This first post is going to be a test run of sorts.
The newly crowned World Champ Russians were busy busy busy this past weekend.
First up, Elite Gym Massilia held in Marseille, France November 11th & 12th. The team format called for 3 gymnasts per team, the top 2 scores counting on each event. The Ksenia’s (Afanasyeva & Semenova) and Tatiana Nabieva headlined the competition; which didn’t go without (many) mistakes.
IG reported that both Afanasyeva & Semenova were carrying injuries into Marseille, and both of their performances suffered. Nonetheless, team Russia took the title amongst a relatively weak international field. Other notable competitors included Aussie Natalia Joura (Dasha’s little sis), and France’s Aurelie Malaussena, who took a surprising silver (behind Nabieva) in the all-around.
Malaussena took the beam title, much to the delight of the French crowd. Afanasyeva, nursing an injured knee, was able to bounce back, claiming silver on beam, and taking the floor title with a pretty, albeit watered down exercise. Gymnastics Examiner mentioned that Afanasyeva has returned to her old (2009) music/choreography. Nabieva won vault and bars quite convincingly.
Some video highlights of our favorite Ruskie honies :
Nabieva, vault :
Nabieva, bars (goes for Stalder 1/1 out of the Pak) :
Nabieva, beam (I’m actually starting to warm up to her here. She has some cool tricks!) :
Afanasyeva, beam (no arabian, and missed her acro connection) :
Afanasyeva, floor :
Meanwhile, in Sardinia, the Russian A-Team competed at Freddy Cup, an “exhibition” competition of sorts.
The ladies only competed bars and beam. New World All-Around champion Aliya Mustafina took the trophy on beam showing several upgrades (switch ½ to back tuck & side aerial swing through to hold), but faltered on bars.
Viktoria Komova, touted by many (including myself) as the “best gymnast in the world” had a wobbly beam set, but managed to scrape up a 15.5 to take the bars crown.
Both Komova and Mustafina will headline the Toyota Cup in Japan next month, and it’ll be interesting to see this sisterly rivalry play out. The countdown begins for Komova’s official senior debut (she finally turns 16 on January 30th), as she and Mustafina could provide the most dangerous 1-2 punch in recent history.
Komova’s bars & beam :
Mustafina’s beam :
In my not so humble opinion, Aliya le diva is in dire need of a new dismount. That “triple” twist is as horrific as ever. Could she maybe do an arabian double front?