Zeng completes gold medal sweep at Pan Ams
posted on 07/20/2015

© Grace Chiu

TORONTO, Ont., Canada, July 20, 2015 – 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, completed a sweep of the rhythmic gymnastics gold medals today at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Zeng won her fourth and fifth gold medals in the clubs and ribbon finals, respectively. Two-time World all-around finalist Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, picked up the bronze for clubs and silver for ribbon. The U.S. rhythmic group won the USA’s first gold medal in group rhythmic gymnastics at the Pan Ams when they won the six clubs/two hoops final.

With today’s medals, Zeng becomes the second woman ever to sweep the rhythmic gold medals at the Pan Am Games. The United States’ Mary Sanders first accomplished the feat in 2003.

With a clean and fast-paced clubs routine, Zeng grabbed her fourth gold medal of the Pan Am Games with a 16.167 score. She opened with a high toss, showing tight rotations under it and a clean catch. She finished the exercise with an intricate toss behind her back and another clean catch. Kerber showed her trademark elegance and control with the clubs, performing to “Let it Go” by The Piano Guys. She drew applause from the crowd when she showed total precision on a back attitude spin that went directly into a balance. She closed with a trap catch for a 15.833 and the bronze medal. Canada’s Patricia Bezzoubenko took the silver with a 15.933.

Zeng completed her gold medal sweep in the ribbon final, scoring a 16.267 for her high-energy routine. With five gold medals, Zeng currently has the most gold medals of any athlete at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Kerber closed her Pan Am Games with a ribbon routine set to “Hijo de la Luna” and scored a 15.993. She was clean through a complicated toss off her foot into a front walkover and rotations. She won her fourth silver medal of the Games and her fifth medal overall. Brazil’s Angelica Kvieczynski took third with her 15.633.

In the group six clubs/two hoop final, the U.S. took the gold, scoring 14.983. Brazil was second with 14.692. Canada finished in third 13.709.

The U.S. group was the next to last to compete in today’s final. They began their final routine of the Pan Am Games with all six clubs connected and interlocking with the two hoops. As the group finished their clean routine, the U.S. coaches jumped for joy, sensing the historic moment. The members of the rhythmic gymnastics group, who train at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, are: Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill.; Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill.; Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill.; Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill.; Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill.; and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago.

For more information, go to toronto2015.org.

ESPN and ESPN2 will present live 66 hours. ESPN’s telecasts will kick off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. – marking the first English-language live presentation of the ceremony in 30 years – and wrap up with a five-hour live window on July 26 for the closing day of the Games, starting at 1:00 p.m. Between July 11- 25, ESPN2 will present two to six hours of daily live coverage focused on men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, diving, swimming, gymnastics, boxing, track and field, and soccer. The network will also present daily highlights of all medal winners and the action across every venue.

ESPN3 will carry 580 hours of Pan American Games programming, with live access to almost every competition in more than 15 different disciplines, including basketball, gymnastics, swimming, diving, soccer, volleyball, karate, taekwondo, track and field, and many others.

Every Pan American coverage option on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Longhorn Network, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+ will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.