Russian Aliya Mustafina, the all-around bronze medalist at the last two Olympics, is pregnant, confirmed Russian national team coach Valentina Rodionenko, who hopes she returns to training in the fall.
Mustafina, 22, married Russian bobsledder Alexei Zaitsev in the fall. She is expected to give birth in June, according to R-Sport.
In Rio, Mustafina repeated as Olympic uneven bars champion and earned a second straight silver in the team event as the Russian leader, in addition to the all-around bronze.
In Rio, Mustafina said she would take two years off before returning to competition, according to Russian media quoting Rodionenko.
Mustafina remains the last non-American to win an Olympic or world all-around title, back in 2010.
With Mustafina’s absence, there might not be any Olympic or world all-around champions at this year’s world championships in Montreal in October. That last happened in 2009.
Simone Biles is taking 2017 off, Gabby Douglas hasn’t said if or when she will compete again and Italian Vanessa Ferrari, the 2006 World all-around champion, underwent Achilles tendon surgery in September.
The top gymnasts at worlds in Montreal could include Olympic Trials runner-up Laurie Hernandez and Romanian Larisa Iordache, who earned world all-around medals in 2014 and 2015.Follow @nzaccardi