The Russian federation has announced the field of gymnasts set to compete in Penza from June 28 through July 5, with the five-day meet featuring a team competition that also serves as the qualifier for the individual all-around and event finals later in the week.
2012 Olympian Aliya Mustafina, who recently led Russia to team gold at European Championships, headlines the competition that will also feature her Euros teammates Daria Spiridonova, Seda Tutkhalyan, and Angelina Melnikova. Several former worlds team members, including Maria Kharenkova and Tatiana Nabieva, will also compete, as will 2012 Olympic vault bronze medalist and 2015 world vault champion Maria Paseka, who missed Euros this year due to a nagging injury. The roster will also see bubble gymnasts Evgeniya Shelgunova, Anastasia Dmitrieva, and first-year seniors Natalia Kapitonova and Daria Skrypnik on the roster.
Not competing are Viktoria Komova, who recently announced she is taking herself out of Olympic contention due to back pain, and Ksenia Afanasyeva, who contributed her DTY vault to the European Championships team but then immediately had surgery. Afanasyeva isn’t out of the Olympic picture just yet, especially if she can get her floor back to where it was at worlds last year, as floor is the Achilles heel for this team. Valentina Rodionenko will decide at a later date whether Afanasyeva will be prepared in time for Rio.
Udpate 6/29: Because we can’t have nice things, Kharenkova has scratched from the meet due to a nagging injury, though will participate in the selection/training camp. As of today, Valentina Rodionenko includes Mustafina, Melnikova, Afanasyeva, Paseka, and Spiridonova on her Olympic team, with Tutkhalyan, Shelgunova, and Kapitonova the alternates.
A full list of competitors is below. For more information, including the meet schedule and all related articles, check out our coverage guide.
Article by Lauren Hopkins