A strong Canadian trampoline and tumbling team is aiming high at the 2013 World Games, a multi-sport competition with over 4000 athletes from more than 100 countries competing mostly in non-Olympic events ranging from squash and karate to roller skating and paragliding.
Over 80 competitors from 16 countries will be vying for medals in the trampoline and tumbling events July 29-31, including Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan of Toronto.
MacLennan, the gold medal winner in women’s individual trampoline at the London Games, will team up with partner Samantha Sendel, both of Toronto, in synchro trampoline, a world championship event since 1965 but not part of the Olympic Games.
MacLennan, although best known for her Olympic victory last summer, has been one of the world’s top synchro competitors since winning silver at the 2005 world championships with previous partner Karen Cockburn.
MacLennan and Sendel won silver in their competitive debut last week at the Canada Cup in Airdrie, Alta.
Canadian hopes are also high in the double mini event where competitors run and jump onto a two-level trampoline, springing into the air to perform flips and other aerial manouevres before landing on a mat.
Among the medal contenders in a top international field in both men’s and women’s events are 2007 world silver medallist Denis Vachon of Burlington, Ont., recent Canada Cup winner Keegan Soehn of Red Deer, Alta., and 2010 women’s world champion Corissa Boychuk of Airdrie, Alta.
Rounding out the Canadian team in the men’s and women’s tumbling events are 2013 national champions Emily Smith and Jon Schwaiger, both of Burlington, Ont.
“I would not be surprised if we came home with a lot of medals,” said Vachon, who came out of retirement just over a year ago to pursue a world title. “We have such a wealth of experience and proven competitors.”
Vachon, who made his international breakthrough in double mini with a silver medal at the 2005 World Games, believes gold in Cali is well within striking range.
“Coming back eight years later makes it seem like I’ve come full circle,” said Vachon.
“I think I’m good enough to be the gold medallist. I’ve set up all of my routines and training around the personal best high score I can receive. My difficulty has increased and I have greater awareness and control and just a better mental perspective on everything.”