Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mother Russia's World Team

Mother Russia announced its provisional World Team yesterday and they look to be preparing with 2012 on their minds.  Despite a rough showing at the Russian Cup, Maria Paseka (VT, FX) was given the nod alongside first-year seniors Viktoria Komova and Yulia Belokobylskaya.  The other spots on the team are comprised by Tatiana Nabieva (VT, UB), Anna Dementyeva and Ksenia Afanasyeva.

The Russians are not in peak form yet, but they look like they could have their act together in eight weeks.  Vika Komova is looking back on bars and beam.  She may just pull off an AA victory should her preparation continue smoothly.  Ksenia Afanasyeva showed moments of brilliance in prelims and event finals, but struggled during the AA Finals.  Her leadership will be needed during team finals.

The alternates are Alyona Polyan and Yulia Ishina.

Anna Pavlova was not chosen, despite winning vault this past weekend.  The powers that be say that they will not take someone for one event, which is quite the burn to a talented and accomplished beam worker.

As expected, Aliya Mustafina won't go to Worlds.  The coaches told her otherwise during her early rehab stage in order to keep up her spirits and her fitness level.  Doctors are now being honest and say she can't resume full training until December.  It is amazing that the idea of Aliya competing at Worlds was they aren't allowed to dismount into pits in world-level competition.


  1. If all goes well the Russians could very well defend there title. I expected the U.S. to be heavy favorites at worlds but obviously the new crop of gymnasts can not deal with the pressure. And you must admit that bross's injury hurts the team. I'm not sure what China looks like though. They could challenge too. Romania could factor into the medals but its questionable since its been a while since we have last saw them compete.

  2. AJ, do you think the Russians are slighting Anna Pavlova as a means to get her to retire OR using the World team ax to motive her to continue training hard(er)? I can't imagine that it's the former but I worry that one of the most engaging gymnast to watch the last few years will loose her mojo and retire :/

  3. All I care about is the U.S. qualifying a full team to the Olympics. My expectations took a huge hit with the injury to Bross and the question mark on Memmel's shoulder. The U.S. could very well finish off the podium imo. There are just so many unknowns at this point. The Russians have a deeper talent pool even without Mustafina and imo they shouldn't have too much trouble taking the title at Worlds.