Four young Russian stars destined to be world all-around contenders…

For now we’ll have to stuff Mustafina, Dementieva, Komova, and Nabieva into our “what-if” box that unfortunately keeps getting larger and larger as worlds is approaching. Let’s take a look at these bright stars whom we won’t see in competition this year, but will undoubtedly be in the mix for spots on Russia’s team (along with world and Olympic medals) over the next three years. All four of them were born in 1994, which DOES make them eligible to compete at next year’s worlds in 2010.
Aliya Mustafina UB 2009 Russian Cup
Awesome! Incredible Markelov, beautiful pirouettes, and good combination of in-bar skills and release skills.
Aliya Mustafina BB 2009 Russian Cup
Nice double turn and arabian! The whole routine was very nice, but those two skills at the beginning really stood out. The Onodi was excellent as well, and the triple full dismount – although slightly sloppy – was all the way around.
Aliya Mustafina FX 2009 Russian Cup
ALL of the qualities of a great gymnast. What a HUGE double Arabian, and I love how she’s showing more difficult combinations than most of the other top gymnasts – the front full out of the 2 ½ , and the rudi out of the 1 ½. Very refreshing to see a routine without a 1 ½ to front full or a double pike dismount! It seems like we never see triple fulls at the end of the routine anymore.
Aliya Mustafina Vault 2009 Russian Cup
Just to show you she’s a “full package” gymnast – a powerful yurchenko double full as well! She is truly an all-around gymnast, and I’m sure you’re as convinced as I am that she would have contended for an all-around medal at worlds this year.
Anna Dimentieva BB 2009 Russian Cup
Nice set! Her style and body type remind me a little of Shayla Worley…even similar skill selection actually. I thought the Onodi and illusion really stood out, and ANOTHER triple full dismount! It’s so nice to see something other than a double pike – and she really tumbles into it too.
Anna Dimentieva UB 2009 Russian Cup
Wow…what gorgeous body line! Her cast handstands are some of the best in the world, and that hop full was one of the best I’ve seen as well – perfectly straight body and caught in handstand. She has lots of potential here and already has the look of a top bar worker.
Anna Dementieva FX 2009 Russian Cup
I really like this gymnast. What an amazing blend of artistry and tumbling. How often do we see two whips to a triple full these days?? We’re going to see a lot from her in the next three years. She’s not strong on vault yet, but I’m sure that will improve as she gets a little stronger. When these young gymnasts become eligible next year, I have a feeling there are going to be some fierce battles for just two all-around spots on that team.
Viktoria Komova UB 2009 EYOF
Not great video quality, but I think you can see her potential here. Great form and a good base of skills to work with.
Viktoria Komova VT 2009 EYOF
That’s one of the best double fulls the Russians have, and they can’t even use it!
Viktoria Komova BB 2008 Veronin Cup
I went ahead and showed this video from last year because she was the only one I’ve ever seen compete that combination – back handspring layout to Arabian!!! I don’t have one of her making it, but that was very close. The rest of the routine is incredible as well…amazing dismount sequence.
Viktoria Komova FX 2009 EYOF
One of the best floor routines in the world…so sad! She has awesome double Arabians, and I love that triple full. She also shows great turning ability already – pretty rare for the younger gymnasts.
Tatiana Nabieva UB 2009 Russian Cup
That was the winning bar routine at this week’s Russian Cup – it scored a strong 15.1. What a cool toe on Shaposhnikova-half (like a Khorkina II)!!
Tatiana Nabieva VT 2009 Russian Cup
You may remember she basically competed a Yurchenko 2 ¾ at the recent Japan Cup, where it looked as if she may have been trying a triple (she confirmed that she wasn’t…). Although even her double here is a little sloppy, you can see her tremendous power. And nice to see some of the Russians doing two vaults! Maybe they should explain to the Americans how to squeeze in time to work one extra skill during an – um…eight-hour workout almost every day.
Tatiana Nabieva BB 2009 Japan Cup
Pretty solid here as well. This routine, along with her floor routine from the Japan Cup, weren’t up yet when I posted my blog on that competition.
Tatiana Nabieva FX 2009 Japan Cup
A little out of control on that second pass! But there’s something very engaging about this gymnast – she seems to have a lot of charisma and smiles a lot while performing. I think she’s going to be very popular over the next couple of years. She does need to work on her form when she’s twisting (on floor and vault), but she’s going to be yet another top Russian all-arounder to watch out for!
Next we’ll take a look at some highlights from the other five gymnasts on that list – the ones who ARE age-eligible for worlds this year!