Our hearts are broken. Our heroine is leaving us.
Why Tanya, why? Your best years were still ahead of you. At the rate they’re breaking them in Mother Russia, not only would you have made this year’s worlds but you’d probably have been team captain.
And now, quite apart from anything else, what will Aliya do without you?
It is at least some consolation (but not much) that you delivered your farewell performance at worlds with a hickey on your head. Even if you did get diddled out of bars finals.
You were Eurotrash personified, everything that we ask for in a Russian gymnast. Your leg form on vault was beyond a joke, your eponymous release on bars one of the most awesome pieces of gymnastics we have ever seen. Your consistency was extremely poor, and you had a very good go at throwing away Russia’s team golds in Birmingham and Rotterdam. You would probably have ended up being more use at the Olympics than Grishina, as it turned out. Mind you, so would I, and I was 40 weeks pregnant on the day of TFs. You only delivered (or straightened your legs) when you felt like it. According to Christine Still, you were ‘difficult’ in training.
And most importantly, you continued in the distinguished tradition of Tatianas with um, interesting hair. Ms Gutsu and Ms Lysenko are no doubt both prodigiously proud.
Our sport will be a poorer place without you. Farewell Nabz, multiple world and European medallist. At least you’re rid of the fucking Rodionenkos now.