Nikita Nagornyy almost had a clean sweep at the Russian Nationals winning gold in the all-around and in every event final except for floor. According to Valentina Rodionenko, due to this result, he is now guaranteed a spot on the team for the European Championships.
The reigning World Champion Artur Dalaloyan is also likely a lock for Euros despite his 17th place at the Russian Nationals. Rodionenko said that his results are likely due to a combination of prolonged rest after Worlds and the illness he experienced at the nationals:
“Artur had been resting for a long time after the successful past season and came back with extra weight. And he arrived at the Russian Championships poorly prepared. In addition, he had diarrhea, which is why he withdrew from the competition in order not to get injured. But Artur will still be in contention for a spot at the European Championships because he is absolutely capable of getting in shape in the two weeks that are left, he can prepare and perform well there. This gymnast has enough experience and is needed on the team.”
She also said that Lankin is likely to be on the team as well, as a floor specialist, but the last three spots will be determined at this week’s competitions when Russian gymnasts are competing at the Baku World Cup and the team challenge in Stuttgart.
Meanwhile, it seems that the Russian coaches’ obsession with how much their gymnasts weigh is leading to some questionary dietary practices. Nikita Nagornyy told 161.ru about surviving on just 800 calories a day during the Russian Championships and eating only one or two meals a day while preparing for the championships:
“I’ll admit, for the first time, I tried a popular nutrition system when you’re strictly limiting calories. And it works. To put it in context, my food intake during competitions is usually 2000 calories. But during the last Russian Championships, I ate 800 calories a day – a big difference. And when I was preparing for the competition, I was eating once or twice a day and, as a result, lost five kilos. Perhaps, this will be useful for someone who wants to lose weight quickly”.
Photo: Elena Mikhaylova, Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation
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