SOFIA, Bulgaria – Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan of Toronto solidified her status as the world’s best female trampolinist at the 2013 world championships on Sunday, winning gold with a well executed routine bolstered by the highest degree of difficulty in the eight-woman final.
After advancing through two qualification rounds MacLennan took the interim lead in the final with 56.285 points and held on for the victory as the final three competitors tried unsuccessfully to top her score.
Xingping Zong of China was a close second with 56.165 points and teammate Dan Li was third with a score of 56.145.
Samantha Sendel of Toronto, who crashed out of the synchro final with MacLennan on Saturday, bounced back in the individual event to place fifth with 53.560 points.
It was MacLennan’s first gold at the world championships, giving her a complete set after winning a pair of bronze medals and a silver at previous competitions.
“It’s been a challenging week mentally and physically but I came into the final knowing it was my last routine,” said MacLennan, who competed all week with a pair of sore knees caused by a crash landing just over a week ago in training.
“After the fall I had back home I just focussed here on taking one day at a time, focussing on each routine and giving everything I had. I figured if I had anything left in me after the final routine, then I didn’t try hard enough.”
Sendel, a longtime training partner of MacLennan at the Skyriders Trampoline Place in Richmond Hill, Ont., qualified eighth in the semis and went for broke in the final.
The last-minute decision to go with the most difficult routine she had ever attempted in competition paid off with her best-ever international result.
“I had done parts of routine in training previous to coming to the worlds but never the complete routine so that was very exciting,” said Sendel. “I’m thrilled. I went into this meeting hoping to get into the semi finals and made it all the way to the final.”
Samantha Smith of Toronto didn’t make it into the final and finished 11th. In other finals, Vincent Lavoie of Drummondville, Que., and Kate Verschoor of Brantford, Ont., were sixth and eighth respectively in men’s and women’s tumbling.