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Lopez Wins Central American Games Title
(10 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)

Venezuelan Olympian Jessica Lopez won the women's all-around title Wednesday at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. Lopez is congratulated by her coach, Nilson Medeiros, after she clinched victory on floor exercise.

Venezuela's Jessica Lopez won the women's all-around title Wednesday at the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games, taking place this week in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

The 2008 Olympian topped defending champion Elsa Garcia of Mexico and Colombian Olympian Nathalia Sanchez at the gymnastics hall in Hormigueros, south of Mayagüez.

"The competition was really strong," the 24-year-old Lopez said. "It was the very last event at the very last minute that decided the outcome."

After two rotations, Lopez lagged .15 behind Garcia, the top qualifier. But Lopez pulled ahead with a hit balance beam routine that brought 14.750, the highest score of the day.

"The key was balance beam, she had to make an almost perfect performance and she did," said her Brazilian-born coach, Nilson Medeiros.

Lopez also needed to hit her final routine on floor exercise after Garcia posted 14.300, the highest floor score of the evening. Lopez, who had scored just 12.350 on floor during Monday's team competition, finished with a 13.900 to seal the win.

"We must congratulate Elsa Garcia and Nathalia Sanchez, who made it a tough fight for Jessica," Medeiros said. "They are quality gymnasts. Elsa was the 12th best in the world at the last world championships. To beat her in a neutral field is special."

The competition is the third regional victory in the past year for Lopez, who trains in Colorado after graduating from the University of Denver. She won the South American Games in March and the Bolivian Games in November.

The 20-year-old Garcia, who also had the top score on vault, moved from third to second in the last rotation.

"It was a very high-level competition," said Garcia, who led Mexico to victory Monday. "We kept fighting for the top three spots."

The 18-year-old Sanchez, who missed the South American Games with thigh and ankle injuries, won the bronze with the second-highest scores on uneven bars and floor exercise. Sanchez was her nation's standard bearer during the opening ceremonies in Mayagüez, after receiving the flag in Bogota directly from Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez.

First-year senior Monica Yool finished a promising fourth for Guatemela. The 16 year old is coached by Romanians Adrian and Elena Boboc, who moved to Central America in 2003.

The competition continues Thursday with the first day of apparatus finals.

External Link: Official Event Website

XXI Central American and Caribbean Games
July 28, Hormigueros, Puerto Rico

Women's All-Around FinalVTUBBBFXTotal
1. Jessica López 14.050 13.850 14.750 13.900 56.550
2. Elsa García 14.450 13.600 13.600 14.300 55.950
3. Nathalia Sánchez 13.600 13.800 14.550 13.150 55.100
4. Mónica Yool 13.650 13.450 13.300 13.000 53.400
5. Ana Lago 13.950 11.700 12.500 13.700 51.850
6. Sidney Sanabria 13.650 12.650 12.550 12.900 51.750
7. Nicolle Vázquez 14.000 11.700 12.000 13.050 50.750
8. Adriana Ruano 13.350 12.450 12.000 12.550 50.350
9. Thema Williams 13.050 12.300 11.800 11.850 49.000
10. Ivet Rojas 13.550 13.050 9.800 12.450 48.850
11. Mariana Sánchez 13.000 12.250 10.500 11.700 47.450
12. Karina Regidor 13.000 11.050 10.200 12.000 46.250
13. Yamilet Peña 13.900 10.850 9.000 12.000 45.750
14. Montserrat Armenteros 12.900 6.400 10.300 10.100 39.700
15. Morgan Beckles 12.300 8.500 8.700 9.750 39.250
16. Rosie Finnigan 11.450 7.650 7.150 9.950 36.200
Comments (3)add comment

bostongymnast said:

Aww, I really wanted elsa to win. She is very graceful and actually smiles!Also,how can some of the girls get multiple single digit scores?low start values?not finishing a routine?that's would be a very easy routine and then not finished?does anyone have videos from this meet they could post on youtube?
July 29, 2010
Votes: -2

Gloris Leira said:

Jessica es no solo un orgullo para nosotros como venezolanos, sino tambien como su "familia" en Colorado. Jessica, te admiramos y te queremos.
July 29, 2010
Votes: +1

Gymnastyksfan said:

I wanted else to win. She won the 2 previous one and she is so elegant and nice to watch with al due respect to miss Jessica but she bored me. The low scores are due to very low start values and bad execution remember some of these girls come from countries where gymnastics is barely developing.
By the way Elsa is 20 not 22.
July 29, 2010
Votes: +1

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