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Canada's Gafuik Gains Momentum in China
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Canadian Olympian Nathan Gafuik said he hopes the experience he gains competing as a guest at the Chinese championships will benefit him at the upcoming Moscow World Cup.

Training in China since May 2, Canadian Olympian Nathan Gafuik told IG on Friday that the experience he will gain in the Chinese championships starting Sunday should help him prepare for next weekend's Moscow World Cup and this fall's world championships.

"I hope to use this competition in China to start building some momentum in the lead-up to world championships," said Gafuik, one of eight Canadian male gymnasts who will perform as guests in the Chinese championships. "This is the first competition that we have leading into a busy spring and summer before finally getting to Worlds. It's a great opportunity to compete my routines on the podium and in front of international judges. It's important to take advantage of every chance you get."

Gafuik said he and his teammates are grateful for the chance to compete with Chinese gymnasts in their national championships, which begin Sunday in Kunshun.

"As you can imagine, there are lots of gymnasts participating in the event, so the training sessions are very full," he said. "It is a huge honor for the Canadian team to be invited to compete at this event, and we are happy to be here. It has been great to be able to train beside many of the current Olympic and world champions, and it will be amazing to compete with them."

Gafuik said he leaves for Moscow after the first day of the meet, but his teammates will stay in China for the all-around and apparatus finals.

In Moscow, Gafuik will compete on vault and high bar – the latter event on which he plans to perform a routine with the highest Difficulty (7.4) that he has competed.

"These events and the rest of them will have strong fields, so it is important that I hit my best routines," he told IG. "I will be trying the routine here in China first and then in Moscow. If all goes to plan I am aiming to make it to finals, and then we will see after that. On vault I will be doing the same as I have in the past. I am aiming to hit both of my vaults and see where that puts me. I am excited to be going to Moscow. I think it will be a good competition."  

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"Veteran Presence" – Gafuik interview (July/August 2010)
"Team is the Theme" - Gafuik profile (November 2007)

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