Russia narrow down Olympic field.

Alar on TAAF informs us that following the Russian Cup, Mother Russia have named the eight gymnasts who are still training for the Olympics: Mustafina, Komova, Grishina, Afanasyeva, Nabieva, Inshina, Sidorova and Paseka. Here’s an article from International Gymnast about the training squad.

This means no Dementyeva. Or Belokobylskaya, but that’s not exactly a shock.

Dementyeva, on the other hand, is a bit. Certainly she’s not had the easiest 2012, and indeed has appeared quite physically wrecked, but we didn’t think she’d be out so early. Dementyeva’s dismissal from the squad is the current hot talk of the gymternet, and it seems especially surprising after all the high praise she’s received as Russia’s “work horse”, not to mention the addition of Inshina to the training squad. Inshina’s 3rd place finish in the All-Around at Russian Cup really means nothing. Some are calling Dementyeva’s non-inclusion  “political”, others think she has some sort of nagging injury. Either way, it’s a bit of bullshittery.

Russia’s training squad will be quite a hot topic over the next couple of weeks, and Clara posted an in-depth look at who can contribute to what over at TAAF. I took the liberty of cut, copy, and pasting it.

Mustafina – good DTY, training Amanar against everyone’s better judgement.
Komova – good DTY, working on getting Amanar back.
Grishina – good DTY, says she’s planning on Amanar but appears injured. Was previously on a huge improvement curve.
Paseka – highly inconsistent Amanar, ok DTY.
Sidorova – ok DTY, has worked the Amanar as a junior.
Afanasyeva – ok DTY.
Nabieva – messy DTY, working on getting messy Amanar back.
Inshina – useless.

  • Mustafina and Komova are likely to take 2 of the spots. The 3rd is quite open depending on Grishina’s health. Anything between 0 and 3 Amanars to be expected. Most of them have done a second vault at some point, but all appear to be working Yurchenkos as first choice.

Nasty Nabz

Here’s a look at Paseka’s crashed Amanar :

Scary. And with tape up to her calves. We do however appreciate her teammates yelling “Stoi!” as her ass meets the mat.

Mustafina & Komova – Olympic title contenders. Both capable of near-16.
Grishina– can hit her easier set consistently for about 15.3. Has upgrades but lacks consistency.
Nabieva – good insurance. Has to be an alternate at least because nobody else is at all usable on bars.
Afanasyeva– ok when she hits, inconsistent. Fairly useless. Most likely to do bars in prelims, but hope her score is dropped.
Paseka, Sidorova, Inshina – utterly useless.

  • The bars lineup is set in stone and will only change if one of the three locks is injured. Even then, injured gymnasts can usually do bars. No other team will (should) get close.

Komova & Grishina – stunning but totally inconsistent. Frequent failure to connect leads to D-score butchery. Mid 15s neither impossible nor implausible, but highly risky.
Mustafina – mostly pretty solid, likely to be used, can score 15.
Inshina – boring but pretty solid 14.5ish.
Afanasyeva – falls a lot, but almost always on the arabian. Might be an option for TF’s with a watered down set
Sidorova – can score quite well but inconsistent.
Paseka & Nabieva – not even training beam.

  • Very open. This event could be the nail in Russia’s coffin. Mustafina will do TF’s. Both Inshina and Sidorova could be on the team for beam alone. Potentially very high scoring but also risky. It seems that at least one of Komova and Grishina will have to be included, inconsistent or not.

Afanasyeva – all depends on whether she can recover her late 2011 form. Capable of a huge score.
Mustafina – same but 2010 form. Clearly isn’t back yet, but her 14.7 in the Russian Cup EF was very encouraging. Her routines at Euros were not.
Grishina – One of Stoi’s! favorites on floor, another one who can score very well if she’s healthy and hits, the issue is whether this will happen.
Komova – her weakest event, doesn’t seem to be able to get out of the low 14’s. Usable if necessary, but not ideal. Would mean losing ground to the US even though floor leadoff is one of their weaker routines.
Sidorova – unpretty but has had some big scores in the past.
Nabieva, Paseka, Inshina – useless.

Komova’s new floor :

Personally, I like Komova’s music. Clara (and most of ya’ll) do not.

Obviously they were trying to be clever going with Queen & Winehouse. The cut is a bit dreadful, but I still think it will go over well in London.

I would have went with “Do You Wanna Dance?” by The Ramones from their album, “Rocket to Russia” :

  • This lineup is impossible to call at the moment. They could be very weak on this event – only Mustafina broke 14.5 at Russian Cup. Or they could have 3 quite high 14s. This lineup depends more on the injury situation than anything else. Any of the five viable routines could be used, and Afanasyeva won’t be taken if she’s not in the floor lineup.

Stoi! readers, care to wage in?

-Bronwyn & Clara.

20 responses to “Russia narrow down Olympic field.

  • Gymistoosad

    Aliya looks like a cat. Those eyes! Who would not want to be like that?

  • Gymistoosad

    Well this cycle for Russia started so promising but will most likely end in disappointment. There was hope as late as Februarary & The April tri meet but a steep downhill for all since then bar Komova & Mustafina -who have improved somewhat &will do well in London.

    It is the end of the road for Afanseyeva Demientieva Belo Paseka & maybe Sidorenko has a chance next year with stronger wrist after the break.

    But we did at least see some beauty & glimpses of the old Soviet style . Russia simply can’t get these girls past 16 without major injuries /impediments. The training takes its toll on bones & joints plus their success takes their coaches away from the original club-so no more coming up.

    On the other hand the russian economy is quite good & there are job opportunities .

    USA wiil win the gold but come home to a job /college market that does not glitter. Not so different to what the bemedalled Soviet gymnasts came home to.

  • Christiane

    Like basically everybody else, I feel for Anna Demy as well. She has never been my favorite Russian gymn but I always considered her to be among the top cats. And she works so hard, the poor thing. I always thought she looks like a little ghost, like thos in a Sixth Sense type of movies…. Will she ever have a chance to go to another Olympic games? Probably not. I frankly couldnt care less for Paseka, Siderova or Ishina.


    no Dementyeva? AWWW…
    My dream Team Russia had Dementyeva on it (granted only doing beam in Team Finals) but still, Awwww… that sucks ass:( sweaty man ass!
    Oh well… Bring on Paseka and that SCARY amanar ! Twisting right into her landing like that. EEEH!!
    I guess my new nightmare lineup would be…
    VT – Aliya, Vika, Paseka
    UB – Aliya, Vika, Grishina
    BB – Aliya, Vika, Grishina
    FX – Afanesva, Aliya, Grishina
    And it’s maybe the most OBVIOUS lineup given the remaining girls that are still training. Dementyeva would have added more mystery to the team, but now it’s all gone ;..(
    Come on with the Olympics Already!!! lets watch this team dominate bars and nothing else 🙂

  • Kate

    When it comes to Komova, I think she’s stunning (if a little annoying in the music department, though I will confess pure ignorance when it comes to either Queen or Winehouse). But she also strikes me as inconsistent on beam in the same way that Bross is consistent on her Patterson dismount. I’ve seem only three clean beam performances from her, in World prelims, world AA, and European team finals. Granted I don’t go searching for videos of her all over youtube.
    Mustafina–and this might get me some nasty glares–kind of annoys me, because of the way she seems entirely prepared to ruin her knee or suffer some other bad injury, if only she can reach her big aim (Olympic AA gold) and the aims of her team. She reminds me a bit of Chelsea Memmel in that respect, though far less cheerleader-y (and much more beautiful in her gymnastics) and much more there’s-totally-an-I-in-team.
    I was really surprised to hear that Dementyeva was left off. I feel like while the mecurial Komova and Grishina (and Mustafina, but that’s mostly injury-related, not headcasing), she’s plugging away, getting good scores, and being largely ignored because she doesn’t tend to fall at least once during a competition.
    I honestly don’t know much about Grishina, other than that in almost all the videos I’ve seen her in, she almost never comes through clean.
    I like Nabieva. She’s this strong, tough gymnast who struggles a lot with her form, but really differs from the soft waifs that make up most of the Russian team. I hope she gets her form back.
    I like Afanasyeva too, but I’ve been dissapointed with her for most of 2012. Again, hope she gets her form back too. And I sincerely doubt the above five would make a strong enough team to go head-to-head with Romania. Team Russia has a tough set of decisions to make.

    • Stoi!

      Katie, Grishina was actually the only Russian to make it through team finals at Europeans unscathed. She was more consistent as a junior, but has been fighting off/recovering from injuries since turning senior.

      Komova, too, was more consistent as a junior, especially on beam. I’m not sure if it’s a confidence issue or what. Until she proves otherwise, I’ll bask in her 2010 YOG routines.

      • M

        Could it be because of her growth spurt? You can definitely tell that she has grown a lot since her youth. Now she is so much higher on the beam, she tends to be a bit more careful because she is afraid she falls off.

        Of course I am grasping at straws, lol but you never know.

  • Stoi!

    I really think that a lot of the omissions/additions to the team are centered around Grishina’s health. If she’s only able to do a couple of events in London, I will be completely devastated, but it looks like they’re going for a back up plan.


  • Stoi!

    Demy seems to be pretty underpar with injury and not getting any better. i think if she were in her mid 2011 shape she’d be a certainty for London.

    The problem with Komova’s music is there’s just too many cuts. It’ll be hard for the audience to get involved because it changes every five seconds. The concept is ok but it needs to be less busy.

  • Ying

    It’s a big big mistake to leave Dementyeva out, and Russia will pay their price for the mistake. Whoever the 5th person is, beam will be Russia’s lost cause. As for Amamars, realistically, 1 will be their be their best.

  • G

    Komova is either lazy or protecting herself. She’s not fighting to stay on beam, seems hesitant with tumbling and just seems slow. I think she will shock us by being rock solid in London.
    Paseka is on a suicide mission. It’s London or a stretcher to the ER at this point.
    Afan will get her fierce beotch back in time for the games.
    Mustafina will settle for bronze behind Gabby and Komova.

  • M

    Also in terms of what they can do. Hmm not sure, Komova did an interview and if Google Translate is correct, she hasn’t revealed all her program. so I am thinking neither have the others.

  • Ashlyn

    Its pretty shitty how much they have snubbed Pavs.

  • M

    Great Post, and I basically agree with what you said. Some are saying Pavlova should also be in the training squad, but she is just as inconsistent on beam as Komova and Grishina and that would be the only useful thing she has for the team.

    I have little confidence in Nabieva, Sidorova, Paseka and not sure why Inshina is even on the team. it shows that Russia is truly lacking decent depth. Stop liking Nabs after Worlds 2010 when she just jumped off the bars twice! She did it at Euro 2010 and obviously didn’t learn. She doesn’t fight and that’s a problem. Unless Paseka can get her Amanar consistent, she is totally useless.

    I don’t know why they don’t try for a 6.3 vault instead of the 6.5. They can make it up on bars.

    This is where Dementyeva comes in. I was disappointed not to see her on the list, because although she is inconsistent at times as well, she is very usable on Floor and Beam (the two apparatus that I think might give Russia problems with those headcases (Komova and Grishina esp). I hope they realize their mistake and add her; however, if it is an injury situation that has kept her out then I guess we pray that there is some consistency at Olympics.

    Mustafina – this is why she is my favourite gymnast – she doesn’t give up, she is a fighter. No one is going to get her to not try that Amanar. We her fans would not like to see her try again, but she will do it, if it benefits the team. Not sure how many gymnasts would really do that. If she does do it, I hope she doesn’t try it until the TF and then possibly AA.

    However, I do hold out hope that Russia hits everything in the TF 🙂

    Also yay for me and you being the only 2 who like Komova’s floor music, lol. Mustafina’s is my favourite though.

  • missy

    I actually like the first part of Komova’s music, what I don’t like though is the part maybe from about 1:00-1:16 where she is doing the triple full. The transitions between the music cuts are also not as seamless as well 😀
    maybe if I listen to it 100 more times I will start to like it kinda like Aliya’s music 😀

  • Julia

    The thing about Mustafina is, she’s a hitter on a team of incredibly frustrating and unpredictable gymnasts. I don’t like the idea of having her do the AA in TF simply to protect her knee, but I don’t see any way around it unless Grishina or Sidorova magically upgrades to an Amanar. You just know Mustafina’s going to get that vault back come hell or high water, but I’d like to see her save it for the AA if at all possible.

    Anyway, the point is, I don’t worry about her in a TF situation on beam or floor, unlike Komova, Sidorova, and Grishina to a certain extent. The ideal solution for the 5th slot would be for Sidorova to get a stronger vault and be an option for beam and floor, but she was such a hot hot mess at the Cup that I would have to watch her routines with my hands in front of my face, clutching a bottle of vodka.

    Paseka’s inclusion definitely means Mustafina and possibly Komova are doing the AA in TF, and if Grishina isn’t healthy we’re looking at Romania, silver medalists (at least).

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