Gymnastics and Ice skating predictions

Ever since the beginning of the week we have been reporting on the possibility of Moscow. As far back as last Thursday it was known that Vitaly Mutko who is the Russian Sports Minister sent a letter to ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta.

In this letter he officially suggested that Moscow is ready and able to be a candidate to host the championship. The dates when the championship might be held are not known at this time.

At the time the leader of the ISU was in favor of cancelling the event altogether, hoping to wait until next year. He wished to try and device a sort of 2011/ 2012 conglomeration championship. But the athletes and coaches alike were not in favor of waiting an entire year. Plus there was the possibility of extending the regular season, and nobody wanted that.

Before the announcement was made Yury Nagorny who is acting Russian deputy sport minister, was quoted as saying by Ves Sport. “True, it would be difficult and expensive. But we have decided that the right thing to do would be to provide a friendly shoulder for the ISU to lean on.” This comment was made earlier this week.

Originally plans had been made to have the things ready for the WC in as little as six weeks, but with the events scheduled to begin in exactly one month, Russia is really going to need to put its best foot forward in order to get things rolling and completed in time.

“The decision in favor of Moscow was taken by an absolute majority,” federation head Valentin Piseyev said.

I think everyone else would agree to this as well as Russia was the first of six countries to raise their hand and rise to the challenge. Russia has a very rich history of skating and has many talented athletes and much experience and expertise in this very event, so hosting it should be no problem. Russia last hosted this same event in 2005.

Figure skating

A pair skating team of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, formed only this season, won gold medals at the Russian national figure skating championships which takes place in Saransk. 

Last year’s National champions and the current European Champions Yuko Kawaguti and Alexander Smirnov this time took the silver – 201,44 (133,29 + 68,15).

The bronze won the Permian skaters Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov


Do you remember when we talked about artistic gymnastics this week? And we are going to discuss this topic once again. Last Saturday  a huge international  competition in artistic gymnastics “Internationaux de France” was held in Paris. And the leaders of the national team  including the reigning world champions Aliya Mustafina, Tatyana Nabieva  and Anna Dementyeva came to compete in France .

The Queen of the Russian artistic gymnastics Aliya Mustafina delivered another flawless performance.  Aliya is definitely improving her physical shape because she demonstrated fantastic result in Paris.

So, as we have already mentioned the international artistic gymnastics tournament « Internationaux de France » was took place on the 19th and 20th of March. Paris welcomed the best sportsmen from 36 countries. More than 90 gymnasts came to France to participate in this high quality sporting event.

The qualification of 12 gymnasts per apparatus was programmed for Saturday 19th, Sunday featured the finals for the 4 gymnasts per apparatus.

Russian Olympic hope  Aliya Mustafina proved the status of the team’s leader by winning 3 of 4 events on the women’s side.  She took victory  in vault event  with a 14.933. She appeared to be the best athlete on uneven bars with a 15.733. And finally she happened to be the leader on the balance  beam with a 14.866 (a full point ahead of World Beam Champion Ana Porgras who scored 13.80 for 2nd). Sanra Izbasa won floor with a 14.833. 

Moreover the Russians also collected two silver and three bronze medals. Tatyana Nabieva finished behind Mustafina in vault competition, Ana Dementyeva completed the podium in beam’s and floor events.

Alexander Balandin became the rings silver medalist and Konstantin Pluzhnikov earned the bronze in the same gymnastics event. So we may conclude that the weekend was very successful for the Russian gymnastics team.

I would like to remind our listeners that the Russian national team is preparing for the European championship that is going to take place in Berlin the 4th to the 10th of April, 2011. 280 top athletes from 39 countries will struggle for a total of 12 titles.  And certainly the Russian athletes will be the main favourites to win gold in Berlin.

I think not only in Berlin, but in London in 2012 as well.

The program of Olympic gymnastics is divided into three disciplines: artistic, rhythmic and trampoline. We are talking about artistic gymnastics. The Olympians are competing for 14 sets of medals: medals for individual apparatus, for all-round team and individual competitions.

14 Olympic medals are an impressive number. Because in rhythmic gymnastics ladies are struggling only for two medals. There are competing for individual and team medals.

Yes, artistic gymnasts have more chances of becoming an Olympic champion. And as everybody may be aware, next year London will become the central place where all the Olympians will gather. This year is pre-Olympic and I think it’s high time to talk about sportsmen who will represent Russia at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Fine, let’s discuss our medal prospects. Of course it’s too early to speak of the 2012 Olympic champions, but we will try to predict the main contenders for the medals.

Yes, we will try to do that. But in my opinion it’s impossible at this particular moment to try to assess the future performance of the men’s team. As you may remember the head coach of the Russian national team Andrey Radionenko told us that this team is very young and inexperienced, but they will apply all the efforts and energy in order to prepare the guys for the Olympics. So, we’d rather wait till the European championship and after that we will discuss whom we can rely on in 2012.

I agree. And I want to remind our listeners that the artistic gymnastics European championship will take place in Berlin in April. So, if we can’t say anything about our men’s team, let’s take a look at the Russian ladies. Clearly the national artistic gymnastics is showing the signs of rebirth. Thanks to our girls.

Yes, the Russian ladies really made a triumph last year, they took  gold medals in team competitions at two major events of the year- at the European and World Championships. It worth mentioning that the world title was the first one since the USSR’s women won the title in 1991.

However the Russian coaches are very modest in their assessments and predictions; they say that it’s too early to speak about the Rebirth of artistic gymnastics. But the improvement of the situation is certainly visible.

I’d like to remind everybody that the Russian woman team took the gold ahead of defending world champions from the United States and Olympic champions from China. The battle for the gold medals was very nervous and unpredictable. No team managed to avoid mistakes, so it was rather difficult to say who would be the winner. Finally, less than 0.616 points separated the top three teams.

Russia managed to win gold medals despite three crashes on the uneven bars. All experts agree that Russian victory can be fully attributed to 16 year old Aliya Mustafina. Despite her youth and inexperience Mustafina performed as a mature and self-possessed adult gymnast. She was impeccable on all four apparatus during the team competition.

Moreover, Aliya Mustafina won the women’s individual all-around title. The only apparatus where she didn’t win anything was a balance beam. This was truly the championship of young Aliya Mustafina.Aliya Mustafina  established herself  as the main favorite for the London Games that will take place in two years.

Besides, Russian coaches are also pinning hopes on the talented gymnast Viktoria Komova. She won 3 gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this year. Now she is allowed to compete in adult tournaments, because she turned 16 in January.

But unfortunately Viktoria is not performing at the moment due to the injury. She has already missed the Russian national championship and she will have to miss the European tournament in Germany.

Elena Ilinikh and Nikita Katsalapov

Nikita is a Russian ice dancer. With partner Elena Ilinykh, he is the 2010 World Junior Champion, 2009 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist and 2011 Russian senior national bronze medalist.

Nikita Katsapalov began in single skating but struggled with some jumps and decided to try ice dancing. He was paired with Elena Ilinykh by Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh who were the team’s first coaches. In 2005, they attended a training camp under Alexander Zhulin who was preparing Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov for their Olympic gold-medal winning season.

Despite feeling inspired, they split shortly afterward – Ilinykh said they were too young at the time to understand partnership, “We didn’t understand at all that you need to talk to each other, to find a compromise. There were these foolish, stupid quarrels. It just didn’t work.”

Katsalapov then teamed up with Angelina Kabysheva but they split up in 2008. Ilinykh returned to Russia and they decided to give their partnership another chance in spring 2008.They began training again with Alexander Zhulin in Moscow and began competing together in the 2008-2009 season, when they placed 4th at the Russian Junior Championships.

During the 2009-2010 season, Ilinykh and Katsalapov competed for the first time on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. At their first event, the event in Budapest, Hungary, they won the gold medal. At their second event, in Torun, Poland, they won a second gold medal to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final. They won the silver medal behind Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin at the Final and at the Russian Junior Championships. However, they moved past them to win the 2010 World Junior Championships. They were named Discovery of the Year at the 2010 Crystal Ice Awards held in October 2010 in Moscow.

Gymnastic Facts

Who was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at an Olympic Competition?

Nadia Comaneci. Nadia scored her first Olympic 10.0 at the 1976 Summer Olympic games. At those games, she scored 7 perfect 10’s, received 3 gold medals, one silver, and one bronze.

Facts about Gymnastics:

The term is derived from a Greek word which means ‘to exercise’. In the olden days in Greece, the presence of a gymnasium signified the importance of physical fitness to the Greeks. There were strict fitness routines developed particularly for the Greeks. The soldiers were taught how to mount a horse and many other techniques that involved a lot of performance skills. This formed the base of gymnastics which evolved with time.

Gymnastics is also known as one of the oldest kind of physical exercise!

In 1896 men’s gymnastics was included in the Olympic Games. The first competition for women in the Olympics was held during the 1920s.

Gymnasts from the Soviet impressed everybody with their performances in the early years. This was the time when television helped to popularize it amongst viewers.

Some of the early examples of gymnastics can be found on Egyptian artifacts. And certainly this is an indication about the existence of this sport in the old days. These drawings depict people performing techniques used in gymnastics. Females also performed in those days.

It is said that gymnastics benefit a person in many ways. This is not just a form of physical exercise, it makes a person develop a positive attitude towards life.

Professional training in gymnastics will help a person develop the strength of the body. The eye and foot coordination improves with this form of sport. A person can also develop his/her sense of rhythm and coordination.

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