Road To The Olympic Games

Canada's Isabela Onyshko falls in Olympic balance beam final, places 8th

Isabela Onyshko, the reigning Canadian all-around champion, finished eighth in the individual women’s artistic gymnastics balance beam event at the Rio Olympics on Monday.

Manitoban earns 13.400 points after placing 18th in individual all-around event in Rio

Isabela Onyshko of Canada picked up 13.400 points Monday afternoon on the balance beam at the Rio Olympics to place eighth in the individual event. She was 18th in the individual all-around event. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)

By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

Isabela Onyshko, the reigning Canadian all-around champion, finished eighth in the individual women's artistic gymnastics balance beam event at the Rio Olympics on Monday.

The 18-year-old fell during her routine and earned 13.400 points — 6.1 points for difficulty and 7.3 for execution. Her total was more than a point lower than her qualifying score of 14.53.

Simone Biles of the United States, who was bidding for a fourth gold medal at these Games, also fell and settled for bronze with 14.733 points.

Sanne Wevers won gold (15.466) to capture the third artistic gymnastics medal for the Netherlands in Rio while Biles' teammate, Lauren Hernandez, earned silver (15.333).

With her mom in the stands at Rio Olympic Arena, Onyshko looked strong in her opening tumbling series but on her back flip with a full twist, her shoulders leaned too far to the right, causing the Brandon, Man., resident to lose her balance.

Earlier in the summer, Onyshko upgraded her beam routine with a few new moves that she hadn't perfected by the start of July.

Long wait

Four Americans had higher qualifying scores than Onyshko but individual apparatus finals only allow a maximum of two athletes per country to compete, so Onyshko grabbed the final spot in the eight-woman field.

The first Olympian in 24 years from the city, she moved there two years ago from her native Minnedosa, Onyshko finished 18th in the individual all-around event last week.

Prior to Onyshko, Lynette Wittmeier, an alternate at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was the last gymnast from Manitoba.

Despite Monday's disappointing performance, Onyshko has enjoyed a standout 2016 season. Among the Brandon Eagles Club member's accomplishments:

  • All-around gold medal at a Mexico event
  • All-around gold at Elite Canada in Halifax
  • All-around gold at the Gymnix International Cup in Montreal
  • Silver all-around at the Stuttgart World Cup in Germany

Onyshko helped Canada qualify a team for Rio last October at the world championship in Glasgow, Scotland.

For Onyshko, a strong work ethic has been the key to success in her 11 years as an artistic gymnast.

"She has all the talent but it's just that she is so determined and she works so hard," Manitoba Gymnastics Association executive director Kathy Stoesz told the Winnipeg Sun this past March.

"If you ever watched her train, you would be amazed. She never stops. She's constantly trying to learn new things and add difficulty to her routines and perfect that and then add another thing."

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