Ana Padurariu and Jade Chrobok of Gemini Gymnastics competed at a prestigious international competition in Jesolo, Italy.
JESOLO, ITALY – Gemini Gymnastics sent two of its top athletes, Whitby’s Ana Padurariu and Toronto’s Jade Chrobok, to the world stage to compete for the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy.
The prestigious international gymnastics meet is generally regarded as a gathering of the world’s elite gymnasts in both the junior and senior levels.
Padurariu, 14, competed alongside the best gymnasts in the world, including the ultra-dominant Americans as well as the strong teams from Italy, France and Russia. Despite the stiff competition, Padurariu rose to the challenge and provided her own dominance.
On the first day of the meet, Padurariu, who in the past has shown some unsteadiness as a result of nerves, was solid as a rock. The youngster’s overall score placed her fifth all around behind the Americans Gabby Perea, who captured gold, Maile O’Keefe, Emma Malabuyo and Adelin Kenlin.
Padurariu’s performance was so strong on the first day that she, along with Italian Elisa Iorio, were the only two junior level gymnasts to qualify for all four event finals on the second day.
By Sunday, Padurariu was able to truly demonstrate the extent of her training and talent, beginning on the balance beam.
“The level of competition at Jesolo was extremely high,” stated Elena Davydova, the 1980 Olympic gymnastics champion and owner of Gemini Gymnastics. “Who was going to win beam finals was not going to be measured by falls off the beam, but rather, by who had the fewest minor wobbles.”
Padurariu, who is known for her beam work, executed it as she does in training, scoring a strong 14.25 to capture gold ahead of Perea and O’Keefe.
Padurariu, who would not describe herself as a natural vaulter, has been working hard with coaches Davydova and Valery Yahchybekov to improve it, and the results were impressive. The athlete who, in the last month had been struggling with her Yurchenko 1.5 vault, executed it beautifully and captured the bronze medal.
Padurariu rounded off her stellar meet by placing fourth on bars and sixth on floor as she continues her road to the senior category firmly anchored amongst the strongest junior gymnasts in the world.
Chrobok, 15, competed for the first time as a senior. Coming back from injuries, the athlete was pleased that she was able to compete on all four events. Three of her event scores contributed to Canada’s overall team score.