This year’s Russian Championships marks the first time most of Russia’s gymnasts will compete in the Olympic year. While a handful have been on international assignments, most still have something to prove, especially as they continue to contend for Rio this summer.
2012 Olympian Viktoria Komova will miss out after taking some time away from the gym due to back problems. Komova won one of four bars gold medals at last year’s world championships, and hoped to return to a fully competitive all-around set this year after attempting all four events at the European Games in Baku last June, but unfortunately it looks like that’s not happening just yet (though she did get back to training recently).
Her London teammate Aliya Mustafina will compete this week for the first time since Baku. Limited to bars and beam after a series of injuries and breaks in training, Mustafina won’t be competing at her full ability, so expectations should be low at this point in the season.
Also representing in the senior field are 2015 worlds team members Maria Paseka, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Daria Spiridonova, Maria Kharenkova, and Seda Tutkhalyan as well as new seniors Angelina Melnikova, Natalia Kapitonova, and Daria Skrypnik. Other notable competitors include Alla Sosnitskaya, Evgeniya Shelgunova, Anastasia Dmitrieva, Polina Fedorova, Daria Elizarova, and Tatiana Nabieva.
The junior field features fan favorite Varvara Zubova as well as some of her top teammates, including Anastasia Ilyankova, Ulyana Perebinosova, Elena Eremina, and Angelina Simakova.
The competition begins today with team finals and individual qualifications, with three junior followed by two senior subdivisions. All-around finals are tomorrow and Friday while apparatus finals will be held over the weekend. A live stream will be available here. For more information, including the full schedule, check out our coverage guide.
Article by Lauren Hopkins