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Mexican Gymnastics Frustrated by Flu Crisis
(61 votes, average 4.90 out of 5)

As Mexico celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday, its gymnastics program remained disrupted along with the rest of the nation by the ongoing flu crisis.

2009 Mexican national champion Yessenia Estrada, pictured at the 2007 World Championships

Many gymnastics clubs, including those in Mexico City, have been closed to avoid the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, said Naomi Valenzo, secretary general of the Mexican Gymnastics Federation.

Mexican health officials have reported at least 29 deaths from the flu strain since April. The nation's schools, closed since April 27, are scheduled to re-open Wednesday.

"This flu affected a lot of activities in Mexico, since our government asked everybody to avoid activities with a lot of people," Valenzo told IG. "This way we could more or less control the spread of the virus."

The flu epidemic also caused the cancellation of the prestigious Olimpiada Nacional, the multisport event originally scheduled for May 1-7 in Baja California.

"Because of this flu, this event was canceled, and we are studying the possibility of rescheduling the event in the next few months," said Valenzo, a member of the FIG Women's Technical Committee.

Mexico has no plans to enter any gymnasts in upcoming World Cup events, Valenzo said, but new national champion Yessenia Estrada is scheduled to compete at the Romanian International in June.

Estrada topped Marisela Arizmendi and Clarissa Gonzalez to win the senior title at the Mexican Championships, held April 5-8 in Monterrey.

"Unfortunately I was not able to attend the National Championships since I was at an international judges course in Guatemala, so I could not see Yessenia's performance," Valenzo said. "Nevertheless, we are happy to know that she wants to continue. She was third place on balance beam at the Pan American Individual Championships last November, and now she is more mature."

Estrada and fellow veterans Elsa Garcia, Maricela Cantu and Ericka Garcia are the main female contenders for the 2009 World Championships in London, Valenzo said.

Mexico's top male gymnast, Daniel Corral, will begin competing next season for the University of Michigan. Corral won the gold medal on vault at the 2008 Pan American Individual Championships in Guatemala.

Despite the current health crisis, the future looks bright for Mexico, Valenzo said. Guadalajara will play host to the 2010 Senior Pan Am Championships and the 2011 Pan American Games.

"We have a good group of juniors that could be part of the Mexican team — besides the experienced ones — for important events during the cycle," she said. "Also, we have young coaches that are working very well such as [2004 Olympian] Brenda Magaña."

Comments (2)add comment

G5E said:

OMG :)
i love gym that girl is awesome i have seen videos of her and OMG I CANT BELIVE IT smilies/shocked.gif

LOVE YOU YESSIsmilies/cheesy.gif
September 02, 2009 | url
Votes: +0

Ludus Tours said:

Pan American Games
Hopefully the Pan American Games will be disease free so that the tourists and the athletes traveling for the games have a nice stay in Guadalajara.
December 01, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

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