Valentina Rodinenko had announced the Russian WAG team for Worlds a while ago, even before the trial competitions (Russian Cup and Universiade). She was set on sending Eremina, Melnikova, Ilyankova, and Paseka. Talking to TASS, Rodionenko said that this is still the preferred team despite Paseka’s performance at the Universiade. However, Paseka might have to sit the Worlds out due to an injury which would leave the spot open for someone else.
“The majority of the Worlds team is already decided, it will all depend on the athletes’ health, whether they will get injured. For the WAG competition, we can send 4 athletes. Angelina Melnikova, Elena Eremina, and Anastasia Ilyankova are surely taking the three spots, while the fourth spot is open at the moment. the main candidate is Maria Paseka, but we will make the decision about her after the verification training which will happen two weeks before we fly to Canada.”
“Melnikova and Eremina will compete in all-around, Ilyankova will fight for medals on bars and beam. We are allowed to send one more person, but we need to cover vault, so we’re counting on Paseka for now. But Maria competed unsuccessfully at Euros and Universiade, where she also got her knee slightly injured. Now she’s supposed to do an MRI and if her knee is fine, she’ll be preparing to compete on vault doing a full training load.”
Rodionenko also commented that the MAG team is practically set as well:
“We will send 6 people, two all-arounders among them: Nikita Nagornyy and David Belyavskiy. In Canada, we will also be counting on Denis Abliazin who’s slated to compete on rings, vault, and floor. On vault, Abliazin can also be joined by Nagornyy and Artur Dalaloyan.”
“Nikita Ignatyev will do the high bar. Sergey Eltsov will fight to get on the team in order to compete on parallel bars. He also has a good routine on pommel horse. Generally, we’re planning to send these 6 athletes. The only question mark is Eltsov, he’s a young guy who doesn’t have enough competition experience.”
“Two more weeks of training are ahead of us, anything can happen. But for almost every spot we have a practically equal replacement option.”
Rodionenko seems to have a vague idea of the competition format for MAG as sometimes she names 4 gymnasts for one apparatus, as she did for vault, saying that Nagornyy, Abliazin, and Dalaloyan will do vault, while Beliavskiy would also have to compete on vault in order to do all-around and only three gymnasts can compete on each apparatus.
The head coach of the MAG team, Valeriy Alfosov, also seems to have slightly a different opinion on the roster. In the interview to Stadium.ru, he names Prokopyev and Poliashov as likely candidates for the team in addition to Belyavkiy, Nagornyy, Ignatyev, Abliazin, and Dalaloyan, but he doesn’t mention Eltsov at all.