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Rosie MacLennan wins Canada’s first gold of London 2012

Neate Sager
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Rosie MacLennan's degree-of-difficulty scores got her the gold (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)

Rosie MacLennan, the high flyer from King City, is queen of the trampoline.

On her final routine on Saturday, the 23-year-old threw down at gauntlet that no one could match, receiving a score of 57.305 to overtake training partner Karen Cockburn and defending Olympic champion He Wenna of China to take the lead in women's trampoline. Minutes later, Wenna, the final competitor, slipped on one of her final tricks of her routine, sending a roar to go throughout North Greenwich Arena in realization the champion had been dethroned and the Canadian had won the gold — the country's first of London 2012. Eerily, Wenna also fell during a pre-Olympic meet in the same event.

[Photos: Rosie MacLennan claims Canada's first gold medal at London Games]

"I was fourth going into the final, so I had nothing to lose," MacLennan said in a television interview. "I figured I might as well leave it all on the trampoline.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. The only way it could have been better was if Karen had been up on the podium with me."

Wenna received a high enough score to bump Cockburn, who was attempting to medal in four consecutive Olympics, to fourth place. China's Shanshan Huang took the silver.

MacLennan's high degree of difficulty (15.4) put her over the top on the final routine. To put it in perspective, CTV's gymnastics analyst, Kyle Shewfelt, likened a score of 57.305 to running a 100-metre dash in fewer than 9.7 seconds.

Wenna's fall stoked hopes that Canada might have two medals in the event, but her flight times and execution of her tricks gave her a good enough score (55.95) to shade the 31-year-old Cockburn (55.86), who is one of MacLennan's mentors.

[Also: Paula Findlay breaks down, apologizes after triathlon]

"Of course fourth is the worst place to finish, but of course I am really happy for Rosie," Cockburn said. "So it's mixed emotions. At the end I thought I was for sure going to be fourth, then the Chinese competitor [Wenna] fell and I thought for sure I was going to be third. It was pretty disappointing but obviously I'm really happy for Rosie. It's a good thing for Canada to win a gold medal. I was happy with my routine, I was happy across the board."

The win gives Canada's trampoline team and coach Dave Ross of Skyriders Trampoline Club in Richmond Hill, Ont., who nearly had an Olympic gold medal when Jason Burnett finished second in Beijing in 2008, its first Olympic gold medal.

All four of Canada's medal-winning trampolinists, Burnett, Cockburn, MacLennan and Mathieu Turgeon (Cockburn's spouses), have trained with Ross at Skyriders.

Coincidentally, it also took Canada until Day 8 of the Games to win its first gold medal in Beijing four years ago. That came from Carol Huynh in wrestling.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.


More London Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Canada Sports:
'Bruce Li' badminton journey ends in defeat in bronze medal match
Photos: Biggest controversies of the 2012 Games
Tara Whitten leads Canada to cycling medal
Video: Donovan Bailey's 100m prediction

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