One Down, Three To Go

This weekend saw 2012s first real glimpse of any leading team, the test event aside. Bizarrely enough, it came from the usually fairly secretive Mother Russia (closely followed by Bross sadly crashing both of her events at WOGA classic yesterday). We were as surprised as anyone, given the care that was taken to guard videos from the Russian Cup or whatever its called in 2010 and 2011. Maybe they only give a fuck when its just before worlds. Either way, some interesting stuff from the Moscow Championships, where the national team members competed prelims.

The wonderful Triplefull provided extensive video coverage.

There were various upgrades, attempts at upgrades and crashes. But for me, the day can be summed up thus: Russia are well on the way to being unbeatable on bars, but the other events remain a concern.

Mustafina debuted a new set, which we’re reliably informed will be 7.0 when all put together properly.

Usually I’m sad to see releases go, but that Tkatchev wasn’t always a thing of beauty. She didn’t quite attack this routine as she has previous ones- most of the handstands, though not necessarily deduction incurring, weren’t taken to the max. Let’s hope that’s merely a consequence of a long layoff.

Komova did more of same. She continues to swing her set beautifully and with utter consistency. We are now resigned to that hideous orphan half pirouette before the dismount. Well, not resigned exactly, but accepting that its going nowhere. Her more newsworthy event was beam, where she threw a really rather reasonable Patterson dismount. Of course, it wouldn’t be our Vika if she hadn’t taken a wholly unnecessary and self-indulgent 0.5 wobble on a leap several seconds earlier.

Grishina has also upgraded bars. Her coach had to manhandle her through her new transition but mark ny words, when she gets that set down, she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with and a real contender for gold.

Its going to be a battle just to get the EF spots for bars on this Russian team. Consider that the reigning world silver medallist on the event, no slouch herself, may only lead off on the event in prelims if she’s taken at all. Although such is Russia’s dearth of decent vaulters, it wouldn’t entirely surprise me to see her taken for her nasty DTY only. Anyway, she too looked good on the event yesterday.

Speaking of vault, Grishina threw a DTY but overrotated it and fell. At least its an improvement on barely getting an Omelianchik over the table just five weeks ago, no? Carry on at this rate and she’ll be throwing a Produnova and an Amanar in London.

Nobody else did anything of particular note. Afanasyeva showed her 2011 floor set again. That routine will never evoke anything other than unconditionally happy memories for Stoi!, but we do hope to see her keep her standards high with a new one for this year. Dementieva fucked up the one event the team actually need her on, and to everyone’s surprise Goryunova is still alive. That’s about it really.

Anyway, Stoi! was very grateful for the unexpected chance to see where Russia are up to during the off season. It was refreshing to see some warts and all competition, rather than the more stage managed efforts preferred by Marta and to some extent Belu. The overwhelming impression, though, was that they’ve got all the necessaries in place for a excellent bars lineup: not just high D scores, but consistency. Even Komova and Grishina can be trusted on this piece. The other events, though, are still works in progress. We eagerly await Euros, Scam and PAC.


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