Europeans Predictions: AA

Sadness casts over Moscow at this years European Championships with the confirmation that Maria Livchikova is injured again. Turns out the poor dear tore her other ACL. This makes beam & floor finals a lot less interesting, and really even with a bars score in the 13’s, she could have been in the top 6 All-Around. What a complete atrocity that this beauty has suffered 2 jacked up knees in less than 2 years. #godbless

Let’s take a look at the rest of the field. As we all know, there’s no team competition this year. So we’re focusing on the All-Around & event specialists.

Bronwyn’s All-Around Predictions :

1. Grishina

2. Mustafina

3. Iordache

(4). Bulimar

Any loyal Stoi! reader knows that I’ve been smoking the Grishina crack since she was a wee junior. One must be smoking the fanciest of crack in town to put her on top of an All-Around podium, but I’m from Pittsburgh so the shit is easy as pie to score.

Really, my podium predictions are more like fantasies, and rarely happen. Grishina is in my mind the most aesthetically pleasing gymnast to watch when she’s not landing upside down or on all fours.  I like her more than Mustafina and Komova, and that’s saying a lot. She has all of the physical ingredients, capabilities, and potential to be a really great champion. She has that old-Soviet style of gymnastics (think Mostepanova) that I adore. And a hit record when it counts much like Dawes. With prettier feet, of course.

In order to top the field, she will have to be at her absolute Grishina-best on all 4, and hope for some serious errors from her competitors. I want her to win this thing not only as a confidence boost, but so that all of her detractors can eat shit. She needs to get a big title in before Komova comes back. Do you suspect she secretly prays that one of Komova/Mustafina are always injured? She told IG in a recent interview that she’s going to try and win Europeans and Worlds. We like this girls starry eyed ambition.

Where I see Aliya potentially making a mess of things is floor. Her endurance is nowhere where it needs to be. I’m thankful that she didn’t toss the triple at the end of her floor at Zakarova Cup, because she surely would have ate mat. I’d really like to see her work on a routine with 3 tumbling passes, preferably removing as much twisting as possible. Her triple has become so gutter trash that the rewards are really not worth the myriad of errors.

I like the music, and as always, she’s a pretty dancer, but. Has Aliya taken to choreographing her own floor routines? I love the girl madly, but Bogi you are not. Not just yet. Even with a triple helping of arm waves (ooh!) and penguin rolls (ahh!), you simply can’t sell a routine when you’re breathing heavier than Paris Hilton at a gangbang.

Iordache can top Mustafina & Grishina on every event except bars. In all likelihood, she should place second (and probably will), or even first if Mustafina biffs. But I just can’t take her beam routine (that’ll score mid 15’ish if she stays on) seriously. A full twist was and still is one of the riskiest elements out there. But 2 in one routine? One thing I really like about this code is that they’re pushing connections and the possibility for cool combos is endless. Larisa, you can do better than this.

But I will give her 2 snaps for that radical dismount. Some of her creativity looks to have been flushed down the shitter, but B & B haven’t completely Gogeanized her yet. Rio is still 3 years away, after all.

Clara’s All-Around Predictions :

1. Aliya Mustafina

2. Anastasia Grishina

3. Larisa Iordache

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and I near enough have, you’ll know that Iordache and the twosome from Mother Russia are likely to carve up the AA podium between them. Let’s hope so anyway. Poor Komova is out injured, again. No doubt she’d have found a new way to win an oh so close and unlucky silver again: after all, she was screwed out of a world title, came out on the wrong end of a 50/50 in London, she needs the full set. Perhaps next time.

It may be significant that all 3 have something to prove. Grishina and to a lesser extent Iordache had nightmares in London. Not so for Aliya, but this is the title that got away. She can’t have forgotten 2011: not only should the AA title have been an enthronement then, but she ought to have had a good go at doing a Boginskaya and winning the whole set. You know that was her plan. So with all this in mind, it could be a real battle.

Anyway, I’m going to go for Aliya simply because she’s got the headgame. Certainly, she looked positively asthmatic by the end of the last FX she competed. But then floor is the event she always has most trouble with when not in peak condition. Look at 2012 Euros, 2011 Scam. It’s just hard to imagine she won’t, once again, pull it out of the bag on the big day. that’s what she does.

On the other hand, Grishina has been looking rather tip top lately. Some have suggested that the Olympics simply came at the wrong time for her, and it’s worth noting that lots of the 1996 girls in London underachieved. Grishina was merely the most egregious example of this. If you’d told me this time 2 years ago that she, Iordache and Kyla Ross would be the Olympic AA medallists, I’d have found that quite plausible. Even as late as about Feb 2012, it would have been realistic.

Anyway, this is a similar situation to the London AA in that going in, there were 3 class acts and it didn’t matter what order they ended up on the podium in, as long as they all did. A podium made up of Iordache, Grishina and Mustafina is full of win, whatever the order. As long as those are the three we get, it’s fine. I haven’t recovered from the loss of my planned Komova-Mustafina-Porgras top 3 in 2011 yet.


14 responses to “Europeans Predictions: AA

  • Alfi

    Gold = Aliya, Silver= Iordache, Bronze = Afansyeva. I dont see Grishina there.

  • A

    Bit of gossip/rumour-mongering

    Latest list of nominated entrants & delegations:

    Alexandrov isn’t accompanying Mustafina. Have the Brazilian gymnastics federation got their house in order?

  • Jaz

    Apparently Grishina is in worse form than she was at the Russian nationals and she has refused to train with the national team and upgrade her rountinues. Also, Shelgunova has replaced Dementeyeva (injury?) as resereve. Afanseyeva has an amanar, that she might debut at Euros. Does this change your predictions? Will you be doing EF predicitons/wishlist?

  • gymfanatic

    Grishina over Mustafina AND Iordache?! She should be happy with a bronze given her messy landings of DTY’s and that double double (if she performs it).She also get heavily deducted for the piked tkachev which is way too close to the bar I don’t know why she doesn’t just take it out. ANYWAY it’s Mustafina’s competition to lose, if Iordache has the competition of her life, MAYBE she’ll win, though I’m not seeing it just yet. Mustafina’s not at full difficulty yet, but she has execution and experience.

  • M

    I’ve heard Mustafina’s knee has been troubling her, so that is probably why floor is the way it is at the moment but she normally pulls it out in the end. I would love for her to win but even if she doesn’t that’s fine. It is great the Grishina changed her coach, see what she can do when she actually has a good coach. She is doing well so far but still scores too low on bars right now for the s.v. that she has, so I am not sure she will win. However, with more training with her new coaches, she might be a surprise a Worlds.

    I like Iordarche, and it sucks she was injured at Olympics, but she is coming along great now. I think there can be a few surprises as well; although I haven’t seen her I’ve heard a lot about Jupp, so she could potentially sneak into the top 3.

  • missy

    Seitz and Jarosch won’t be at Euros to focus on their studies-
    I also heard that Nguyen and Fabian won’t be doing AA either for MAG

    The two girls from Netherlands Noel van Klaveren and Chantysha Netteb may sneak in if someone from the top 3/4 totally melt down. I also think Giulia Steingruber can sneak in as well.

    Bulimar has a DTY now, I am curious to see her and Grishina battle it out (assuming top two are Aliya/Larissa or vice versa)

  • cris

    1. Larisa (or Alya)
    2. Alya (Larisa)
    3. Diana
    4. Grishina

  • Stoi!

    Good question, Jack. There’s a real gap between the top 3 and the rest. I would’ve said Ferrari, but she’s injured out. Gabby Jupp is good but perhaps not quite good enough. None of the other Brits would be in the running, France aren’t sending any WAGs at all. There’s Seitz too but she didn’t look too remarkable at Scam. So I guess Bulimar, or Izbasa if she actually does AA. I don’t think she will, though.

    • Pro_gym

      on the romanian side only Diana and Larisa will be there. Sandra just got back in training fully about a month ago and she wants to prepare for worlds. For the Euros the time was just too short.

      • A

        I’m scratching my head as to why Romania aren’t taking their full allocation.

        Belu’s usually pretty savvy, so perhaps I’m missing the bigger picture (i. e. he doesn’t want to ‘disrespect’ the championship/community by sending sub-standards gymnasts, or something) but to me it seems like a opportunity missed.

      • Pro_gym

        He sees no point to send them there if they are not ready or prepared enough. He usually does that when there are team finals where he can mix them up in the team but since this year is a individual competition they have decided to send only gymnasts that can win medals.

  • Jack

    Who do you think is most likely to sneak in for a surprise podium finish? the absolute cynic in me thinks that 2 of the 4 Russians/Romanians are going to absolutely tank and maybe someone like Jupp or Steingruber will surprise. Let’s hope not!

  • samusama

    If mustafina cleans up her bb connections (or just freaking stay on bb!) and have enough endurance to nail her 2.5 to 1 twist and triple on floor (the double arabian and double tuck were never a problem for her) she would be unstoppable. Shes pretty consistent on vault and bars (i smell another ef gold here).


    1st Mustafina – 2nd Iordache – 3rd Grishina is clearly what the podium is going to be in terms of difficulty, execution and consistency.

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