Another Day, Another Russian Alternate

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We hope you didn’t get too comfortable with the idea of Anastasia Dmitrieva as the alternate for Russia at this year’s world championships.

Less than a week after Dmitrieva was named the replacement for a not-quite-ready Aliya Mustafina, it seems Valentina Rodionenko has changed her mind again, according to the Russian Gymnastics Federation. Now, only days before the team will travel to Glasgow, she is naming Evgeniya Shelgunova as yet another alternate replacement, the fourth so far in Russia’s process this year.

“We analyzed how the gymnasts performed during training before making the final decision,” said Rodionenko. “She is a very promising athlete looking toward the Olympic Games.”

The team will fly to Glasgow on October 17, and at the moment, all of the gymnasts are looking healthy and strong, set to fight to defend the spot on the podium they’ve held since winning gold in 2010.

Shelgunova actually makes much more sense than Dmitrieva, as she’s had a much more consistent season and has greater scoring potential on all four events, should she be required to step in at the last minute. She placed fourth at the Russian Cup in September with an all-around score of 56.1 in addition to earning two more fourth-place spots in the bars and beam finals.

Earlier this year, Shelgunova placed fifth at Russian Championships with a 55.833, where she also won the silver medal on floor after posting a 14.033. She traveled to the Four Nations Trophy in Turin, placing sixth all-around with a 53.7 after counting a couple of falls, and then went on to win the all-around title in Batumi with a 57.7. She definitely has it in her to put up incredibly strong work if she hits, and I actually am surprised Rodionenko didn’t arrive at this decision prior to naming Dmitrieva.

So that’s the decision for now, and with four days remaining until the team travels to worlds, this should hopefully be the final change. In addition to Shelgunova as alternate, the Russian team includes Ksenia Afanasyeva, Maria Kharenkova, Viktoria Komova, Maria Paseka, Daria Spiridonova, and Seda Tutkhalyan.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

5 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Russian Alternate

  1. As I mentioned prior , dimitrieva had taping indicating upper leg & thigh muscle strains . I read final testings were landings & Shelgunova was unsurprisingly more secure. Whilst Dim has a bright future , this was make or break for Yevghenia . It is a shame she has not improved since 2013 but it’s not as if she is going to grow out of the sport . If you are this tiny then it’s the best place to be .Good luck Yevghenia .

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  2. I read on a few other blogs that Ksenia Afansayeva may be out of Worlds with a kidney infection. RRG had the original article I think.

    This program…. :-/

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