Langley Events Centre was familiar territory for gymnast Zach Clay, who got his start with Langley’s Flip City. (Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre)

Zach Clay takes bronze at gymnastics championships in Langley

The day ‘had its ups and downs’ Clay summarized

Zach Clay’s return to Langley saw the former Flip City Gymnastics Centre athlete better his performance, taking bronze in the Senior All-around (AA) competition at the 2019 Elite Canada Men’s Artistic Gymnastics competition at the Langley Gymnastics Centre on Friday.

“Today had its ups and downs,” observed Clay, who improved on his fourth place finish in the AA competition at the Canadian championship, and who is a member of the 2019 Pan Am Games team for Canada.

“Two of my events weren’t really what I was expecting, so this was a good preparation for the Pan Am Games that we’re going to on Sunday. This feels like a test run and so whatever doesn’t go right here, I know what I have to work on before we compete in Peru.”

Clay, a Chilliwack native, got his start in the sport with Flip City before progressing to Abbotsford’s Twisters Gymnastics Club, the club he still trains with.

Justin Karstadt of Toronto took gold, while Darren Wong of Vancouver took silver.

READ MORE: World champ competitor Zach Clay got his start in gymnastics in Langley

Karstadt, who recently graduated from the University of Minnesota, finished third in the AA competition at the Canadian Championships back in May, and is a member of the team leaving on Sunday to represent Canada in Lima.

“The competition went well,” said Karstadt. “Nothing was really perfect, but I hit all six routines, so I can’t ask for much more. It’s almost a good thing that I wasn’t perfect [because] it means I’m kind of saving it for Pan Ams!”

In the junior 16-17 competition, Evgeny Siminiuc of Mississiauga won his first all-around title, laying down top-scoring performances on three of the six apparatus to capture his first national title.

His Junior World Championships teammate, and newly crowned junior world champion on rings, Félix Dolci of Laval, Quebec, took the silver medal, while Patrick Talbot of Quispamsis, New Brunswick, captured bronze.

“I’m very happy with the gold medal,” said Siminiuc who finished second in the same category at the Canadian Championships in May behind Dolci.

“We recently came back from worlds, and so coming into this competition was a bit tough as training was a little bit difficult after worlds. But this was my last competition of the season, so I’m looking forward now to summer training and working on my skills and upping my D-scores.”

In the Junior 14-15 AA completion, Xavier Olasz of Ontario took the gold medal, followed by Trent Miligan and Nathan Broughton.

Langley Gymnastic Foundation athlete Trevor Ma finished seventh of 16 in the junior 16-17 category.

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