After announcing a provisional team for World Championships following the results of the Russian Cup at the end of August, the Russian Federation has made a couple of alterations to their plans.
Though she made an appearance at the Russian Championships in early April of this year, Afanasyeva was forced to miss European Championships due to an ankle injury that required surgery and hasn’t performed internationally since last summer’s Universiade. She competed on vault and floor only in Penza, but didn’t look as strong as she has in the past.
Afanasyeva is still not fully recovered, but her vault and floor look promising, according to Rodionenko. She and Nabieva – who competed decently, albeit with low difficulty, at the Russian Cup – will both be considered alternates “on equal footing” during the week of training in China. Once podium training is complete, the gymnast who seems better prepared will earn the sixth spot while the other will be named alternate.
What about Viktoria Komova? According to Rodionenko, doctors recently told her it would be best to not compete this season, though Rodionenko also mentioned a rule of hers – that all gymnasts hoping to compete in Nanning must compete on at least two events.
Komova was only able to show an uneven bar routine at the Russian Cup, and though her work looked lovely for the most part, it wasn’t a routine up to her usual standards and was matched in score by athletes competing all four events.
Anna Rodionova did not meet Rodionenko’s expectations to be named as one of the provisional team members following the Russian Cup. Though she was invited to the Worlds selection camp and was being considered for one of the spots on the team, she reportedly stayed home.
The 2014 World Championships begin October 3 in Nanning, China.
UPDATE 9/20- Afanasyeva will no longer be considered for the Worlds team. Instead, Nabieva and Polina Fedorova will contend in China for the sixth spot.
Article by Lauren Hopkins