In an interview with TASS, the 2015 world uneven bars champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Viktoria Komova shared her plans to officially return for this year’s Voronin Cup in December, the first step as she hopes to fight for spots on next year’s world and European championship teams.
“The main thing that guided me when coming back to the sport was a desire to understand if I could return to my previous level after such a long break,” said Komova, who hasn’t competed in two years.
After winning one of four gold medals on bars in Glasgow, Komova, now 22, also won the beam title at the Toyota International that December and planned on going right through to Rio. Early in 2016, Valentina Rodionenko even went as far as to preliminarily name Komova to the Olympic team, but severe back pain forced her to take a step back from her plans.
Komova went to see a doctor in Munich, who told her she had a stress fracture that required six months of rest before she could begin seriously training. She returned to Round Lake this past May, has been posting the occasional training videos and updates on Instagram, and will perform in Alexei Nemov’s Legends of Sports gala this weekend, which will also include Aliya Musatfina, who gave birth to a daughter in June.
She’s clearly super serious about the comeback. “My long-term goals are to become European or world champion,” she told TASS. “But you never know how your body will react to this level of stress, or whether you’ll develop new injuries. Right now, everything is going well, I’m not forcing anything, and I’m slowly gaining back my form.”
At the Voronin Cup, Komova plans on competing all four events, though likely not at full difficulty. In the spring, she’ll have the Russian Championships on her schedule, and Euros will be the first big international comeback goal.
“It’s hard to say how much of my gymnastics is competitive at the world level right now,” she said. “I haven’t been training long, and I’m trying to bring back my old combinations. In principle, they’re still competitive today, but I still need to work on them. I think I’m about halfway there, and I’m currently working my hardest to get to a hundred percent.”
She won’t be able to get everything back, though she still hopes to return to a high level of difficulty by making a few adjustments. “On beam, I had to change some skills and combinations because my back makes certain elements impossible to perform.”
You can get a small glimpse of Komova looking beautiful on bars in this video from the Russian federation’s Instagram account. Her swing, lines, and form look as breathtaking as ever, and if she can stay healthy, Komova should have no problem returning to the top of Russia’s charts, even with their current level of intense depth on bars.
Article by Lauren Hopkins
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