Fri, September 20, 2013

Trampolinist Rosannagh MacLennan captures Canada's first gold

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency


Rosannagh MacLennan of Canada celebrates winning a gold medal during the women's gymnastics trampoline victory ceremony in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)


LONDON - Toronto’s Rosannagh MacLennan captured a gold medal in the trampoline event — the first for Canada at the these Olympics — scoring a remarkable 57.305 points in her final routine to move up from fourth after the qualification rounds.

MacLennan and teammate Karen Cockburn, also of Toronto, were fourth and fifth after the qualification. Cockburn, the defending Olympic silver medallist, finished fourth overall. MacLennan’s final score was the highest of the entire day.

Defending Olympic Games champion Wenna He of China, who was first after the qualification, went last in the final and stumbled on her landing. She had a good routine but dropped to third with a final score of 55.950. He's teammate Shanshan Huang (56.730) won the silver.

After MacLennan’s routine, Cockburn hugged her teammate and the two sat together during the Chinese girls’ routines and hugged, knowing that MacLennan was going to capture a medal, perhaps the gold.

Cockburn also had a good final routine, scoring 55.860 points. There was some question as to whether He deserved to remain in the medals given her fall.

MacLennan, 23, was the silver medallist at the 2011 world championships in Birmingham, U.K. and finished seventh at the 2008 Beijing Games. The University of Toronto physical education student comes from a family of gymnasts. Her grandfather qualified for the 1940 Tokyo Games but never competed due to the Second World War breaking out.

Competing with Cockburn in synchronized trampoline, MacLennan has won eight gold medals in World Cup events. She also won a Pan Am Games gold last year after taking Cockburn’s place after her teammate withdrew because of illness.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca