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.
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.