Cornett Claims Five Medals, Gymnasts Meet Second Lady
The first official day of competition in Abu Dhabi got off to an exciting start for Kentucky Gymnasts Tonya Cornett of Lexington and Lee Dockins of Russellville and their Special Olympics USA gymnastics team. The group was treated to a visit from Second Lady Karen Pence, who is in Abu Dhabi to cheer on the Special Olympics USA Team.
Following the meeting it was down to business for Cornett, competing in the medal round of artistic gymnastics at the Abu Dhabi National Exposition Centre. She rode strong programs in the floor exercise and balance beam to two silver medals and three bronze, including bronze in the all-around. Cornett’s 17.88 on beam was .68 higher than her preliminary score from Wednesday and won her a silver medal behind Olga Chernikova of Russia. Her 17.54 in the floor exercise was nearly a half a point improvement and also earned silver behind Eleonora Santolini of San Marino. Cornett claimed the bronze behind Santolini and Chernikova in the vault with a score of 18.71, just .14 behind Chernikova for the silver. She also earned a bronze medal the uneven bars, just .2 behind Chernikova, with Santolini claiming the gold. Chernikova and Santolini tied for gold in the all-around while Cornett took the bronze with a score of 70.60.
The medal haul adds to the four World Games medals (1 silver and three bronze) that Cornett earned in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2003 World Summer Games in Dublin Ireland.
This concludes competition for Cornett for the Games.
Tomorrow at the World Summer Games
Cornett will receive her medals during presentation ceremonies tomorrow. Kentucky athletes are now out of action for several days in Abu Dhabi. Russellville rhythmic gymnast Lee Dockins will begin competition next Tuesday, March 19.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held March 14-21, 2019, in Abu Dhabi. It will be the first time the World Games have been held in the Middle East. The Games are expected to bring together more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries to compete. This will be the fourth time that the World Summer Games have been held outside the United States. The others were in 2003 in Dublin, Ireland; 2007 in Shanghai, China and 2011 in Athens, Greece.
For more information about the World Summer Games, or how you can support the Kentucky effort, please contact President/CEO Trish Mazzoni at 502-605-8222 or [email protected].