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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian gymnasts Morgan, Black strike gold at Commonwealth Games

GLASGOW, Scotland - The Commonwealth Games didn't begin as planned for Ellie Black and the rest of Canada's gymnastics team.

For her, Friday's gold-medal performance in the beam event was validation.

"Yes, I wanted to come out and stay on the beam and try to do it the best I could. So to stay on the beam, and then with that support at the end, it was just great," Black said.

A day after she fell off the balance beam in the individual all-around competition, the 18-year-old from Halifax rebounded by capturing gold on the event Friday. She then added a bronze in the floor event.

Scott Morgan of North Vancouver, B.C., won the men's vault for his fourth medal of the Games. Kevin Lytwyn of Stoney Creek, Ont., won his third medal of the games, taking bronze in men's horizontal bar.

Canada's artistic gymnasts finished with nine medals — three of each colour — to finish behind only England.

Still, they had hoped for better. Patricia Bezzoubenko had dominated the rhythmic gymnastics a week earlier, claiming five of the six gold medals and leading Canada to victory in the team event, to set the stage for the artistic gymnasts.

"Definitely seeing the rhythmic girls do amazing before we started, that definitely boosted us and go us really excited to come out here," Black said.

But the women finished fourth in the team event, and Black was fourth in the individual all-around.

"It would have been nice to do better at the beginning," Black said. "The team had a bit of a rough go, and in the individual all-around I had a rough go. I had to build up and work towards the event finals and show what I could do."

Black, who won silver Thursday on the vault to send her home with a medal of each colour, thoroughly crushed her competition on the beam on Friday.

The five-foot-one gymnast, who's the two-time defending Canadian all-around champion and led Canada to fifth place in the team event at the London Olympics, was the last of eight competitors to go, scoring 14.900 points for the victory in front of a noisy crowd at the SSE Hydro.

Mary Anne Monckton of Australia finished a full point back, winning the silver with 13.666, while Georgina Hockenhull of Wales was third with 13.466.

Black scored 13.666 on the floor, but had points deducted for stepping out of bounds.

Claudia Fragapane won the gold with 14.541, while Australia's Lauren Mitchell was second with 13.833.

Morgan won the men's vault with a score of 14.733 points for his fourth medal — two gold, a silver, and a bronze in the team event — of the Games.

Kristian Thomas of England won the silver with 14.499. Singapore's Wah Toon Hoe was the bronze medallist with 14.195.

Lytwyn of Stoney Creek, Ont., scored 14.866 for third on the horizontal bar. Nile Wilson scored 14.966 to lead England to a 1-2 finish with teammate Thomas taking the silver.

Lytwyn had finished second to Morgan in the rings event on Thursday and was part of the team that won bronze.

Canadian coach David Kikuchi said gymnastics hadn't set medal goals for the Games, it was more about getting experience before the world championships in October.

"This was a really young team besides Ellie and this was the first time any of them had ever been in any Games atmosphere so it was an important experience that way," Kikuchi said. "Also leading toward the world championships, it's the main focus of the year, so this was a good competition to test out our team."

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