Rosie MacLennan wins gold in women's trampoline
Women's champ from London defends title in Rio
By Pete Evans, CBC Sports
Canada's Rosie MacLennan did it again, winning her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women's trampoline Friday in Rio.
MacLennan's trampoline victory four years ago in London gave Canada its only gold at those Games.
The King City, Ont., native was Canada's flag-bearer at last week's opening ceremony in Rio, and her gold is the second by a Canadian at these Olympics. Swimmer Penny Oleksiak won Canada's first gold on Thursday night.
MacLennan's 56.545 score bested all others among the eight competitors who made the final after two rounds of qualifiers.
MEDAL ALERT | Rosie MacLennan wins <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gold?src=hash">#gold</a> in trampoline. <a href="https://t.co/ntI0Ly6B7f">https://t.co/ntI0Ly6B7f</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rf5Amm58zM">https://t.co/Rf5Amm58zM</a>—@CBCOlympics
Britain's Bryony Page, who was the second athlete to compete in the final, was the leader for much of the round with a score of 56.040. MacLennan, who went third last, bumped Page into the silver-medal spot.
China's Li Dan followed MacLennan's routine with a score of 55.885, which earned her the bronze medal.
Winning <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gold?src=hash">#gold</a> is beyond words and beyond <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CAN?src=hash">#CAN</a> Rosie MacLennan's wildest dreams. <a href="https://t.co/nAhnDcgTZk">https://t.co/nAhnDcgTZk</a> <a href="https://t.co/rJwlOADNmZ">https://t.co/rJwlOADNmZ</a>—@CBCOlympics
"I had a bit of a shaky preliminary round so I came into the final ... trying to stay high," she told CBC after her performance.
"When I was done I looked over at [my coach] … he had a smile on his face and that's the first indication that I did all right."
Not bad for someone who nearly had her Rio plan derailed after a pair of head injuries last year.
MacLennan battled headaches, vision issues and occasionally mixed up her words. She took some time off and was eventually cleared to return, but her confidence needed to be restored.
"In some ways it was really tough," MacLennan said. "But it was also a reminder of how much I really did love the sport. Because if I didn't, I would have given up."
MacLennan is the first repeat Olympic champion in the sport, which has been an Olympic event since the Sydney Games in 2000.
Canada has now earned a medal in the event at every Olympic Games where it has been held, with Karen Cockburn winning a bronze in 2000 and then two silvers in 2004 and then 2008 before Rosie MacLennan won back to back in 2012 and 2016.
"I knew I was giving everything I had to give myself the best chance," MacLennan said. "I hoped I was capable of it. I just really wanted to keep pushing and to keep working."
With files from The Canadian Press