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2003 Flower Cup
The town of Aalsmeer played host to the 15th Flower Cup on Saturday, March 15th, 2003. This year's competition included 17 countries from all over the world: CAN, AUS, USA, BLR, GER, FRA, GBR, SUI, DEN, CZE, BEL, IRE, POL, POR, SWE. The field was top quality and included many Olympians and World Championship stars.
The Canadian women showed that they will put on a good fight to make finals at the next World Championships and Olympic qualification, which will be held in Germany in mid-October later this year. Karen Cockburn (Ontario), current Olympic bronze medallist, debuted a new optional routine, which she performed consistently to take the gold medal. Cockburn, who trains under national team coach Dave Ross, included a layout full-full in the middle of her routine. Heather Ross-McManus (Ontario) struggled in prelims but showed her determination in finals, showing a new routine which included a hard opening combination of piked triffus to piked half-in-rudi-out. Her performance was more than enough to take the silver medal ahead of the host nation's Andrea Lenders. Lenders showed great execution and difficulty and finally showed everyone that she can hit in competition. Australian Olympian Robyn Forbes showed the trampoline community that the older you are, the better you get with a fourth place finish and a huge 28.1 compulsory score in preliminaries. Tatianna Petrenia (BLR) failed to meet pre-meet expectations by falling in her optional routine in preliminaries to finish a disappointing 31st.
Canada also sent their 3rd and 4th ranked senior women, both teammates of Cockburn at the Skyriders club in Toronto. Savija McManus placed 11th, missing a finals berth by only 0.1 of a point. Brenna Casey placed 32nd.
On the men's side a huge number of participants showed up, making the competition hotter than it has ever been in the past. In all, 58 competitors fought for a spot in the finals! First up to compete in preliminaries was seventeen-year old Bryan Milonja (Quebec), who competed successfully at his first senior international meet by placing 9th overall, marred by a fall in finals. National team member David Sabourin (Quebec) did exceptionally well and showed good improvement by placing 19th. Olympic bronze medallist Matt Turgeon (Ontario) struggled to place 44th but will hopefully bounce back later this year in hopes of making the World Championships team.
Denmark's Peter Jensen showed great pride in his performance by defending his title from 2001. Jensen showed that Denmark is still in the hunt even after the terrible accident of best friend Mads Serejoe last month. Serejoe has not lost his great sense of humour, and is supported by his friends, family and the entire trampoline community. He is recuperating in a hospital in Copenhagen, but will never be able to walk again, though there is some hope for movement in the upper body.
Henrik Stehlik (GER) did not look as sharp as we would have expected both as always he pulled through for a consistent competition and the silver medal. Ludovic Martin (SUI) announced to the world that Switzerland is hard at work for spots at the next Olympics by taking the bronze medal. Martin's fellow teammates, Markus Wiesner and Michel Boillet, both surprised with 5th and 7th positions, respectively.
The competition also showcased the next generation of stars. Canada took full advantage by bringing the top three girls and two boys of the country. Alana Moon (Ontario), Kelsi Semeschuk (Alberta) and Rosannagh Maclennan (Ontario) placed 8th, 9th, and 11th, respectively. Alena Tarasevich (BLR) easily won the competition with her great technique and style. On the men's side, Remi Belanger (Quebec) took Canada's top spot by placing 6th ahead of Jason Burnett (Ontario) who finished 9th. Burnett, who trains alongside Turgeon, showed good difficulty (piked randi-out) but lacked consistency. He will be age eligible to try for the World Championships team this year.
All in all, the Canadians did their job and came back home with valuable experience for the future. The first of three world trials will be held in Oakville, April 4-6.
Full results of the competition are available here.