Anastasia Grishina didn’t even need to be at the Test Event. But she showed up anyway; she was supposed to be the cream of the crop, the new star the gym world has been hyping up for years. Other than a somewhat expected victory on her best event, she ended up being remarkably unremarkable everywhere else.
Following a less than stellar performance (complete with a scary crash on her beam dismount in qualifying), many are already tagging her a headcase.
Do we blame her showing as the follow-up to a myriad of injuries with little time to prepare? Or do we dismiss her headcasiness as early signs of Afanasyevaitis?
Let’s take a look at her event-per-event.
What is Grishina even doing in a vault final? Historically her weakest event, she debuted a (albeit iffy) DTY last year. She opted to go with an easier pair of vaults here, and still ended up tanking both.
Clara is much more the vault expert than I, but even for someone with questionable attention to detail and technique, will tell you that she is WAY too high on the table to get around 1 ½ twists, let alone 2. The idea of an Amanar is completely out of the question, nothing more than a pipe dream.
There’s virtually NO block here, so naturally she lands on her ass.
Twice, just for good measure.
This is the event that Russia needs most, and the event that could keep her from being Russia’s third all-arounder in our dream Mustafina/Komova/Grishina preliminary battle. Like Komova, she’s tiny, but lacks the power that Komova was blessed with. Depending on who makes the team, Grishina will most likely not even vault at all, which means no all-around.
On a positive note, she looks better falling than Steingruber does vaulting.
I was babysitting my nephew during vault finals and wondered why he started crying. That “vault” is what nightmares are made of.
This is the event where she shines. A London bars lineup of Grishina/Komova/Mustafina is unbeatable.
But as it stands now, she’s on par with Nabieva scorewise. If Nabieva is vaulting her filthy Amanar by summer, there’s a chance that Grishina won’t make the team at all. She needs to get to work on one of those twisting Shaposhnikova moves that the rest of Mutha Russia do and bump that score up into the mid-15’s.
The event I first fell in love with her.
Her routine has changed a lot – she took out the full twist, her layout is quite iffy, and I hate her switch ring leap.
Still, she has a lot of qualities – the way she moves, her poise, her carriage – that the rest of the world lacks on beam. Most beam routines are completely devoid of choreography, so she does a good job considering. It’s an ambitious routine with strange/cool combinations (Onodi + illusion + 1/1 turn + jump – no one does that), jam packed with difficulty. She does things that don’t even reel in the bonus points because she’s just that kind of girl.
She fluctuates between the double pike dismount, and a 2 ½ twist. I suggest she sticks with the twisting dismount, because her twisting form is virtually deductionless. And because I can’t erase the sting of qualifying out of my head.
I think it’s time she ditches the double arabian, she rarely makes it.
She needs new music, and the routine needs completely reworked. But again, she has qualities that are few and far between. I’m not calling her a great “dancer.” It’s her carriage. There’s a difference, people seem to forget that. She used to do a lovely triple spin; she really needs to replace the Memmel.
She seems to be a work-in-progress. But is there time?
Stoi! readers, it was her first meet as a senior. Can we give her this one?