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Turning Senior: Seda Tutkhalyan of Russia

Via Instagram Seda Tutkhalyan is a Russian gymnast from Armenian descent who was born on the 15th of July, 1999 in Moscow, Russia. She ...

Via Instagram
Seda Tutkhalyan is a Russian gymnast from Armenian descent who was born on the 15th of July, 1999 in Moscow, Russia. She comes from an athletic family. Her father, Gurgen Tutkhalyan who competed for Soviet Union, was a four-time world champion in Sambo, while her older brother, Vae, currently competes for Belarus in sambo wrestling.

She competed at last year's European Junior championships where she won gold with her team but did not win any medal individually. She placed fourth on vault, seventh in the all around and on balance beam, and eighth on floor exercise.

However, Seda did not capture the world wide attention up until the second Youth Olympic games in Nanjing. There, she repeated her compatriot Viktoria Komova's feat of winning the competition's all around gold. She as well won gold on uneven bars and silver on floor exercise, while on vault, she placed fifth.

Seda's all around gold, was won with a fall on her last tumbling pass on floor exercise.

On vault, she does a double twisting Yurchenko (5.8) and a round off half on forward layout (5.2). She had a nice height on her Yurchenko vault but bents her knees and separate her legs on the entry.

Her second vault is average low, execution and difficult wise

She also seems to always take an extra hops on her vaults landing, aka uncontrolled landing.

On bars, she has leg separation here and there. She lacks height on her release and doesn't point her toes on her transition from high bar to low bar.

Her dismount, unlike a lot of gymnasts, does not cowboys her double front tuck but lands it a bit late.

On balance beam, she has nice style and obviously potential but has some minor form issues like the leg separation on her sheep jump. She also struggles with consistency on her big skills.

And she can do a G rated full twisting straight layout.

On floor exercise, she expresses herself very well and incorporates her dance moves. Her tumbling is clean but not difficult at all.

Bottom of line: If we were to compare Seda to Viktoria Komova when she was her age, Komova demonstrated the potential of being the next big thing while Seda does not fall into this category.

She has visible errors, execution wise, and doesn't have the kind of difficulty, the sport nowadays requires.

Seda has a strong presence and a lovely personality. Her style is far from a typical Russian, it is more like American gymnasts' style in 2002-2004 era with a mixture of Romanian gymnasts' general style.

Having a different or an unusual style than the rest of her teammates/compatriots, makes her unique and is in my opinion always a plus. But beyond this, I can't guarantee that she is capable of being a big star in her senior years.

Her execution and difficulty are not giving me any reason to be optimistic about her future, especially comparing her to the American gymnasts who are her age. She needs major improvements.

However, I will keep my fingers crossed for her, because her style and personality wowed me and would like to see her improve because if she did, she will capture many hearts.

Written by Gigi Farid

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