Russian national team roster was published

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for a month – despite being officially signed on December 21, Russian national team roster was only publicly announced today.

The roster that lists the main team and the reserve team usually give the idea of who the federation mainly considers for international assignments. The main team usually gets invited to all camps (unless the gymnast is injured). Gymnasts’ funding varies depending on whether they’re on the main or the reserve team. Sometimes there are changes in the roster during the year.

The most exciting thing is probably that Eleonora Afanasyeva, the badass mom, is not officially on the main team. She was invited to Round Lake only in September, after a great showing at Russian Cup. Last season she vaulted a DTY but said she was training an Amanar. In the absence of Maria Paseka who’s recovering from a back surgery, Afanasyeva’s vaults can really help the team. Only two new seniors made the main team – Angelina Simakova and Aleksandra Schekoldina. Mustafina and Komova are both on the main team, of course. The roster lists last season’s highest competition finish for each gymnast and for those who missed the season due to an injury, the column says “injury”. Well, apparently, for the purposes of bureaucracy Mustafina’s pregnancy was an “injury”.

In other interesting developments: Zeligson (former coach of Grishina) is now officially Natalia Kapitonova’s coach. Kapitonova is from Penza and trained with Starkin Sr. but at the end of last year, she moved to Saransk where Zeligson now coaches. No official reason for the change has been provided.

Ksenia Afanasyeva is on the reserve team! I hear rumors that she was getting back in gymnastics after giving birth and she posted a few teasers of herself in the gym on Instagram, but her inclusion on the team makes it more official. Of course, both Afanasyeva and Mustafina were on the main team last year but that was for the funding purposes – they were still paid their salaries because national team gymnasts get to go on paid maternity leaves.

In less cheerful developments: Tatiana Nabieva is not on the roster despite coming back after an injury at the end of last year. Seda Tutkhalian is on the reserve team and she’s not been invited to camps for a while even when she recovered from her ankle injury and started training.

The reserve team includes a few more new seniors – the fan favorite Varvara Zubova, Viktoria Gorbatova, Ksenia Kamkova, Ksenia Klimenko and Valeria Saifullina. Viktoria Panchuk for some reason is on the junior national team even though she’s a senior now.

On the men’s side, no new seniors made the main national team. Yuri Busse and Sergey Naidin were included on the reserve team – they’re both only 17 and can compete either as juniors or as seniors.


Full roster
Main team

Eleonora Afanasyeva

Lilia Akhaimova

Elena Eremina

Anastasia Ilyankova

Natalia Kapitonova

Viktoria Komova

Angelina Melnikova

Aliya Mustafina

Maria Paseka

Ulyana Perebinosova

Angelina Simakova

Daria Spiridonova

Maria Kharenkova

Aleksandra Schekoldina


Reserve team

Ksenia Afanasyeva

Viktoria Gorbatova

Daria Elizarova

Varvara Zubova

Ksenia Kamkova

Ksenia Klimenko

Elizaveta Kochetkova

Valeria Saifullina

Daria Skrypnik

Viktoria Trykina

Seda Tutkhalian

Evgeniia Shelgunova

Main team

Denis Abliazin

David Beliavskiy

Artur Dalaloyan

Sergey Eltsov

Nikita Ignatyev

Nikolai Kuksenkov

Dmitry Lankin

Andrey Makolov

Nikita Nagornyy

Vladislav Polyashov

Kirill Potapov

Kirill Prokopev

Aleksey Rostov

Ivan Stretovich

Reserve team

Yuri Busse

Daniil Kazachkov

Ilya Kibartas

Nikolay Kishkilyov

Sergey Krivunets

Sergey Naidin

Nikita Simonov

Maksim Sinichkin

Valentin Starikov

Ivan Tikhonov

Aleksandr Chicherov

Denis Yurov




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  • Isn’t Ksenia Klimenko born 2003? That means she isn’t even allowed to compete at senior level. Why is she on the senior national team?

    • yes, thank you for noticing it. Klimenko is still a junior but sometimes promising juniors get added to the senior team (like it happened with Naydin and Busse on the men’s side) to train with them and to get used to the atmosphere. It might also be about what kind of funding the federation wants to give to a specific gymnast.

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