A standout night by Canadian Ellie Black foiled Team USA’s bid for a gymnastics team and all-around title sweep at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto on July 13. While her American counterparts faltered, the 19-year old Halifax native kept her cool as she turned in a quartet of solid routines to claim the top spot on the all-around podium before a home nation crowd.
Black, who qualified sixth for the all-around event behind Americans Amelia Hundley and Madison Desch, Ana Gomes-Porras of Guatemala, Flavia Lopes-Saraiva of Brazil, and Megan Skaggs of the US (who was not allowed to compete, thanks to the two per nation rule) delivered a set of virtually flawless programs to post a field-best 58.150. Desch claimed the silver with a 57.450, while Lopes-Saraiva’s cumulative 57.050 was good enough for bronze. Although she began in first place after delivering the highest-scoring vault of the night, top qualifier Hundley fell to just fourth thanks to a disastrous uneven bars routine.
Desch’s silver is the fourth gymnastics medal earned by Team USA at the 2015 games. Both the men and women claimed gold in the team event finals, while reigning national champion Sam Mikulak scored the men’s all-around win on the afternoon of July 13.
Artistic gymnastics competition will continue July 14 with individual apparatus finals. While the men take on the floor exercise, pommel horse, and rings, the women will go for gold on the vault and uneven bars. The last of the event finals are scheduled for July 15. Check out ESPN.com for livestream times and information.