The 2016 Pacific Rim Championships took place in the Xfinity Arena in Everett, Washington from Friday, April 8th through Sunday, April 10th 2016.

Both MAG and WAG competed, along with Trampoline in the Xfinity Arena whilst Rhythmic gymnasts performed in Everett Community College.

The Pacific Rim format allows junior and senior gymnasts to comprise the teams of 6 gymnasts and they compete together for one team title. Unlike other years and not surprisingly due to the sheer depth of the US senior field, the US team comprised 6 senior gymnasts and no juniors. The US team easily won the team title, over 20 points ahead of the second place finishers, Canada. Like USA, the Canadian team was solely comprised of senior gymnasts, as was third place finisher, Australia, who brought the same team that will represent them next week at the Olympic Test Event in Rio. Australia, honestly had quite a rough competition, struggling with nerves. Whilst their gymnastics is clearly great, displayed perfectly in the exquisite FX routine performed by Georgia-Rose Brown who is one of the most beautiful gymnasts of this era, with beautiful long legs, her leaps and spins are something truly special, however the team as a whole just can’t get it together when it counts, making many seriously question whether they will qualify a team to the Olympics at the Olympic Test Event next week.


Top 3 teams

In the Junior AA, it should have been a Japanese sweep of the podium, with Japan bringing a team of 5 juniors and just 1 senior. However due to the two per country rule, Japan took the top two spots and Louise Lopez of Mexico took the bronze medal. Lopez, who was the topic of much discussion, really impressed with great execution and form amongst a rather weak junior field. The top 2 Japanese, Kiko Kuwajima and Natsumi Hanashima were solid and showed impressive difficulty and lots of promise for the future.


Junior podium

In the senior AA, of course, World Champion and superhuman, Simone Biles too the AA title with a massive 62.450, a score that is inconceivable for any other gymnast. Incredibly, this is not even her highest AA score, having scored 63.000 AA at last years P&G Championships. Biles scored a massive 16.050 of FX, debuting a new ‘Brazilian themed’ routine, 15.550 on BB, 15.050 on UB and 15.800 on VT to clinch the title, a whole 2.500 points ahead of US teammate Aly Raisman, who had an impressive performance and clinched the silver medal with a 59.900. Whilst many questioned Aly’s spot on a potential Olympic team after finishing 6th AA in Jesolo, she came on strong this weekend and proved she should not be counted out, scoring a massive 15.600 on FX and 15.200 on VT for her Amanar, despite a big step on landing, it was an improvement from Jesolo,where she sat it down. The jury is still out as to whether it’s wise to continue competing the Amanar or just go back to a clean DTY, however time will tell, in 2012 at this point in the year the Amanar looked quite difficult for her and by the Summer, it was much improved.


Simone Biles lighting up the world

Expected to claim the silver medal AA at this event, Laurie Hernandez of USA finished in 3rd, just .100 behind Olympic Champ, Aly Raisman, however did not recieve the bronze medal due to the two per country rule. Instead, Nagi Kajita, the sole Japanese senior at these Championships too the bronze medal AA, a great achievement for her and cementing herself as a contender for the Japanese Olympic Team. Whilst not receiving a medal, Hernandez should not fret, she had an absolutely excellent performance, solid on every event and scoring a massive 15.250 on BB, where she stuck her dismount and was smiling from ear to ear. She most certainly is on Martha’s radar with back to back 3rd place AA finishes, here and in Jesolo and posting massive scores each time on BB.


Senior podium

Notable to mention is Brenna Dowell, the most surprising member of the US team at these Championships who finished 4th AA and hit all of her routines to the delight of many who see it as redemption for the disastrous World Championships she experienced last year.


Brenna getting a hug from coach, Al Fong

In event finals, the Japanese juniors, mostly swept the gold medal positions with Mexico also having a strong showing. Kiko Kuwajima added to her gold medal in the AA with a gold medal on VT with a strong score of 14.900, cementing herself as a definite future star for the Japanese. Ko Ching Fang took the silver medal in junior VT, the only women’s medal of these championships for Chinese Tapei and Stella Ashcroft took the bronze, adding the VT bronze Courtney McGregor took in the senior ranks.


On UB, again it was a Japanese gymnast at the top of the podium, this time, Natsumi Hanashima who took the gold with a 13.850. Jimena Moreno of Mexico took the silver, whilst there was a tie for bronze between, Japanese standout, Kiko Kuwajima and Paula Arevalo of Columbia, the only women’s medal earned for Columbia at these Championships.


On BB, again the Japanes showed their prowess with Kiko Kuwajima adding a third gold medal to her collection with a 14.150 on BB. Mexico, who had a great weekend took the silver and bronze medals on the event, with Jimena Moreno taking the silver and the exquisite,Louise Lopez taking bronze.


Kiko Kuwajima added a fourth gold medal to her collection on FX where Louise Lopez also added to her medal haul with the silver and Mana Oguchi took her first medal of the Championships with a bronze medal on this event.


In senior event finals, things were mixed up a little when it was announced by USA Gymnastics late on Saturday night that Simone Biles and Lauren Hernandez would not compete in event finals. It was stated that they wished to rest them ahead of a long Olympic year…(Laurie Olympic team member or nah?). It was reported by some in attendance that Simone was limping whilst walking towards the podium to collect her medals, however i’m sure it’s nothing serious (I refuse to think otherwise!!), surely it was just a few aches and pains from performing VT (including her brand new second VT, a Cheng which she performed in competition for the first time in Everett), showing that she is human after all.

So with Simone out, VT was wide open and Canada, to the delight of many (including me) took the top two spots with Shallon Olsen, the exciting prospect for Canadian Gymnastics future showing her vaulting prowess, taking the gold with Brittany Rogers, who just casually stopped off at these Championships, representing Canada before representing the University of Georgia next weekend at NCAA Nationals, taking the silver, whilst Courtney McGregor of New Zealand took the bronze, a huge accomplishment for New Zealand Gymnastics.


On UB, it was no surprise to see Ashton Locklear of USA take the gold medal with a huge score of 15.625, cementing herself as a possible event specialist for the US Olympic team, while Madison Kocian struggles with injury. The second place qualifier, Brenna Dowell of the USA had an unfortunate fall on her last release move,taking her out of medal contention and placing her fifth. Unfortunate for her, UB is her key event for the team, and whilst she hit during team finals and proved that she can handle the pressure after a disastrous World Championships, her fall during finals certainly does not help her case for an Olympic berth. Taking the silver medal was Larrissa Miller of Australia, who had an impressive weekend and showed promise amongst a struggling Australian team who will head to Rio for the Test Event next weekend with the hope of qualifying a full team to the Olympics. Brittany Rogers added to her medal haul with a bronze medal, displaying a dynamic and well executed routine, fighting to the finish and performing like a true NCAA competitor.


On BB, the two qualifiers for the USA were originally Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles, however with both out, Ragan Smith and Aly Raisman took their place and showed the USA’s dominance by taking the top two spots, despite not originally even being the top two qualifiers. Ragan Smith, making her case for an Olympic berth ever stronger took the gold medal with a huge score of 15.225, making a huge splash with a rock solid routine to beat out an Olympic medalist on the event, Aly Raisman. After a score change, Raisman had a wonderful routine adding her her gold in the team final and silver medal AA with a silver medal on the BB. The sole Japanese senior at these Championships took the bronze medal to add to her impressive medal haul.


On FX, Aly Raisman wowed with a huge 15.100 to take her second gold medal of the weekend and to claim the FX title with a slightly watered down routine. In second place was the replacement for Simone Biles, Brenna Dowell, who came back strong after a fall on the UB to earn the silver medal with an excellent routine, complete with stuck tumbling passes, showing the Olympic selection committee her mental fortitude. Taking the bronze medal was Canada’s Shallon Olsen, who displays impressive difficulty and is most certainly living up to the high expectations that many had for her as a young junior.


Special mention also to the Colombian team, whilst not figuring into the top spots, they were definitely memorable on FX, where they had an eclectic mix of music choices that ranged from Riverdance to a bizarre music choice that featured a man laughing hysterically which can only be likened to Jafar from Aladdin.


Angie Rodriguez of Colombia

All in all, once again,like Jesolo this competition showed the USA’s prowess and displayed Simone Bile’s dominance. It once again made the puzzle of the USA Olympic team even more confusing and made many worry about Australia’s prospects of qualifying a team to the Olympics. Overall, aside from the three top teams, the field was weak but much promise was shown in the Japanese and Mexican juniors.

Team:

  1. USA 243.200
  2. Canada 219.100
  3. Australia 217,850
  4. Japan 217.700
  5. New Zealand 203.700
  6. Mexico 194.800
  7. Singapore 194.400
  8. Colombia 192.850
  9. Costa Rica 187.550
  10. Hong Kong 167.050

Junior AA:

  1. Kiko Kuwajima (JPN) 54.550
  2. Natsumi Hanashima (JPN) 53.500
  3. Soyoko Hanawa (JPN) 53.100
  4. Mana Oguchi (JPN) 52.550
  5. Louise Lopez (MEX)* 51.450
  6. Jimena Moreno (MEX) 49.700
  7. Ko Ching Fang (TPE) 49.150
  8. Pin Ju Lai (TPE) 49.050
  9. Stella Ashcroft (NZL) 48.000
  10. Estella Matthewson (NZL) 48.000
  11. Angie Rodriguez (COL) 46.650
  12. Luciana Alvarado Reid (CRC) 46.400
  13. Camila Montoya Jimenez (CRC) 45.550
  14. Franciny Morales Barquero (CRC) 45.500
  15. Paula Arevalo (COL) 45.150
  16. Maria Villegas (COL) 41.250
  17. Ho Yat Cheung (HKG) 40.150
  18. Karen Lozano (MEX) 36.050
  19. Cheuk Lam Chan (HKG) 35.300 (3 events)

*Actually 3rd place finisher due to 2 per country rule

Junior VT:

  1. Kiko Kuwajima (JPN) 14.900
  2. Ko Ching Fang (TPE) 14.050
  3. Stella Ashcroft (NZL) 13.850
  4. Pin Ju Lai (TPE) 13.750
  5. Mana Oguchi (JPN) 13.325
  6. Estella Matthewson (NZL) 13.300
  7. Francini Morales Barquero (CRC) 13.075
  8. Cheuk Lam Chan (HKG) 12.775
  9. Louise Lopez (MEX) 0.000

Junior UB:

  1. Natsumi Hanashima (JPN) 13.850
  2. Jimena Moreno (MEX) 11.900
  3. Paula Arevalo (COL) 10.950
  4. Kiko Kuwajima (JPN) 10.950
  5. Estella Matthewson (NZL) 10.600
  6. Louise Lopez (MEX) 10.125
  7. Angie Rodriguez (COL) 9.275
  8. Luciana Alvarado Reid (CRC) 9.200

Junior BB:

  1. Kiko Kuwajima (JPN) 14.150
  2. Jimena Moreno (MEX) 13.200
  3. Louise Lopez (MEX) 13.050
  4. Pin Ju Lai (TPE) 12.925
  5. Ko Ching Fang (TPE) 12.900
  6. Soyoka Hanawa (JPN) 12.675
  7. Estella Matthewson (NZL) 12.400
  8. Stella Ashcroft (NZL) 12.250
  9. Angie Rodriguez (COL) 11.575

Junior FX:

  1. Kiko Kuwajima (JPN) 13.625
  2. Louise Lopez (MEX) 13.600
  3. Mana Oguchi (JPN) 13.500
  4. Ko Ching Fang (TPE) 12.900
  5. Stella Ashcroft (NZL) 12.625
  6. Cheuk Lim Chan (HKG) 12.450
  7. Pin Ju Lai (TPE) 12.425
  8. Jimena Moreno (MEX) 9.700

Senior AA:

  1. Simone Biles (USA) 62.450
  2. Aly Raisman (USA) 59.900
  3. Laurie Hernandez (USA) 59.800
  4. Brenna Dowell (USA) 58.850
  5. Ragan Smith (USA) 58.550
  6. Nagi Kajita (JPN)* 55.200
  7. Shallon Olsen (CAN) 54.900
  8. Madison Copiak (CAN) 54.500
  9. Kiara Munteanu (AUS) 54.150
  10. Kirsten Peterman (CAN) 53.600
  11. Courtney McGregor (NZL) 53.550
  12. Georgia-Rose Brown (AUS) 52.400
  13. Emma Nedov (AUS) 52.350
  14. Megan Roberts (CAN) 52.200
  15. Ginna Escobar (COL) 52.150
  16. Charlotte Sullivan (NZL) 52.100
  17. Sze En Tan (SIN) 50.550
  18. Heika Del Sol Salas Castro (CRC) 50.100
  19. Melanie Cabrera (CHI) 49.450
  20. Nadine Nathan (SIN) 48.650
  21. Dayana Ardila (COL) 47.700
  22. Mackenzie Slee (NZL) 47.400
  23. Valentina Brostella Arias (PAN) 45.600
  24. Qiyan Zeng (SIN) 45.600
  25. Cassandra Loustalot (MEX) 44.450
  26. Marina Vazquez (MEX) 44.450
  27. Emily Little (AUS) 42.700- (3 events)
  28. Tsz Sum Elizabeth Chan (HKG) 41.600
  29. Sau Chung Kwan (HKG) 40.850
  30. Ashton Locklear (USA) 30.000- (2 events)
  31. Brittany Rogers (CAN) 28.350 (2 events)
  32. Rianna Mizzen (AUS) 27.000 (2 events)
  33. Larrissa Miller (AUS) 26.700 (2 events)
  34. Janessa Min Yi Dai (SIN) 26.100 (2 events)
  35. Audrey Rousseau (CAN) 24.500 (2 events)
  36. Colette Chan (SIN) 23.500 (2 events)
  37. Nim Yan Choi (HKG) 20.800 (2 events)
  38. Giulianna Pino Alcivar 12.250 (1 event)
  39. Yan Yin Ng (HKG) 4.700 (1 event)

*Actually 3rd place finisher due to 2 per country rule

Senior VT:

  1. Shallon Olsen (CAN) 14.750
  2. Brittany Rogers (CAN) 14.437
  3. Courtney McGregor (NZL) 14.250
  4. Mariana Vazquez (MEX) 13.837
  5. Valentina Brostella Arias (PAN) 13.037
  6. Sau Chung Cristal Kwan (HKG) 12.975
  7. Emily Little (AUS) 12.912
  8. Tsz Sum Elisabeth Chan (HKG) 12.775

*All scores are the average of the two Vaults performed

Senior UB:

  1. Ashton Locklear (USA) 15.625
  2. Larrissa Miller (AUS) 14.675
  3. Brittany Rogers (CAN) 14.600
  4. Madison Copiak (CAN) 14.050
  5. Brenna Dowell (USA) 14.000
  6. Kiara Munteanu (AUS) 13.875
  7. Ginna Escobar (COL) 13.275
  8. Nagi Kajita (JPN) 12.700

Senior BB:

  1. Ragan Smith (USA) 15.225
  2. Aly Raisman (USA) 15.100
  3. Nagi Kajita (JPN) 13.700
  4. Charlotte Sullivan (NZL) 13.625
  5. Megan Roberts (CAN) 13.600
  6. Courtney McGregor (NZL) 13.575
  7. Shallon Olsen (CAN) 13.475
  8. Kiara Munteanu (AUS) 13.450
  9. Emily Little (AUS) 12.650

Senior FX:

  1. Aly Raisman (USA) 15.100
  2. Brenna Dowell (USA) 14.825
  3. Shallon Olsen (CAN) 14.400
  4. Nagi Kajita (JPN) 13.950
  5. Georgia-Rose Brown (AUS) 13.825
  6. Megan Roberts (CAN) 13.750
  7. Emily Little (AUS) 13.200
  8. Courtney McGregor (NZL) 13.025

 

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