For once I was a spectator at the Canadian Men’s National Team Selection Meet, not a judge.
After a long break from competition (training with Cirque du Soleil for some months), Grant Golding of University of Calgary never looked better, dominating the Men’s AA.
It left me scratching my head. “How could Grant be named non-competing alternate at Worlds? He looks fantastic.”
Canada came 6th in Denmark without Grant. What would they have done with him on the team?
Everyone agreed Grant’s line, style, extension was much improved. (Perhaps the artistic training at Cirque.)
â€˜â€™The hard work and hard training has really paid off,â€™â€™ said Golding. â€˜â€™It really feels good to come to this meet and hit all my routines. It gives me a lot of confidence for next year which is a big one for us with the worlds serving as an Olympic qualifier. All the guys know we have to keep working hard.â€™â€™
The other big surprise for me was the excellent day 2 competition of young Luke Boyd also from U of C. He hit 6 for 6 and looked very much a Senior competitor.
In Junor, Jayd Lukenchuk of Saskatoon was the winner despite errors. Good gymnastics. Good potential for the future. There are a few more very good prospects in the age group program.
Addition: Thanks to hosts U of C Gymnastics Centre, Unocal Parents Association, Alberta Gymnastics and Gymnastics Canada for hosting the meet, again in Calgary. This has become almost a permanent annual home for the meet, either at U of Calgary or at Calgary Gymnastics Centre.
Canada is strong now. But does not have much depth.
The high performance competitive structure which has developed the excellent current team under National Coach Edouard Iarov, I feel, is too severe. Too discouraging for athletes and coaches.
For example, having Juniors compete FIG is crazy, in my opinion. The boys have too much incentive to do long routines emphasizing difficulty over quality. Under the current international rules, our system should plan to develop difficulty over a longer number of years.
There were many injuries and near injuries. More than in the past.
The current code of points is excellent for deciding the rank of the best 8 in the World. But is dangerous for the vast majority of competitors.