Gymnast Ava Verdeflor 11th of 18 in YOG women’s all-around finals

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Ava Lorein Verdeflor performed below expectations in the floor exercise and vault and settled for 11th place in the women’s artistic gymnastics all-around finals of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games late Wednesday night at Nanjing Olympic Stadium Gymnasium.

The 15-year-old Verdeflor was impressive in the uneven bars and beam but struggled in the two other events to finish with 49.000 points.

“I’m happy that I’m here, but I’m kind of disappointed because I could have done better,” said Verdeflor, who honed her skills at the World Olympics Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas.

She ranked seventh both in the uneven bars (12.450 points) and beam (12.850) but placed 16th out of 18 finalists both in the vault (12.900) and floor exercise (11.600).

Russia’s Seda Tutkhalyan clinched the gold medal with 54.900 points, Brazil’s Flavia Lopes Saraiva bagged the silver (54.700) and Great Britain’s Elissa Downie took the bronze (54.150).

“My first tumbling on the floor, I landed on my hands,” said Verdeflor, who still has a chance to secure a medal in the uneven bars on Saturday. “They kind of bothered my ankles but I tried to finish the best way I could.”

Verdeflor made it to the final 18 of the all-around on the strength of solid performances in the uneven bars, vault and floor exercise during the qualifying stage on Monday.

“It could be a little better if she didn’t fall on the floor,” said Verdeflor’s coach Yevgeny Marchenko, a five-time sports acrobatic world champion. “But she’s incredible and she made me proud.”

Verdeflor staggered twice after a somersault in the floor exercise and landed unsteadily in the vault.

“She had a very difficult draw,” added Marchenko. “I’m looking forward to the finals of the bars where she’s good.”
Over at the main stadium, Zion Rose Nelson, a Filipino runner based in Canada, clocked 56.22 seconds and placed fourth in her heat of the women’s 400 meters.

Salwa Naser of Bahrain ruled Nelson’s heat in 53.95 seconds followed by Brittany Ellis of the United States (54.11) and Lyndra-Sareena Carti of France.

Jessica Thornton of Australia topped the heats in 52.78 seconds.

“It was a tough race,” said the 16-year-old Nelson, who qualified in Finals B along with six other runners on Saturday. Thornton will be leading the top qualifiers in Finals A.

Archers Luis Gabriel Moreno and Bianca Cristina Gotuaco will open their bid on Friday in the individual rankings of the men’s and women’s recurve at the Fangshan archery range.

Swimmer Roxanne Yu, triathlete Vicky Deldio and shooter Celdon Jude Arellano earlier finished their events without a medal.

June Navarro, Inquirer.net

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