Saturday, April 14, 2012

Early Russian Olympic Team Prediction 2012

Doing early predictions can be very hard to do but my predictions will be based on current and past videos of the gymnasts. I will also consider what the coaches have said to the media. Recently the Russian gymnastics training center "Round Lake" held a media day for journalists to visit the center. Coach Valentina Rodionenko basically said there will be four all-rounders and a vault specialist who can do the Amanar vault. The four all-arounders are; Viktoria Komova, Aliya Mustafina, Anastasia Grishina and Ksenia Afanasyeva. The last gymnast would most likely be Anastasia Sidorova because she has two vaults competitive enough for a event finals (click for source). I personally think this is not the official team yet and obviously the coach was probably just throwing names to get ideas out. Regardless, I think this team is very good and is actually my early prediction.

Some of the Russian Team Members
Only 5 girls on the Russian team will make it to the Olympics. In parentheses will be the girl used in prelims. Prelims will be 4 gymnasts used on a apparatus and the 3 highest scores count, the 4th score will be dropped. The outer names will be used for prelims and the team finals. In team finals there will be 3 gymnasts used on a apparatus and all three scores will count. My team is basically Mustafina, Komova, Grishina, Afanasyeva and Sidorova. Mustafina, Komova & Grishina will basically be doing all-around in prelims to vie for the top 2 all-around spots.

Vault: (Grishina) Sidorova, Komova, Mustafina
Bars: (Afanasyeva), Grishina, Komova, Mustafina
Beam: (Grishina) Sidorova, Komova, Mustafina
Floor: (Grishina) Komova, Afanasyeva, Mustafina

My choices are just predictions and there are many other considerations. For example Anna Dementyeva can make the team if her beam becomes more consistent. The only major downfall with Dementyeva is that she does not have a consistent DTY. A FTY will not be enough for considerations when a team like USA will most likely have 5 Amanars. Afanasyeva could possibly do beam in team finals considering she is the current Russian champ on beam. Mustafina and Sidorova are currently questionable on beam. Based on past events Sidorova and Mustafina were steady beam workers but we have not seen Sidorova doing a well enough beam routine lately and Mustafina does not do full difficulty, her beam D-score is currently very low.

Russia might not use Grishina as an all-round option in prelims. Afanasyeva and Sidorova can possibly do other events in prelims that could replace Grishina if Grishina becomes too inconsistent or weak. If Paseka manages to do a Amanar she must be super consistent with it. I honestly think it would be a risk to bring her as the 5th team member. She is a one event specialist and if Russia risks her on their team it could jeopardize other events that already have minor problems like beam. Anna Dementyeva could possibly be an alternate but she will be fighting for a spot.

As the Olympics draws closer and closer I get very excited about the Olympics and heavily invested in who will make the actual team. Anything can happen and my predictions will change when I get to see more videos of the Russian team compete more. Their next big competitions will be a friendly meet in the middle of April and the European championships in May. Their major last event will most likely be the Russian Cup in June. Doing predictions are fun and I will be continuing to do predictions until the official team is announce.

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