Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Resurgence of Mariya Livchikova and News

I will always hold a soft spot for Ukrainians and wish them well. Mariya Livchikova is no different from their typical strain, with beautiful, original and difficult work on beam and floor, not to mention FABULOUS leaps and toepoint. Happily, recovery from injury aside, she appears to be among the most consistent of the bunch. Last year at Worlds Mariya tore her ACL. The team performed so badly that they only earned the right for a single spot in London. At the Test Event, Mariya was too injured to compete for the spot, which went to Natalia Kononenko. Happily, despite that massive strain of bad luck, Mariya is now back to her prime. Here is her glorious floor from a competition recently and her beam from the Grand Prix at Brno, at which she scored 15.250.

Double fronts seem to be easier to stick than other tumbles, but still, WOW. So tidy too.
This needs to be tweaked and in all world finals...just a better dismount and maybe some code whoring, some nice connections in the new code that she looks well capable of.

Aliya Mustafina has been named Russian Sportswoman of the year. Not only of course is this a great honour for her, it also bodes well for the state of artistic gymnastics as a whole in Russia- is is completely overwhelmed by rthymic, and even names like Khorkina and Nemov are by no means household names.

Videos are beginning to emerge from Voronin Cup. You can see some here. First is Evgeniya Shelgunova on vault, second is a girl I haven't heard of before, third is Anna Pavlova on beam, fourth is Mariya Livchikova on floor, next is Pavlova on bars and last is Anna Myzdrikova on beam- another old favourite, though she is past her best. The one I most want to see is Anna Dementyeva on beam, as apparently it was awesome. Update: It scored 15.6 in EF- need a video immediately! Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova both qualified to the bars final first and second respectively, but neither actually competed- a late Olympians ball the night before! Demy won the senior AA, and Shelgunova the junior.
Edit: These are labelled as Voronin, but there is doubt that they all are. They ARE recent though.

The Toyota Invitiational has just taken place. Than Ti Phan Thanh of Vietnam won vault and placed second on beam. Mai Murakami was second on vault and second on floor (with a fall). Her vault difficulties were 5.8 and 5.4, a step up from the FTY she performed at Stuttgart. A good day for the veterans, Koko Tsurumi won floor and Rie Tanaka won bars (with a fall). Yu Minobe and Yuko Shintake were first and second on beam. Asuka Teramoto seems to be at least somewhat back on form, it seems that she was the alternate for beam, with a score that would have put her in second in the final.

Just at the mention of Anna Pavlova, here she is wearing a version of the USA TF leo! I think it looks great. This was taken at the recent Larisa Latynina Cup.


  1. 1. Go Mai! I knew she could bounce back! :D I was a bit worried after her Stuttgart performances.

    2. What happened to Ukraine? They used to always make TF! Now they don't even qualify for a team. What is this. :( I love them for their artistry, particularly on floor.

    3. I couldn't believe my eyes when I heard that Aliya & Vika opted out of the bars final because of some late night partying... the other girls were there, too, but they still competed! Don't mind though- guess this is the kind of privilege you get as Olympic medalists. And they seem to be in good shape (in comparison to the Kellogg's girls) judging by their qualifying bars scores (still no videos, huh?).

    4. I'm really pleased to see that Pavs is still competing despite her knee. Somehow, though, I still don't see Russia selecting her for a major team. What are your thoughts?

    1. Well she has plenty of time to get her head together some more! Nice to see her use an upgraded vault and get high execution scores. I did write her off as an all-arounder due to her bars but the only video of her bars prior to now was 3 years old so that was probably a tad harsh. Anyway, MUCH improved there.

      Ukraine have piss poor facilities and funding. This makes MAG losing the bronze even more upsetting as it would have boosted the whole programme. Quite literally some of their gyms are entering advanced disrepair. Looks to be very little motivation and cohesion which I'm sure impacts their consistency. The joy if a second Lilia emerged...

      There are two pretty far away videos of them podium training. I'm now hearing they only really competed exhibition though, so not sure which version to believe! Either way they both competed 6.0 and Aliya did beam.

      No, I don't see her making even the National Team again. Not neccesarily for being blacklisted for how Beijing went (though we all know Rodionenkos are not exactly reasonable) but just for being past it and for not having the difficulty. It's puzzling as to how she gets by? She obviously gets prize money and her mam being her coach helps but you'd wonder will she chuck it in and take upo coaching soon? I love her dedication and love for competing though.

  2. Is it just me, or does mariya have horribly bent knees on some of her acro skills?

    1. A bit, I wouldn't say seriously. She is still heavily taped and recovering and has a lot of time to recover before the next major comp, so I wouldn't worry.

  3. Hey, who are the girls in the picture ? I didn t find the cup on google !