The Russians were having one of their many national championships this week. The top gals looked pretty good for this time of year, by all accounts. Not a great surprise as Euros is a home meet and they’d presumably like to dominate. We’ve been saying for a while that the Russians would probably not have the usual post-Olympic pasture year this time round (though of course our readers can’t be expected to know our feelings on the matter as we haven’t been particularly communicative of late).
Anyway, while Iordache will be there, some of the biggest names in European gymnastics in recent years won’t. Tweddle is busy dancing on ice, so that leaves the bars title wide open for Mustafina and Grishina to fight over- although anyone who likes exciting UB would do well to check out Downie and Harrold’s most recent efforts. And as far as we know, neither Izbasa nor Ponor intends to compete either.
Mustafina, Grishina and Paseka are already announced. As we no doubt know by now, Komova is carrying an injury so is sitting this one out. The fourth spot is between Afanasyeva and Dementieva. No Nabz, even though she came second on bars ahead of Mustafina the other day. But we all know they don’t need a bars specialist.
We, of course would prefer Afanasyeva. The other three are able to challenge in every event except floor (although obviously we don’t trust them on beam). Yes, we know Aliya had a pretty good showing on the event in London. But, as is usual for her when she isn’t quite in tip top shape, that isn’t the case at the moment. Let’s just say there are some endurance issues for now.
Obviously Aliya may get her shit together for the big game, as is her wont. However, Afan would still be the perfect counterpoint.
Clearly Mustafina and, if she decides to turn up, Grishina, are both contenders in the AA, on bars and to a lesser extent on beam. Grishina crashed a DTY that was nowhere near being stood up but whatever, a nice Yurchenko 1.5 will keep her well in the running for bronze. And Paseka presumably intends to win vault. Her Amanar last weekend was said to be way better than in London. A high hurdle to clear indeed. Let’s hope she fully rotates it this time.
Do keep eyes peeled for our review of the quad, when we finally finish it. Meanwhile, forward to Euros!