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Crane and Garcia both capture first Canadian titles at 2018 Canadian Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics

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Sophie Crane of Toronto, ON continued her winning season on Sunday, securing the 2018 Canadian senior all-around national title on the final day of competition at the 2018 Canadian Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the Richmond Oval in BC. Natalie Garcia of Mississauga, ON also captured her first-ever junior national all-around title.


It was a tight competition for the all-around title between Crane, who was leading the competition after the qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday, Katherine Uchida of Toronto, and the defending all-around champion from 2017, Carmen Whelan of Aurora, ON. Crane’s strong performances in the qualifying rounds were enough to carry her through to the win on Sunday though, with Uchida taking the silver, and Whelan the bronze.

“It’s incredible. I feel so happy and proud of myself for what I accomplished here. I’ve had a lot of competitions leading up to this one and they helped me gain some confidence in myself and I felt pretty prepared and confident for this competition. I knew it would be really close between the three of us, so I just tried to forget about where I was ranked and to just focus on my own routines and I think that really helped me,” said Crane who also won the ball and ribbon titles on Sunday, and silver in hoop.

Whelan, who struggled throughout the competition, rallied Sunday to win gold in hoop and clubs, silver in ribbon, and bronze with ball, while Uchida took silver in ball and clubs, and bronze in hoop.

Natalie Garcia of Mississauga, ON claimed her first elusive junior national title on Sunday as she put down eight solid routines over the course of the competition to take the title over last year’s winner Michel Vivier of Toronto, ON who finished second. Elizabeth Savchenko of Montreal, QC took the bronze.

This is Garcia’s last year as a junior and she couldn’t be happier with the win: “For the past two years I was second or third, so now that I’m the champion, and I can say that I’m the 2018 junior champion, it’s an honour and it’s amazing because my coach and I have worked really hard for this.”

Garcia and Viver traded titles in the apparatus finals with Garcia winning the hoop and ball titles, while taking silver in clubs and ribbon, and Vivier took the clubs and ribbons titles and silver in hoop and ball.

The 2018 Athletes and Coaches of the Year for rhythmic gymnastics were also awarded on Sunday – here are the winners:

Senior Athlete of the Year: Sophie Crane – Jusco RG, Toronto, ON

Junior Athlete of the Year: Michel Vivier – Viva RGC, Toronto, ON

Coach of the Year: Stefka Moutafchieva – Jusco RG, Toronto, ON

Miss Elegance: Natalie Garcia – Mississauga Newnorth RGC, Mississauga, ON