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.
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