Erin Blanchard
© FIG Photo

BEIJING, Aug. 16, 2008 – Erin Blanchard of Lafayette, La., finished 13th for the women and Chris Estrada of Colorado Springs, Colo., placed 15th for the men in the trampoline qualification round at the 2008 Olympic Games, held at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China. The top eight men and the top eight women from the qualification round advanced to the finals on Aug. 18 for the women and Aug. 19 for the men.

Blanchard earned a total score of 60.90 after posting a 27.10 for her compulsory routine and a 33.80 for her optional routine. China’s He Wenna finished first with a 67.20, and Russia’s Irina Karavaeva was second with a 66.40. Canada’s Rosannagh MacLennan was third with a 66.00.

“I was happy that I made it and that I did both of my routines,” Blanchard said. “It wasn’t good, but I did it and stayed on my feet. I did all ten skills and did the best I could. I was really, really nervous because I wasn’t expecting the stands to be filled like this. It was a lot crazier than I thought it would be.”

Estrada’s 28.50 for his compulsory routine and his 37.40 for his optional routine earned a total of 65.90. China went 1-2 in the qualification round with Lu Chunlong in first and Dong Dong in second with scores of 72.40 and 71.70, respectively. Russia’s Dmitry Ushakov was third with a 71.50.

“I did okay, but I could have done better,” Estrada said. “I did the best I could today, so I’m happy with that. Being in front of the crowd was amazing because it was a new experience for me (to jump in front of a large audience). I want to thank my coaches for getting me this far.”

This was the first Olympic Games for both Blanchard and Estrada. The USA competed in the Olympic Games in women’s trampoline for the third straight Olympiad and in men’s trampoline for the first time. Jennifer Parilla finished ninth both in 2000 and 2004.

In artistic gymnastics, Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, will compete in the balance beam and floor exercise finals. Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., is in the vault final, and Liukin will compete on the uneven bars. Alexander Artemev of Highlands Ranch, Colo., will compete in the pommel horse finals on Aug. 17 and Jonathan Horton of Houston is in the horizontal bar finals on Aug. 19. The individual event finals are Aug. 17-19 at 6 p.m.

2008 Olympic Games
National Indoor Stadium
Beijing, China
Aug. 16, 2008
Trampoline qualification round

1. HE Wenna, China, 67.20
2. KARAVAEVA Irina, Russia, 66.40
3. MACLENNAN Rosannagh, Canada, 66.00
4. COCKBURN Karen, Canada, 65.60
5. GOLOVINA Luba, Georgia, 64.90
6. MOVCHAN Olena, Ukraine, 64.80
7. DOGONADZE Anna, Germany, 64.30
8. KHILKO Ekaterina, Uzbekistan, 63.90
9. PIATRENIA Tatsiana, Belarus, 63.80
10. WRIGHT Claire, Great Britain, 63.10
11. CHERNOVA Natalia, Russia, 63.00
12. HIROTA Haruka, Japan, 62.60
13. BLANCHARD Erin, USA, 60.90
14. HUANG Shanshan, China, 59.00
15. POPKIN Lenka, Czech Republic, 57.60
16. RENTE Ana, Portugal, 31.60

1. LU Chunlong, China, 72.40
2. DONG Dong, China, 71.70
3. USHAKOV Dmitry, Russia, 71.50
4. NIKITIN Yuriy, Ukraine, 70.70
5. SOTOMURA Tetsuya, Japan, 70.30
6. RUSAKOV Alexander, Russia, 69.90
7. BURNETT Jason, Canada, 69.70
8. KAZAK Mikalai, Belarus, 69.70
9. UEYAMA Yasuhiro, Japan, 69.20
10. JENSEN Peter, Denmark, 69.20
11. GANCHINHO Diogo, Portugal, 69.10
12. PENNES Gregoire, France, 68.70
13. WILDEN Ben, Australia, 67.10
14. CANNONE Flavio, Italy, 66.50
15. ESTRADA Chris, USA, 65.90
16. STEHLIK Henrik, Germany, 64.60