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Ellie Black helps Canada to Olympic gymnastics berth

Halifax's Ellie Black competes on the balance beam at the  FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Black and her Canadian teammates placed fifth orverall in team competition to advance to Tuesday's final and also locked up a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
John Cheng / GymCan/
Halifax's Ellie Black competes on the balance beam at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Black and her Canadian teammates placed fifth orverall in team competition to advance to Tuesday's final and also locked up a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. John Cheng / GymCan/ - Contributed

Ellie Black and the Canadian women's gymnastics team are off to a sensational start at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Halifax's Black, Brooklyn Moors (Cambridge, Ont.) , Shallon Olsen (Surrey, .C.), Ana Padurariu (Whitby, Ont.) and  Victoria Woo (Brossard, Que.) finished the qualifying rounds in fifth place with a total score of 162.922, qualifying them for both the team finals  on Tuesday and earning the coveted team spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The powerhouse United States team, featuring Simone Biles, was the top qualifier   with a total score of 174.205. China finished second (169.161),  followed  by Russia  (168.080),  France   (166.713) and Canada.

“I’m really proud of the work our team was able to do in the qualifications,” said Black, who is participating in her sixth world championships for Canada. “(Qualifying) was a main goal for this year, so to be able to achieve that, and to be sending a full team to Tokyo next year is just incredible. It really shows all of the work we’ve been doing here, and back home, and so it’s a really special process to go through and we’re just going to keep getting better, and improving as we work towards Tokyo next year.”

 Black and Moors   both qualified for the all-around finals which take place on Thursday. Black placed ninth in the all-around qualifier (55.199) while Moors was 25th (52.932). Black won the silver medal in the all-around at the 2017 world championships in Montreal.

Black also qualified for the beam finals and Moors qualified for the floor finals – both events take place on  Sunday.

 Olsen advanced to Saturday's vault final, the event she won silver  at the 2018  world championships,   while Padurariu, also a silver medallist from the 2018 world championships on beam,   qualified for the beam finals on Sunday.

The Canadian men’s team competes in sub-division 5 of the  qualifying rounds  on Monday morning. The top-9 teams - minus China, Russia, and Japan who booked their spots at the 2018 World Championships - will qualify a team for Tokyo.

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