Russian Men’s Videos

The Russian men haven’t won Olympic gold since 1996.  A team bronze in 2000 was followed by sixth-place finishes in both 2004 and 2008.  Some scattered team medals at the world championships and some individual world and Olympic medals here and there have kept hope alive for this once dominant team, but many still consider the best days of the Russian men to be in the past.

With the incredible resurgence of the Russian women’s team, will the Russian men’s team follow suit?  Olympic floor and vault medals in 2008 for Anton Golotsutskov, an all-around world bronze in 2009 for the late Yuri Ryazanov, and a recent American Cup title for Maxim Deveyatovski indicate things may be headed in the right direction for this team.  Let’s take a look at a few videos from the recent Russian Championships to see how things are shaping up for the Russian men in 2010:

Alexander Balandin Rings 2010 Russian Championships

UNBELIEVABLE ROUTINE!!!  I can’t believe what that guy can do.  The amazing thing is he has a pretty long and lean body to be a rings specialist, yet he does some of the most incredible strength combinations ever done.  That “crucifix” all the way up to an inverted cross is practically inhuman!  And then he follows it with another pullout to inverted cross from a whippet to iron cross.  I like the piked double front dismount too…overall a fascinating combination of nice body line and swing ability with uncanny strength.

Konstantin Pluzhnikov Rings 2010 Russian Championships

Quite a one-two punch from these guys!  These two are picking up the reigns from former world rings medalist (and multiple worlds finalist) Alexander Safoshkin.  I would expect both of these guys to be on their world team this year.

Matvey Petrov Pommel Horse 2010 Russian Championship

The Russian men have definitely not been known for star pommel horse workers in recent years.  This guy has a really nice body line and the strongest routine I’ve seen from a Russian on pommel horse in a long time.  They could really use this routine at the world championships, so watch for this name as well.

Mikhail Bodnar High Bar 2010 Russian Championships

AWESOME!!!  A Cassina from a Russian man…don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.  Not since Alexei Nemov have we really seen a Russian guy throw a really exciting high bar routine, so this is GREAT to see.  I love the Takamoto-half into Kovacs and the additional Kolmann as well…a very risky routine.

Anton Neudakin Floor 2010 Russian Championships

I just showed this routine because of the BEAUTIFUL front handspring Randi (2 ½ twist) he does on the first pass.  This is still a rarely done pass on both the men’s and women’s sides, and particularly rare to be done this well.  Very nice second pass as well.

Denis Ablyazin Floor 2010 Russian Championships

An incredibly difficult 1 ½, front full, double front, a piked double Arabian and a front 2 ½ twist down the side…cool stuff.

Andrey Likhovitskiy Floor 2010 Russian Championships

Well maybe not the best tumbling, but how cool was that manna “dislocate” to hanstand!  I’ve always noticed this skill in the code of points, but I don’t believe I’d ever actually seen it until now…it’s an awesome skill!  Interestingly, he uses FOUR non-acrobatic skills for difficulty in this routine…the manna dislocate (D-skill), a regular manna (C-skill), a triple Russian, and a wide-arm press.  Very unusual!