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Huge turnout at the Gym Star contest
Susan Gordon, Staff Reporter
THE LARGE turnout of over 50 competitors at this year's gymnastic competition may have been far more than expected but the results were no major surprise for some.
Megan Simmonds, Aiko Jones, Daniel Williams and Ramond Hunter were among the winners at the Ishimoto's School of Gymnastics' ninth Gyms Star competition held recently at the University of Technology.
Using world-class equipment donated by the Japanese Embassy and judges from Japan, Ukraine and Jamaica, the competition was a square-off among 15 members from the competitive USA Gymnastic (USAG) group and some individual adult entries.
The USAG competitors were all trained at the Ishimoto's School of Gymnastics in Drumblair, St. Andrew, which has been helping to promote the sport in Jamaica.
Boys ranging from Levels Four to Sixcompeted in six events: the floor, still rings, pommel horse, vaulting horse, parallel bars and on the high bars while the girls between Levels One and Eight competed in four events.
It was a first for the adult gymnasts who were solely male to compete in all six events of gymnastics.
In the girls' competition Simmonds, no stranger to winning, copped first place in all four events ahead of Karina Warrick-John, the only other contender in Level Eight.
Simmonds' highest score was on the bars where she scored 9.10, only .90 less than a perfect score of 10.0. She also beat Warrick John (8.40) by 8/10th of a point at the vault and 2/10th of a point where she scored 8.20 on the floor.
In the most competitive event of the evening for girls, junior, Shania Thomas topped the bars and the floor exercise with a whopping 9.30 and 9.40, respectively to win, against six other competing gymnasts at Level One. Skyy Diop took second place while Brooke Nunes settled for third.
Eleven-year-old Kathryn Downer and 10-year-old Taisja Thomas, sole competitors at Levels Five and Four, scored between 8.70 and 9.00 in all their events except on the beam, where Downer tallied 8.10.
Aiko Jones, another sole competitor at the Level Two entry, showed her strength in the floor exercise with a 9.10 score.
A WEAK AREA FOR GIRLS
Overall, the day's results in the four events revealed that performance on the beam proved to be a weak area for girls who competed at Level Two and beyond.
On the contrary, the boys USA gymnastic competition showed that they were as agile in the floor exercises as they were on the high beams.
The outstanding nine-year-old, Daniel Williams, who won the competition at Level Five, scored over 9.0 in five of the six events and anchored an impressive 9.80 in the floor event. His keen competitor, Giovannua Jackson, placed second beating Williams only on the pommel horse where he scored a flat 9.00.
Jamin Levy took first place in the Level 10 competition with the still rings on which he scored of 9.10, forming the highlight of his performance. Taro Jones placed first at his level with his best routine in floor exercise.
The adult competition ended with Ramond Hunter taking first place and Kermani Doctor in second.
The event was in collaboration with the Jamaica Amateur Gymnastics Association and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Other gymnasts in the competition included students of the Hope Valley Experimental and Seaward Primary.