Chant, Hofland bring Canada silver in gymnastics


Maegan Chant (Photo: Gymnastics Canada)

Maegan Chant (Photo: Gymnastics Canada)

ROCHE-SUR-YON, France – Two of Canada’s top young gymnasts each won a silver medal at the French International World Cup meet on Sunday (March 17) in a strong international field featuring a number of world championship and Olympic veterans.

Maegan Chant, 15, of Waterdown, earned her trip to the podium in the vault final, while Kaitlyn Hofland of Georgetown, won her medal in the uneven bars event.

In the vault final, Chant placed second behind Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland but ahead of Oksana Chusovitina, winner of nine world championship medals and a silver medalist on vault at the 2008 Olympics.

Steingruber scored 13.433 points, followed by Chant with 13.133 and Chusovitina at 13.082.

“This is the best result of her career so far,” said Canadian coach Gabi Tantaru, who guides Chant with his wife and former Romanian star gymnast Christina Bontas at the World Class Gymnastics Club in Hamilton.

“From the beginning Maegan has been a powerful gymnast on floor and vault and every international competition is good experience for her,” said Tantaru.

Chant just missed winning another medal in a close battle for third spot in the floor final and had to settle for fourth.

In the uneven bars final Hofland earned her silver medal with a score of 13.466 points, less than two-tenths of a point behind Switzerland’s Steingruber who won her second gold of the meet with 13.600 points.

“It was very close and Kaitlyn really came through with a great routine,” said Tantaru. “Just one small deduction made the difference between gold and silver.”

Other gold medal winners were Charlotta Ferlito of Italy on beam and Ksenia Afanaseva of Russia on floor.

Rounding out the Canadian results, Sabrina Gill of Oakville, Ont., finished fourth on uneven bars.