Halifax’s Ellie Black becomes Canada’s most decorated Pan Am gymnast

Ellie Black of Canada wins the gold medal in the vault during artistic gymnastics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Vincent Ethier/CP/HO/COC)

LIMA, Peru — Ellie Black became Canada’s most decorated Pan American gymnast on Tuesday after winning gold in the women’s vault competition and following with a bronze in uneven bars.

The results gave the Halifax native nine medals (five gold, two silver, two bronze) over her career, eclipsing the previous Canadian record of eight held by Willie Weiler. The five gold medals are also a Canadian Pan Am record.

Black has three medals in Lima after she successfully defended her women’s all-around Pan Am title on Monday. She has a chance to add to her haul in Wednesday’s beam and floor competitions. Black won gold in both events at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.

"Today was awesome. I was really happy to be out there with my team-mates Shallon (Olsen) on vault and Brooklyn (Moors) on uneven bars," Black said. "We wanted to deliver some strong performances and we were able to do that. It is awesome to bring some more medals home for Canada."

On Tuesday, Black scored 14.450 points on the vault to finish ahead of Cuba’s Yesenia Ferrera (14.391). Olsen of Surrey, B.C., was third with 14.183.

"It was great standing up there with Ellie. She is more than a teammate. She is a role model to me," Olsen said. "She has really had a great impact on me at these Games."

Riley McCusker won the women’s uneven bars with 14.533 points, ahead of fellow American Leanne Wong (14.300) and Black (14.000). Moors, of Cambridge, Ont., was sixth.

Zachary Clay of Chilliwack, B.C., and Justin Karstadt of Toronto were sixth and seventh in the men’s pommel horse, while Rene Cournoyer of Repentigny, Que., was sixth in the men’s rings.

Meanwhile, Canadian kayakers also had a big day with two gold medals and a silver.

Andreanne Langlois of Lac-Beauport, Que., and Alana Bray-Lougheed of Oakville, Ont., combined for gold in the women’s K-2 500-metres while Dominik Crete of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Que., won the men’s K-1 200 metres. Langlois added a silver in the K-1 12-hundred.

Canada finished with 10 medals (three gold, five silver, two bronze) in the canoe and kayak events in Lima.

Langlois leaves South America with four medals (two gold, two silver).

"I’m really happy with a lot of my races," she said. "It was a really big challenge to do as many races as that, but that was the challenge that I wanted to make so it was good to try. I learned a lot. Even if I’ve been paddling for 20 years, I still learn."

With a gold medal at his first Pam Am Games under his belt, Crete was turning his focus to the Tokyo Olympics.

"I’ve only been paddling since 2015 so it’s only my fourth year paddling. For sure it will help me to keep on focusing on Tokyo 2020," he said. "Having won the continental (championship) gives us a good idea of how strong we are going to be for next year."

Anna Roy-Cyr of Lac-Beauport finished fifth in the women’s C1 200m


Dorien Llewellyn of Innisfail, Alta., won gold in the men’s overall event with a total score of 2,885.50 points.

Whitney McClintock-Rini of Cambridge, Ont., took silver in the women’s overall event, while Paige Rini of Kingston, Ont., grabbed bronze.


Argentina defeated Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., and Michael Plantinga of Langley, B.C., 2-0 in the men’s bronze-medal match.


Michelle Li of Markham, Ont., advanced to the women’s quarterfinals with a 2-0 (21-7, 21-13) win over Costa Rica’s Lauren Villalobos and Rachel Honderich of Toronto also moved on with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) win over Nairoby Jiminez of the Dominican Republic.

Jason Ho-Shue of Markham is through to the men’s quarterfinals with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-9) win over Brazil’s Farias Francielton, as is Toronto’s Brian Yang of after a 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) win over Andres Lopez of Mexico.

Two Canadian teams advanced to the quarterfinals in mixed doubles. Nyl Yakura of Pickering, Ont., and Kristen Tsai of Surrey, B.C., posted a 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) victory over Brazil and Joshua Hurlburt-Yu of Toronto and Josephine Wu of Edmonton beat Ecuador 2-0 (21-9, 21-8).


Canada defeated Mexico 5-1 in men’s competition. Toronto’s Oliver Scholfield and Mark Pearson of Tsawwassen, B.C., led the way with two goals each while Vancouver’s David Carter posted a shutout. Canada’s next match is Thursday against the United States.


Carolina Alves of Brazil defeated Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in women’s first-round play, while Peru’s Dana Guzman and Dominique Schaefer beat Toronto’s Jada Bui and Vancouver’s Alexandra Vagramov 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of women’s doubles.


Hollie Naughton of Mississauga, Ont., Samantha Cornett of Deep River, Ont., and Danielle Letourneau of Calgary beat Chile 3-0 to advance to a semifinal matchup against Colombia on Wednesday.


Matthew Van Haaren of Milgrove, Ont., was sixth in men’s trap.


Emily Routhier of Marbleton, Que., had eight goals on nine shots as Canada beat Peru 31-12 in the seventh-place game.

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