japan, Australia, Germany and Britain already had earned spots in the 12-team Olympic field, qualifying at last fall's world gymnastics championships.

- with files from The Associated Press.

MORE:cpSports