American exceeds expectations at Lake Placid: International field competes in Trampoline, Tumbling World Cup PDF Print E-mail
Written by COURTNEY LEWIS, Staff Writer   
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

LAKE PLACID — Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup competitions aren't often held in the U.S., and American Kalon Ludvigson felt like he had a lot of expectations to live up to at this week's event in Lake Placid. So the Cedar Lake, Ind. native was nervous during the men's tumbling preliminaries Sunday.
But he settled down Monday and surpassed his own expectations.
Ludvigson and Susannah Johnson both earned bronze medals to lead the U.S. contingent at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in the first World Cup event of 2007. Canada's Karen Cockburn took home two medals, winning the women's synchronized trampoline with teammate Rosannagh MacLennan and placing second in women's individual trampoline. Russia had the largest medal haul with six, including two golds.
Ludvigson was in fourth place after the prelims.
"The first World Cup of the year, and I had a lot of expectations from the U.S. delegation and everything to perform well, and I just wanted to step up to everybody's expectations," Ludvigson said.
"I definitely did a lot better (Monday) than in prelims. I was a lot more confident."
China's Jiexu Wang won the event with a score of 77.2 in the finals. Ludvigson scored 74.4, and teammate Chris Adair placed eighth with 65.5.
In tumbling, gymnasts perform on a 6' x 88' platform, getting a running start and then doing a series of flips and twists before landing on a mat at the end. Ludvigson, 19, claimed his first World Cup medal. His goal was to make the finals, and once he did that, to maintain the fourth position.
"A medal was a really nice surprise," he said.
In her first World Cup, Johnson scored 64.8 in women's tumbling. Anna Korobenikova of Russia won with a 69.8.
Yuriy Kikitin of Ukraine earned gold in men's trampoline with a score of 40.7. Canada's Jason Burnett took silver with a 40.0 and set a world record by completing a routine with a difficulty rating of 17.5. The Toronto native said the previous record of 17.0 was set in 1986.
Gymnasts earn points in trampoline for each skill they complete, and are also judged on form. Burnett, who claimed the last qualifying spot Sunday, said he had been planning the routine for a while.
"I choose something that I'm comfortable with," he said. "It usually involves lots of twisting skills because that's my strength. Some of the other competitors like to use three triple (somersaults) or four even. Backwards triples aren't really my thing. So twisting is a big help for me."
Burnett, who won his second World Cup medal, said his competitors may not be looking to break his new record, but they'll probably take notice of him.
"I feel like they're not really pushing the bar on difficulty, but I know that they'll be watching me, and I'll be in the back of their head when they're competing," he said. "I'll be one of the people to worry about now."
Burnett is scheduled to compete at this weekend's World Cup in Quebec City, Que.
"And the plan is to try something bigger," he said.
Asuhiro Ueyama and Tetsuya Sotomura of Japan took gold in men's synchronized trampoline.
Cockburn and MacLennan also set a difficulty record (14.2) in synchro on their way to a winning score of 47.9. Americans Erin Blanchard and Brittany Dircks, who were eighth after the prelims, finished fifth with a 44.8. Russia's Karavaeva won the women's individual event, and Blanchard placed seventh.
Blanchard said she was competing with Dirks for the first time in an international meet and the two don't get to practice much together because they live in different states.
In synchro, teammates perform the same routine side by side.
"You've got to use the corner of your eyes to see where she is and how high she is," Blanchard said. "You really have to listen to when she hits the trampoline.
"The only communication we really have is right at the beginning of the routine, she says, 'Up' to let me know that she's ready, and then we take a bounce and then we go."
Blanchard and Ludvigson both said they enjoyed having a World Cup in their home country — the last one in the U.S. was in 2002. Ludvigson said when he tells people he competes in tumbling, they don't know what to think.
"Usually, they don't really have much of a reaction," he said. "But when they actually see the sport, everybody that I've seen is really impressed and thinks it's really awesome.
"I love tumbling; I think it's a great sport. It's a big adrenaline rush."
2007 Lake Placid Trampoline & Tumbling World Cup
Synchronized Trampoline

1. Yasuhiro Ueyama and Tetsuya Sotomura, Japan, 49.90
2. Vladimir Kakorko and Nikolai Kazak, Belarus, 49.30
3. Alexander Leven and German Khnychev, Russia, 48.00
1. Rosannagh MacLennan and Karen Cockburn, Canada, 47.90
2. Irina Karavaeva and Natalia Chernova, Russia, 47.00
3. Maryna Kyiko and Yuliia Domchevska, Ukraine, 46.50
5. Erin Blanchard and Brittany Dircks, United States, 44.80
1. Jiexu Wang, China, 77.20
2. Tagir Murtazaev, Russia, 76.10
3. Kalon Ludvigson, United States, 74.40
8. Chris Adair, United States, 65.50
1. Anna Korobenikova, Russia, 69.80
2. Alina Yarullova, Russia, 67.90
3. Susannah Johnson, United States, 64.80
Individual Trampoline
1. Yuriy Nikitin, Ukraine, 40.70
2. Jason Burnett, Canada, 40.00
3. Shunsuke Nagasaki, Japan, 39.90
1. Irina Karavaeva, Russia, 38.60
2. Karen Cockburn, Canada, 37.90
3. Xingping Zhong, China, 37.60

7. Erin Blanchard, United States, 35.60



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