Chant, Hofland impress at first world gymnastics championships

Waterdown’s Maegan Chant (Photo: International Gymnastics Magazine/Gymnastics Canada)

Waterdown’s Maegan Chant (Photo: International Gymnastics Magazine/Gymnastics Canada)

ANTWERP, Belgium – The Canadian women’s gymnastics team got off to a good start at the 2013 world championships on Tuesday (Oct. 1) with strong performances from Waterdown’s Maegan Chant and Kaitlyn Hofland of Georgetown.

Chant, 16, and Hofland, 17, in their first appearances at a world championship, made the most of the opportunity on the first day of women’s qualification for more than 150 competitors representing more than 50 countries.

Chant placed fourth on vault and sixth on floor while Hofland competed on beam and uneven bars and finished sixth and 14th respectively.

“I felt really well out there, I wasn’t nervous and I just did my best,” said Chant. “I was just excited to come here and I gave it all.”

Hofland surprised herself by coming up with her best showing on the balance beam.

“Uneven bars is normally my best event and stability has sometimes been an issue on beam, so it was just great to have such a good result on beam,” said Hofland.

Hofland’s coach, Lawson Hamer of Toronto, was particularly impressed with the way she handled the pressure of competing at her first world championships.

“She had to put everything else out of her mind and get her heart rate down and focus on two performances. Kaitlyn is known for her long artistic lines on bars and her artistry on beam but it was also her tremendous work ethic that got here.”

Qualification continues for the women on Wednesday with the final three groups of competitors, including top-ranked Canadians Ellie Black of Halifax and Victoria Moors of Cambridge, Ont.