No, not an oxymoron. Maria Paseka has, once again, brought it to the plate. 2 for 2 yesterday, including qualification to the bars final. Nobody saw that coming: certainly not us, and we’re the only people in the world who were predicting that Afanasyeva would do beam in TFs in London and Chelaru would get the Romanian bars specialist slot. Indeed, Bronwyn has even vowed to eat the contents of her cat’s litter tray if Masha manages a bars medal.
Me, I’m not betting against it. There’s only one consistency gene available for Russian gymnasts, and apparently Aliya isn’t making use of it at the moment. Paseka is, objectively, disgusting. But let nobody say she doesn’t have the big match temperament. Unlike the other three, who apparently were playing top fuckup trumps.
Grishina is like the best Chinese headcases of the 90s and early noughties, and really any time that programme was still interesting. They all spent most of their careers on global tanking tours, but had one beautiful moment when it was all worth it. She’ll have her 1990 world cup final. We just don’t know when it will be. So we have to work for it, and wait. Following gymnasts like her isn’t supposed to be like following Mustafina, or even someone of average hitting ability. That’s not how it works. Grishina is meant to drive you into the pits of despair and punish you for loving her. She is merely doing what it says on the tin.
Aliya, on the other hand, has no such excuse. And Afan? She really should’ve stuck to the layout.