Russian MAG team had mixed results in yesterday’s qualification. On one hand, David Belyavskiy finished third in the all-around qualification and might also qualify to three EFs while Denis Abliazin performed great on rings, finishing second to Elefterios Petrouinias. On the other hand, due to falls and mistakes, neither of the other four gymnasts qualified to any event finals, including the current European vault champion and AA silver medalist Artut Dalaloyan.
Valery Alfosov, the head coach of the MAG team talked to R-Sport about the qualifications:
“I’m very pleased with Belyavskiy, with his return to all-around. 2018 will be a qualifying year, we will try to earn a qualifying position for the Olympic Games and all-arounders will be extremely valuable. We’re very happy with his performance today. At Euros this year he only competed on two apparatuses and now he’s doing all six already, that’s a big step.”
“We brought new gymnasts to Montreal as well, such as Eltsov. He didn’t have a medal goal. He’s the Russian Cup winner, we took his for that results and wanted to see whether he’d be ready psychologically to endure all that gymnastics “mess”. To see what impression he’d made on the judges, he’s an interesting gymnast, we’re also counting on him for the 2020 year. Dalaloyan also couldn’t perform accroding to his level, which is also upsetting”.
According to Alfosov, Nikita Ignatyev’s unsuccesfull performance on the high bar does not mean he’ll lose his spot on the national team:
“Why would it be his last chance? The national team doors are open for anyone. He’s an experienced all-arounder. Of course, we’ll need him in 2018 as well. We’ll let him work. We were aware, from many previous competitions, that he sometimes doesn’t hold under pressure.”
“Nikita Nagornyy was prepared for this competition better than anyone, he’s the winner of the Russian Cup, but he totally wasn’t able to do it. Of course, we’re not happy with his performance, it was very unsuccessful.”
Alfosov was asked whether Nagornyy got injured on vault, as the gymnast was holding his back:
“There was no injury. When you don’t know what to say, hold your back as if it hurts [smiles]”.
Alfosov was generally not impressed with the routines in qualifications, both of the Russian team and its competitors:
“This is an individual championship, it’s a very difficult format. Especially, since the guys came here almost without any acclimation because that’s how the competition was organized. It’s a new competition format, a bit unusual for everyone. The routines weren’t interesting – not the Chinese, Japanese, Americans, British nor ours. Lots of falls, lots of injuries.”