Melnikova is slightly injured but will compete at Worlds

Valentina Rodionenko told to Stadium.ru that Angelina Melnikova recently suffered a minor ankle injury in training but the coaches hope she will recover by the time the competition starts.

Just a couple of days ago, Rodionenko announced that all the gymnasts on the Russian Worlds team are healthy. She must have her own definition of healthy, as three of the four WAG gymnasts on the team are injured (Ilyankova, Paseka and now Melnikova), Sergey Eltsov busted two fingers just before flying to Montreal (and he is supposed to compete on pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar – all the events that specifically require healthy hands) and Denis Abliazin is still recovering from injury. Russia chose not to bring alternates to Canada which might turn out problematic, as flying someone from Moscow to Montreal last minute would mean a long flight with a stopover.

According to Rodionenko, Ilyankova will not compete on beam because the coaches do not want to risk injuring her back even further, she will only perform on bars. Ilyankova did not really have a chance to qualify to the beam final, as she does not have a very high difficulty. That means that Russia will only put 2 gymnasts up on beam and floor because both Paseka and Ilyankova will only do one event.

Rodionenko surprisingly complimented the US gymnasts, saying that “the new generation of American female gymnasts show not only difficulty but also beauty [in gymnastics]”. This might be another sign of the relationship between Russian and US federations slightly warming up, probably owing to Valery Liukin’s personal connections with the Russian coaches.

 

Rodionenko also said that she doesn’t know the state of the Chinese team right now because “[The Chinese] as always are “sneaky” and don’t compete at less important international competitions [than Worlds].” Considering that practically all the Chinese routines from the past year are available online, this is less the case of “sneakiness” on their part and more of an oversight from the Russian coaches.

 

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