There’s been a lot written, some of it here, about Dementieva not being quite down with the rest of the Russian team. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but it’s fair to say that she’s been somewhat in the shadow of the bigger personalities and closer friends on the team.
Bronwyn, can you illustrate this with some well chosen footage please? I can’t remember which competitions.
Whatever else there is to be said about Komova and Mustafina’s untimely and worrying injuries, they pushed Dementieva into the spotlight. She had an excellent Euros.
Here she is giving a lovely performance on floor in the AA, although I found the shit eating grin a bit distracting.
Certainly she was in a brilliant position in the AA, but plenty of Russians would’ve found a way to pull off a 0 on vault. Pavlova, Kramarenko, Komova, I’m looking at you. This FTY is crap, but the point is that she did what was required, under pressure.
I wouldn’t necessarily have bet on that, would you?
Truth is, she was excellent at Euros. She was the outstanding gymnast of the competition. Fate threw her an opportunity to step out of her more feted teammates shadows, and she took it. She hit every routine. Even in EFs, when she had only long shots at bronze on bars and floor, she still looked good.
Much better than Tweddle and Csillag’s corpse impersonations, no?
Now she did quite well in Rotterdam. But not that well. She’s not the only one who fell in TFs, but the trouble started on her watch.
And she fucked up her big chance of an individual medal, in beam finals.
Mustafina fell too of course, but she has to be allowed one fall out of 18 exercises. Beam was the only event in which Russia didn’t medal at worlds, and Anna has to take some responsibility for that.
So the improvement in the space of a few months has been great. Anna learned how to take centre stage. Which is just as well, considering Russia might need her to stay there for a while.4
Mustafina is virtually certain to be out of worlds, even for bars. She’s having ACL surgery and the recovery period is much longer than 6 months. It would be beyond moronic of her to even try and make Tokyo, or wherever they end up holding it.
And Komova is uncertain too. We haven’t heard much about her since Russia announced she wasn’t going to Euros, but she didn’t look that great at Russian nationals in February.
I would be surprised if we don’t see her at all at worlds, but who knows, maybe injury will prevent her from being as dominant as we’d thought. Either way, there’ll be a Mustafina shaped hole in the team, and Komova is a new senior. That means there are four TF routines up for grabs. Clearly Anna will not be challenging for the vault lineup any time soon, but she may well end up doing more routines than we’d have anticipated this time four months ago. Perhaps she’ll even be the MVP.
Interesting opportunity, no?