Russian Cup: Moscow Wins, Mustafina Leads
2010 World champion Aliya Mustafina lead her Moscow team to the team title and is first in the all-around after the women’s team competition at the Russian Cup in Penza today. The 17-year-old went four for four to score 59.335. Her highest score predictably came on bars where she swung an excellent set including a combination of piked stalder full-Pak-Shaposhnikova 1/2. She vaulted a strong double-twisting Yurchenko and debuted a new full turn in split position on beam which was very well done. On floor, she fell out of the double turn in same position and continues to have form issues on the triple twist dismount. Her other tumbles were Arabian double front to leap, 2 1/2 twist to front layout and double tuck. A year and two months after tearing her ACL, Mustafina seems to have lost none of her competitive nerve or drive heading into the Olympics.
Viktoria Komova, in her first all-around competition of the Olympic year following surgery in the spring, came off beam on her ff-layout-layout series but wowed the crowd with an upgraded bars set. World and European champion on the event, she has added a piked Tkachev after the piked stalder full (replacing the straddled Tkachev) and upgraded her dismount to a double twisting double tuck – with both twists performed in the second salto. On floor, she debuted a new routine which features Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” in parts andÂ all of her well known tumbling – 1 1/2 twist through to Arabian double front, triple twist, double tuck and double pike.
World floor champion Ksenia Afanasyeva is coming back from a foot injury and watered down her tumbling (double tuck mount, double twist dismount) but debuted a new floor routine that the crowd loved. She fell on vault (double twisting Yurchenko) and her bars dismount. The interior of her bars routine looked stronger than in previous years and Afanasyeva seemed in great physical shape.
The talk of the town, however, was Maria Paseka. A member of Russia gold medal team from the 2010 Junior Europeans, she didn’t make vault finals in Brussels a month ago at the European Championships. In Penza, she came a huge step closer to making the Olympic team by vaulting (and landing) an Amanar. It wasn’t a bad one either, landed upright with a step forward.
Anna Dementyeva, the European all-around champion, suffered a disaster on floor with two falls. With her right ankle heavily taped, her problems seem to be physical rather than mental and she put in good efforts on bars and beam. Back in competition for the first time this year Tatiana Nabiyeva vaulted a double-twisting Yurchenko with form issues and did not connect the stalder full on the low bar to Pak but looked in good shape physically. Anastasia Sidorova had to swallow two falls on beam – one on the ff-ff-layout to two feet combination.
Elsewhere, perennial fan favourite Anna Pavlova had a good competition but realistically has nothing to offer the team. Her bars (layout dismount, no connections) and floor (double pike, triple twist, front full) would hardly make the line-ups for teams much weaker than Russia. On beam, she performed beautifully with good carriage and presence and no wobbles (2 1/2 twist dismount).
Anastasia Grishina, originally scheduled to do bars only to protect a sore leg, ended up not competing at all. She is still in the mix for the Olympic team.
The competition continues tomorrow with the men’s all-around final at 4:30 pm local time.
1 Moscow (Mustafina, Paseka, Myzdrikova, Komova) 175.204
2. Central Region 171.903
3. Volga Region 159.737
1. Aliya Mustafina 59.335
2. Viktoria Komova 59.234
3. Ksenia Afanasyeva 55.435