As is traditional, this competition took place in a hail of no publicity or coverage. We’ve grown accustomed to delayed video emergence, and this year was no exception. Not even the Soviets were this secretive. If it weren’t for the gymternet’s beloved Nora from TAAF, we’re not sure there’d have been any reportage at all. Grainy vidoes are starting to seep out, only of Mustafina so far, but fortunately we have a pretty good idea of what happened.
As with the US, lots happened but nothing really changed the team situation as it was beforehand (though Alexandrov did announce his eight woman Olympic training squad- more on that next post). Komova, Mustafina and Grishina are all going, Afanasyeva probably is, and nobody has yet claimed that 5th spot for herself.
This photo gladdened our hearts. We can’t seem to embed it, so click on the link. It’s worth it.
No shit eating grins for this lot. Maybe they’d just read Dwight Normille’s piece entreating Aliya to smile more (sexist twat).
Bronwyn, of course, is in raptures over Nabz’s Gutsu-esque hair bleach and Afan’s pink crocs. Clara is saddened that Vika has returned to the straight and narrow. We eagerly await the cosmetic and tonsure choices for London.
Paseka threw and landed two Amanars. Without footage, it’s impossible to score them, but we’re going to guess they looked more like Raisman’s than Maroney’s. She then crashed a couple and, just for good measure, face planted a DTY in the vault final. The jury’s still out on this one, but we don’t think she’s going to make it easy. For anyone.
Komova had a fine AA showing, going over 60 twice. And with only a DTY too! Mustafina didn’t do quite so well, but both broke 16 on bars. It should be noted that there was no bonus system in place. Komova showed upgrades, starting from 7.0, but we suspect those scores are a wee bit generous. Though Musty’s bars were pretty frigging good.
Not quite deserving of a 16, but not too far short. Are you watching, Tweddle?
Perhaps more encouraging was Mustafina’s hit floor routine in the EF. Everyone else was pretty bollocks, and in fact this was the only set to break 14.5 in any round of competition.
They’re probably going to need it. Russia do have the potential for a great floor lineup in London, but at the moment their top ranked FX athlete mounts with a double tuck (Afanasyeva) and the second best, Grishina, was too injured to compete.
Komova debuted a new set and achieved the impossible: an even worse music choice than that technohead 90s nightmare Swan Lake cut they foisted on her last year. Do not want. Bronwyn likes it though.
In better news, she landed her Patterson on beam :
Nabz is back! No Amanar. DTY and bars as expected. She has no hope of breaking into either lineup without either upgrade (her) or injury (to someone else). Nonetheless, we welcome her return from her St Petersburg exile. She’ll keep it interesting, and they sorely need some bars depth. She took bronze yesterday, but that was somewhat deceptive as Grishina was only competing hors concours and would have finished 3rd had her score counted.
On the subject of that young lady, in the one even she competed, she proved again what we knew already: she needs to stick to her watered down bars set. A sub 14 score for the attempted upgrades, 15.4 for a Shap-less set: this is a no brainer.
Aliya wants to be a mathematician, she can start by adding these numbers up for them.