2014 Russian Cup: Moscow Dominates TFs

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The Moscow team of Aliya Mustafina, Maria Paseka, Alla Sosnitskaya, and Daria Spiridonova dominated the team final at the 2014 Russian Cup, held earlier today in Penza, Russia, earning a 168.633 for a five point lead over second place Saint Petersburg.

The competition, which featured the “three up three count” format we’ll see at World Championships in October, saw some strong performances from both Moscow and Saint Petersburg as well as the Central Federal District, which counted scores from Viktoria Komova and Maria Kharenkova (the latter of whom also contributed scores to the Southern district).

All-around champion Aliya Mustafina competed everywhere but vault, and though scoring was not as lenient as it was during the all-around, she still put up some of the highest numbers across the board, including a 15.033 for her bars and a 14.9 for beam.

Her uneven bars looked very clean, including excellent handstand work. I loved her Komova, super high piked Jaeger, clean pak salto, and toe full to stuck full-out dismount.

On beam, her double turn was lovely, and her standing arabian was a bit low though she hit the connections into her jumps with ease. She missed the connection from her switch half into the Onodi, but did the Onodi into a slowly connected but nicely done side aerial into a split jump. Her next series was also changed, to a front aerial front handspring back handspring, which looked nicely done. She took just a step out of her double tuck dismount. While it wasn’t as difficult as the routine she competed in the all-around final, it was VERY clean. I like that she can go with the flow and make these day to day changes without freaking out.

Maria Paseka competed on vault and floor for the team final, hitting her Amanar better than she hit in qualifications but taking a large step out on the dismount for a 15.3.

On floor, she hit the two whips in her first pass, but didn’t continue it well into the triple full, which landed almost on her knees, though her 2.5 to front full looked solid. She took a step out of bounds on her double tuck to finish, earning a 13.567.

On the uneven bars, Komova hit but not with as much attention to form as she did on the first day, as her handstands were all a bit short. She also hopped forward on her dismount, and her piked Jaeger looked a bit odd in the air, but her inbar skills all looked lovely, as usual.

With a 14.4, I don’t know if she will be able to contend for an uneven bar spot, especially after having earned a 14.7 on the first day. Interestingly, Ekaterina Kramarenko actually looks like she could contend for a spot over Komova, as she has hit two solid bar routines but also has a full all-around set including a decent beam, which earned the third best beam score today. Even if she’s not chosen for the team, she has impressed me a ton in her appearance and it’s great seeing another older athlete back in top shape. If Russia doesn’t want her back, Azerbaijan needs to act fast!

In terms of the young ones, Alla Sosnitskaya and Daria Spiridonova, aside from Spiridonova’s bars, we didn’t see a ton of spectacular work. Both look strong overall but don’t seem to have super strong heads for competition just yet…even if they hit, they’re not fully confident in their routines. Same with Maria Kharenkova, who wasn’t as solid on beam as she was in the all-around, showing balance checks on several skills and landing her double pike dismount low. She was okay elsewhere, but beam really is her only true standout until she becomes more consistent on floor.

The competition continues with event finals on Saturday and Sunday.

Full Results

Moscow – 168.633

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Aliya Mustafina 15.033 14.900 14.300
Alla Sosnitskaya 14.300 13.300 13.100 12.533
Maria Paseka 15.300 13.567
Daria Spiridonova 13.767 14.833 13.700

Saint Petersburg – 163.467

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Tatiana Nabieva 14.700 14.033 13.133
Lilia Akhaimova 13.767 13.367 13.633
Alla Sidorenko 12.967 12.667
Ekaterina Kramarenko 14.067 14.567 14.133 12.433

Central Federal District – 160.101

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Viktoria Komova 14.400
Kristina Kruglikova 13.800 12.267 12.233
Daria Elizarova 13.200 12.367 11.967 13.333
Maria Kharenkova 14.000 13.900 14.867 13.767

Volga Federal District – 149.766

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Olga Bikmurzina 13.533 12.900 11.833 12.100
Lina Akhmetshina 10.900 11.033
Anna Rodionova 14.100 12.367
Polina Fedorova 13.300 13.033 12.267 12.400

Southern Federal District – 147.801

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Natalia Medvedeva 12.500 12.300
Valeria Golenishcheva 9.400 12.033 11.267
Yelena Shcherbakova 12.500 11.467 10.800
Maria Kharenkova 14.000 13.900 14.867 13.767

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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5 thoughts on “2014 Russian Cup: Moscow Dominates TFs

  1. What does the gymter.net think about Mustafina’s chances in the all-around in Nanning? Do you think she could surpass Biles or are the upgrades that she would have to make be too much too soon with slight ankle and shoulder problems?

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    • Even if she did upgrade which she said she would do, she still couldn’t beat Biles. The thing with Aliya is that her technique has never been her strong point; it’s her will that gets her thru a competition not perfection (like Vika always used to want). For Aliya to upgrade now her execution is going to suffer because she needs time to make it consistently clean for good execution, but then additionally a separate kind of consistency to assure her that her routines are stable and thus safe to perform. Otherwise, if she gets nervous she’ll downgrade because she doesn’t feel confident performing a routine she hasn’t mastered.

      Her bars last year were yucky at World’s because she had three weeks to learn a new routine. The same can be said of all her events. What kind of caliber of gymnastics is to be expected of any gymnasts who upgrades a month before World’s and is coming back from injury with stamina issues? Oh, well I guess we can look to Brenna Dowell’s recent attempts as an example…

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      • I agree with the above. More likely she will be fighting for the bronze with Iordache and Yao. Silver likely will be Kyla’s, unless Iordache just has the night of her life. Iordache has difficulty over Kyla, but her form and inconsistencies, esp on UB , make Kyla a slight favorite for the silver.

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  2. Pingback: 2014 Russian Cup — Gymnastics Coaching.com

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