6 Gymnasts To Watch At Elite Canada MAG

Samuel Zakutney Canada

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Canada's top elite men's artistic gymnasts will compete on home soil one last time in 2019 for Elite Canada. Gymnastics Canada is hosting the meet in Langsley, British Columbia, from July 17-20. Canadian national and junior world champions are a few of the gymnasts to watch at the meet, which will stream live here on FloGymnastics.


Zachary Clay (Senior)

Clay is a veteran national team member for Canada who's competed at four World Championships. In May, he had a good performance at the Canadian Championships where he finished fourth in the all-around, first on pommel horse, third on parallel bars, and sixth on rings. Earlier this year, he had another good showing at the University of Calgary International Cup with a seventh-place finish in the all-around and top-five finishes on pommel horse, parallel bars, and high bar.

With the ability to put together a reliable all-around performance, in addition to good scores on pommel horse, Clay has demonstrated he's a gymnast to watch and count on. Pommel horse is often a make it-or-break-it event, and Clay has placed in the top five on the event seven times in the past two years.  

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Rene Cournoyer (Senior)

Cournoyer has been to three World Championships and has been on the Canadian senior national team since 2015, so he's no stranger to elite competition. His last meet was the Canadian Championships in May where he won silver in the all-around and on rings despite not being completely healthy due to injuries from the University of Calgary International Cup earlier this year.

With more time to heal and recover and work on routines, the veteran competitor should be able to improve upon his performance from championships and do well at Elite Canada. After all, he was still able to finish in the top 10 on four events at nationals even though he "had some easier routines" and was still returning from injury.

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Felix Dolci - Junior (16-17)

Dolci is coming off a gold-medal-winning performance at the first Junior World Championships where he won the still rings title in addition to a silver medal on floor. He was close to medaling in the all-around competition as well, finishing fourth with a 79.732.

The Quebec native has proven himself to be a reliable and top contender since 2018. He's the two-time reigning junior all-around champion and has competed and medaled in several international meets, including the Youth Olympic Games, Junior Pan American Championships, and Pacific Rim Championships.


Trentin Milligan (Junior 14-15)

Milligan is the reigning national all-around champion in his division after a solid performance at the Canadian Championships in May. He medaled on five events in the junior 14-15 division, including gold on floor and parallel bars. This is his first year competing as a junior elite, and this will be his first Elite Canada competition. His age group has the fewest number of competitors, but he has potential and could come out on top at his first Elite Canada.

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Evgeny Siminiuc (Junior 16-17)

Siminiuc is also coming off a good performance at the first Junior World Championships in Hungary last month. He was Team Canada's second-highest scoring gymnast with a top 10 finish in the all-around final with a 78.699. While his difficulty isn't as high as others in his division, his execution is excellent. At the Junior World Championships all-around final, all of his execution scores ranged from 8.400 to 9.100, demonstrating his clean and precise gymnastics on every event.

At May's Canadian Championships, the Ontario native showed he's a true all-around gymnast. He earned silver in the all-around as well as finishing in the top five on five of the six apparatus, including silver on floor, still rings, and parallel bars; bronze on pommel horse; and fourth place on high bar.

 

Samuel Zakutney (Senior)

Although he's been on the Canadian senior national team for a few years now, the Penn State junior is a rising star for Team Canada. He won his first senior national all-around title in May with an all-around score of 83.400, which bests his NCAA career high set in 2017. In terms of events, he had four top-five finishes and five scores in the 13.000 range. 

His best events are vault, parallel bars, and high bar as he earned gold on high bar and silver on the former two. He has the ability to earn strong scores in the mid-14.000 range on those events but can also do so on floor, as shown in his NCAA career. With the potential for strong scores on four events and good scores on the other two, Zakutney has proven himself to be a great all-around gymnast and a valuable asset to Team Canada.

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