Fil-Am gymnast nails Youth Olympics slot
Filipino-American gymnast Ava Verdeflor clinched a spot in the 2014 Youth Olympics after a creditable finish in the Junior Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, recently.
Despite falling short in the final round, the 15-year-old Verdeflor managed to pool enough points to nail ninth spot in the 30-strong field, surpassing the qualifying standard in the Youth Games with a 30.3 score.
“I feel blessed with my performance,” said Verdeflor, the country’s No.1 junior gymnast and reigning Philippine National Games champion.
Cynthia Carrion, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, was pleased with Verdeflor’s performance.
“Ava scored 30.3 points in the overall execution and did better than expected,” said Carrion.
A native of Tarlac City who is now based in Dallas, Texas, Verdeflor earned her level 10 artistic status at the famous World Olympic Gymnastics Academy co-owned by former five-time world champion Yevgeny Marchenko and Russian acrobat Valeri Liukin.
With Verdeflor’s qualification, the country now has six athletes who made the grade for the Youth Games, including recurve archers Luis Gabriel Moreno and Bianca Gotuaco, golfers Princess Superal and Mia Legaspi and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.