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Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova is set to debut her comeback at the Vornin Cup which will be held in December.

Komova aims to compete on all four events at the competition which will be her first since the 2015 World championships where she won gold on uneven bars.

The 22 year old gymnast suffered from immense back pain which forced her to miss not only the 2016 European championships but also the Olympic Games.

The back injury, which she has called her worst, prevented her from going to the gym for eight months which had her believed that her sports career has come to an end.

She returned to the sport once her doctors gave her medical clearance.

The two time Olympic medalist told that she has regained fifty percent of her routines and that she had to make some changes in order to put less pressure on her back.

Teammate and 2017 European floor champion Angelina Melnikova will as well compete at Vornin Cup.

 Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova has accidentally liked an Instagram post that says her teammate Maria Paseka was overscored on vault at Montreal's event final.

"Maria Paseka was so overscored in vaults finals especially in her first vault," the post says. 

It is widely believed that Melnikova does not speak English hence 'no throwing shade intended'.

In Montreal, Paseka successfully defended her World title on vault. Along with Canada's Shallon Olsen, the Russian gymnast had the most difficult vaults in the competition.

She performed Cheng (6.0) and Amanar (5.8). Paseka has always been criticized for her form on her vault, however, she recently said in an interview that she will work on having it improved.

Melnikova took part in Montreal where she finished in 16th place in the all around.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
A listed Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina believed that compatriot Elena Eremina was going to make the podium at the all around competition of the World championships which was held in Montreal, Canada this month.

The double Olympic champion said during a TV interview that she knows Elena and that a "tiny" bit of luck on her side would help her become a World all around medalist.

"I expected it, specifically from Lena I expected it because I know her personality and I knew that a tiny bit of luck on her side today will definitely have her make the podium " said Mustafina. "[Her medal] is a result of her work because even though her competitors made mistakes today, they weren’t major ones."

Aliya added that Eremina showed continuous improvement during the all around competition. 

Eremina qualified to the all around in seventh place. In the final, she won a bronze medal behind US Morgan Hurd (Gold) and Canada's Ellie Black (Silver).

Her biggest mistake was on uneven bars where she lost points for severely bending her knees and losing connection. She received a score of 14.200, 0.8 points less than her scores in the qualification and event finals.  

Aliya suggested that the mistake took place because Eremina has only recently started training the difficult combination and that gymnasts need to repeat their skills and combinations as much as they can in order to successfully compete it.

In the same TV interview, Aliya's teammate and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Seda Tutkhaylan said that Eremina's all around medal win was a stroke of luck.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Seda Tutkhalyan, who competed for Russia at 2015 Worlds and 2016 Olympics, opined that her compatriot Elena Eremina only won in the all around competition of the last World championship - which was held in Montreal this month - because of luck.

During an interview on Match TV, Tutkhalyan discussed Montreal's all around competition which was won by US Morgan Hurd (Gold), Canada's Elisabeth Black (Silver) and Eremina (Bronze).

"Regarding Elena, I’m saying she got lucky that the championships ended up like that," said Tutkhalyan. "That the leaders got injured and Lena made the podium with such program."

"Because to do one and a half twisting Yurchenko and to have such a major mistake on bars and still make the podium is, well, I guess, it happened for the first time."

Romania's Larisa Iordache and US Ragan Smith were the heavy favorites to win the all around gold medal but injuries forced them to withdraw from the competition.

Both gymnasts injured themselves during warm ups. Iordache tore her Achilles tendon on floor exercise during qualification warm up while Smith injured her ankle on vault during the all around warm up.

Brasil's Rebecca Andrade, who was also one of the favorites to win a medal in the all around, tore her ACL for the second time in her career on vault during training in Montreal.

Japan's Mai Murakami, who qualified in first place to the all around, had a fall which caused her to miss the podium and finish in fourth place.

Eremina had completely bent her knees during her uneven bars routine while attempting to connect her Pak Salto to Van Leeuwen. Hence, not only was she heavily deducted in the execution score but also lost connection in difficulty panel.

She received a score of  14.200 in the all around. In the qualification and uneven bars final, she scored 15.100.

Morgan Hurd won the gold just 0.433 point ahead of Eremina. Had the Russian gymnast not made such a mistake, she could have won the gold medal.

None of the all around gymnasts competed an Amanar for the first time since 2009. Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland had the highest D score on vault in the all around competition. She competed a Rudi ( handspring, 1.5 forward twisting layout) which is worth 5.8.

Giulia finished in seventh place. Silver medalist Elisabeth Black had a handspring on forward layout with full twist and Hurd had a double twisting Yurchenko, both of which are worth 5.4 difficulty score. While Eremina's one and a half Yurchenko is worth a 5.

Beside her all around bronze medal, she won silver on the uneven bars. It is worth mentioning that Eremina's turned senior this year.

Tutkhalyan's biggest achievement is winning an Olympic silver medal with the team in 2016. Due to inconsistency, she has never won an individual medal at a major senior international competition.

According to gymnastics blogger Luba Baladzhaeva, Russian team members are not happy with the rise of Eremina.

Gymnastics fans took to social medal to express their disappointment in Tutkhalyan.

"I mean the concept of someone being confident about their routine is probably alien to seda so it’s no wonder she chalks it up to luck" - blockvoting.

"Seda is just probably confused as to why Lena didn’t fall 27 times in 10 routines so she just attributes Lena’s success to luck" - romanianbars

"It doesn’t matter as to how much truth there is or isn’t in Seda’s comment. You just simply don’t throw your teammate under the bus like that. It’s as simple as that.That being said, I’m going to withhold judgement until I’ve seen an actual source. But if this is true, it’s very disappointing indeed" - chaosallstar

"Oh Seda. Yes Elena may not have ended up on the podium had Larisa and Ragan competed (although there’s no guarantee Lari would’ve stayed on beam, sorry not sorry Lari), but she took the circumstances she had and she ran with it and I think she did very well" -thehonoraryamerican

"Lena is no doubtedly very lucky, especially in the AA finals when Larisa and Ragan is out. But there’s a famous saying that “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. It takes more than JUST luck to leave Montral as a decorated gymnast, and as a first year senior :) I bet Lena must have worked her *** off in the run up to the games to achieve this level of consistency :)" - aliyafightermustafina

"When it comes to AA, yes, Lena had some luck that certain gymnasts couldn’t compete. Still, she had a great competition. When it comes to UB, that’s not luck, that’s being amazing" - melniikova

While other fans jumped to Seda's defense.

"The truth is not jealousy. Ragan or Larisa were likely going to be 1 and 2 - which order you prefer. Rebeca Andrade had an Aminar and a bars set that was top grade - she was leaning third and then we have Morgan Hurd. I’ll say Elsabeth Black got home scoring boost and Mai fell when she qualified first. That means at best she would have finished fifth and worst somewhere below sixth.

Seda was speaking the truth but you don’t really do that about your teammate.

On the uneven bars I would say that she did get lucky that Ilyankova hit the bar or was too close because it was leaning towards her getting the better score. I still would have put her in third over Darwael" - linkinis

"I’m wondering if some of it stems from how I feel. Lena is the golden child and the others (oh, Melka) are being punished. Seda is included in that, and she is also seeing her teammates being negelected in a way.

Obviously we don’t know exactly what goes down but I’ve had a bad feeling for Angelina for months now. They’ve been pushing her so hard and from reports they’re wearing her down mentally. She’s undoubtably talented but when the focus is all on Eremina and how Not Good others are it’s not making a perfect team" -we-waited-on-the-rain

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

Yesterday, Russia's Maria Paseka has successfully defended her World title on vault.

Thanks to having two of the most difficult vaults, Paseka managed to beat all of her competitors.

The Russian gymnast revealed that she thought she would not win gold after landing her first vault, the Cheng, too low. 

"I could’ve done the first vault better," Paseka told "But I had too much adrenaline and ran a bit harder than needed. And when I was landing, I felt that the mat was too close to my face. I thought that the landing was low which lowers the score."

Her second vault, the Amanar, was well performed. Paseka and Canada's Shallon Olsen had the highest difficulty in the competition. Nevertheless, Olsen suffered a fall on her Amanar and finished in seventh place.

Her gold medal win comes after a series of disappointments this year. At the European championships, she fell short of the podium, finishing fourth on vault while at the Universiade Games she settled for a bronze after falling on her Amanar.

Her performances resulted in Russian head coach Valentina Rodionenko expressing her disappointment towards the gymnast in the media.

The double World champion told Gymcastic that her long break after the Olympics made her nervous and scared but she did not need to as she performed 'very well'.

Paseka declared that she is not retiring and that her goal is to win an Olympic gold.

“All in all, I really want an Olympic gold on vault. And then, whatever God gives me”.

The 22 year old gymnast won bronze on the event At 2012 London Olympic Games, she was upgraded to a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games.

Written by Gigi Farid

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina expressed her delight to have a competition named in her honor.

The Aliya Mustafina Cup is a competition for gymnasts whose ages range from 8 to 12. About forty gymnasts took part in it.

Gymnasts Nelly Audi, Alida Sadykova  and Anna Kalmykova have taken gold, silver and bronze respectively, while Dynamo club claimed first place in the team competition.

The double Olympic champion told that such competitions were to her the Olympics when she was a child, hence she hopes that it will benefit the young gymnasts.

On her comeback, she said she feels as if she has just started out gymnastics. She added that she only came back to the sport for her desire to compete at Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

She has set her eyes on debuting her comeback at the next European championships which will be held in August.

Mustafina's last competition was the Rio Olympic Games where she won gold on uneven bars, silver with her team and bronze in the all around.

She got married three months after the Olympics and gave birth to a baby girl last June.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Russian head coach Valentina Rodionenko has surprisingly complimented US gymnasts according to Gymnovosti.

Rodionenko, who is known for denigrating American gymnastics, said the the current generation of US gymnasts do not only show difficulty but also beauty.

The new US team coordinator is Valeri Liukin who trained in Moscow since he was seven years old and competed for Soviet Union at 1988 Olympics.

Valeri is the father of US Nastia Liukin whom he coached to an Olympic all around gold medal in 2008.

Gymnastics blogger Luba Baladzhaeva pointed out that US team coordinator having Soviet origin may have soften Valentina's heart. 

However, the Chinese gymnasts were spared. The Russian head coach called them "sneaky" explaining that they are secretive and do not often compete at international competitions other than Worlds. 

The World championships will start next Monday.

Written by Gigi Farid

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina has released her very first training footage of her comeback.

The video, which is sped up, shows Mustafina taking baby steps on the uneven bars with the help of coach Evgeny Grebenkin.

She captioned the video "My favorite bars, one year later".

The double Olympic champion has started her comeback journey earlier this month after three months of giving birth to her daughter Alisa.

Aliya is set to debut her competition comeback at next year's European championships which will be held in August. However, National head coach Valentina Rodionenko said that her comeback might move forward and be debuted at the Russian championships in April.

A post shared by Aliya Mustafina (@musaliya135) on

Written by Gigi Farid

Last week, reports of Russian gymnasts Anastasia Ilyankova and Maria Paseka being injured surfaced on the internet. The first is suffering from back injury while the second is suffering from back and knee injuries.

Nonetheless it has been confirmed that both gymnast will compete at the upcoming Worlds which will be held in Montreal, Canada between October 2 and 8.

Ilyankova's back injury is an aggravated spinous process one. National head coach Valentina Rodionenko had said before that Ilyankova would go to Worlds if she was given medical clearance.

Paseka has a history of back injuries where doctors advised her to quit the sport but she refused.

She previously revealed that she quit artistic gymnastics once and tried tumbling.

Teammates Angelina Melnikova and Elena Eremina will compete on all four events while Ilyankova will compete beam and bars and Paseka will compete on vault.

Montreal will be Ilyankova's first Worlds and Paseka's second. Paseka will go as the defending World vault champion.

UPDATES: Ilyankova's participation is till in doubt and that the final decision will be announced on Friday according to an interview with Rodionenko published by rsport.

Her statement, translated by Gymnovosti, "Everything’s still unchanged, we’re waiting to see how it goes, we still have time. She [Ilyankova] has already started training again, doing elements a bit, we’ll see. Of course, we would want to try her out at these Worlds, to show her, she’s a medal contender on bars. We’d like that, but everything will depend on her condition, we can’t risk it. I think everything will be decided by Friday.”

LAST UPDATES: Rodionenko announced that Ilyankova would compete at Worlds as expected since her back pain is gone and she is able to fully train her routines.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by sportgymrus
First year senior Anastasia Ilyankova is suffering from the same back injury her teammate Maria Paseka has been suffering from.

Illyankova has an aggravated spinous process injury which might jeopardize her chances of competing at the upcoming Worlds which will be held next month.  

Rodionenko said a decision will be made regarding Ilyankova's status on the Worlds team in a week after consulting with the doctors.

In case of withdrawal, Ilyankova who is set to compete on bars and beam at Worlds, will be either replaced by Maria Kharenkova or Liliia Akhaimova. It is worth mentioning that neither of them has competitive bars routine

Kharekova is strong on beam and floor, while Akhaimova's strongest events are vault and floor. 

In other news, it is said that two time Olympic vault medalist Paseka is going through back and knee injuries, she sustained while competing at the 2017 Universiade Games.

In addition to Ilyankova and Paseka, Angelina Melnikova and Elena Eremina were named on the Russian Worlds team.

Written by Gigi Farid