GATINEAU, Qc - Jason Burnett of Toronto clinched Canada’s lone Olympic berth in men’s trampoline at a qualification meet on Friday.
Burnett, a six-time Canadian champion and silver medallist at the 2008 Olympics, fought off a challenge from Keegan Soehn of Red Deer, Alta., to place first with a score of 164.118 points.
Sebastien St-Germain of Montreal placed second with 156.49 points and Greg Roe of Toronto was third at 151.920.
The win lifted Burnett into first place in the five event Olympic selection race, including the 2011 world championships in November and the Olympic Test Event in London in January.
“I haven’t been able to take a deep breath in a month going through this qualification process,” said Burnett. “These qualifying meets are the worst kind of pressure and it’s just a huge relief to get the berth and move on.”
Soehn, who upset Burnett earlier this month at Elite Canada, ran into problems in the prelims and did not qualify for finals, dashing his hopes of winning the Olympic berth.
Soehn, however, placed second overall in the Olympic selection process and will back up Burnett in London as the men’s reserve athlete.
Burnett played it safe performing easier routines than he normally uses at major events.
“I’m going to be using much more difficult routines at the Games but here I just needed to be safe and stable,” said Burnett.
On the women’s event lacked the drama of the men’s with Canada’s two Olympic berths already locked up by veterans Karen Cockburn and Rosie MacLennan, both of Toronto.
MacLennan, the 2011 world silver medallist, placed first with 153.395 points, followed by three-time Olympic medal winner Cockburn in second with a score of 151.805 and Mariah Madigan of Toronto at 147.700.
Madigan tied with Samantha Smith of Toronto in the battle for the women’s reserve spot in London, with Smith getting the nod because of a better result at the last world championships.