Shelgunova Wins Batumi International


It was a bit of a surprise this weekend to see Evgeniya Shelgunova defeat a handful of her Russian teammates, topping the podium at the Batumi International competition in Georgia this weekend.

Shelgunova posted a 57.7, finishing three-tenths above Youth Olympic Games champion Seda Tutkhalyan, who won silver with a 57.4. In third place was 2014 worlds medalist Daria Spiridonova with a 55.3 while Anastasia Dmitrieva was fourth with a 54.95.

In addition to their all-around placements, the Russian all-arounders picked up a few medals in event finals, with Tutkhalyan winning beam gold and vault silver, Shelgunova winning floor gold, and Dmitrieva picking up the silver medals on beam and floor.

The Russians also brought worlds team hopefuls Maria Paseka, Maria Kharenkova, Viktoria Komova, and Ksenia Afanasyeva along for the ride, though these three only competed on one or two events each. Both Paseka and Komova did well in event finals, with Paseka winning gold on vault and silver on bars while Komova, who had a 15.45 on bars in qualifications, won the bars gold.

The Russians will compete at the Russian Cup before Valentina Rodionenko makes a decision about the worlds team, though I’d say as of right now, Paseka, Kharenkova, Komova, and Spiridonova should have nothing to worry about. Afanasyeva should also be in the mix if she hits, which she didn’t in Batumi, though I think she’ll definitely get it together before Glasgow. The last spot seems open now for Shelgunova and Tutkhalyan to battle over, but if Aliya Mustafina is back in action, she too could become one to fit into the squad.

Rounding out the top eight were Marina Nekrasova of Azerbaijan in fifth with a 52.9, her teammate Yuliya Inshina in sixth with a 50.9, Vaida Zitineviciute of Lithuania in seventh with a 49.6, and Nato Dzidziguri in eighth with a 48.95. Nekrasova was the bronze medalist on vault, bars, and floor, while Inshina took the bronze on beam.

Full results are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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