Ksenia Afanasyeva

Aliya Mustafina
Getty Images

Aliya Mustafina leads Russia Olympic gymnastics roster as IOC decision looms

Leave a comment

Olympic all-around bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina leads the five-woman Russian Olympic gymnastics team confirmed Thursday, a squad that might not be allowed to compete in Rio.

Mustafina and fellow 2012 Olympic team silver medalist Maria Paseka are joined by would-be Olympic rookies Angelina MelnikovaDaria Spiridonova and Seda Tutkhalyan.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to rule in the next week on Russia’s eligibility for the Olympics in all sports. The Russian track and field team has already been banned for a poor anti-doping record.

Missing from a provisional Russian Olympic gymnastics team announced in December are 2012 Olympians Viktoria Komova and Ksenia Afanasyeva, who are both out for health reasons.

Russia took silver behind the U.S. at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics but fell to bronze at the 2014 Worlds and fourth in 2015.

Mustafina, the 2010 World all-around champion, finished third and fourth in the 2013 and 2014 World all-around standings behind winner Simone Biles and then missed the 2015 Worlds due to health issues, most notably a back injury.

Paseka is the reigning world vault champion.

MORE: Japan eyes three golds from Kohei Uchimura

Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova named to Russia’s World Championships team

Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Russia named Olympic all-around silver and bronze medalists Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina to its World Championships team Wednesday, according to Russian media, though one of them may not compete in Glasgow, Scotland, in the last month of October.

That’s because it named seven women to the team. It must designate one of the seven as an alternate before Worlds, which are a six-woman-per-team affair.

Komova and Mustafina, both 20, shared the London 2012 all-around podium with Gabby Douglas, who is in the running to be named to the U.S. team for Worlds in October.

Komova, the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympic all-around silver medalist, missed the 2013 and 2014 Worlds as she’s been set back by health problems since the London Games.

In 2011, Komova led Jordyn Wieber going into the final rotation in the all-around at the World Championships in Tokyo. But Wieber came back to win by .033.

In 2012, Komova had the highest score in Olympic all-around qualifying in London. Douglas beat her by .259 in the all-around final to become the third straight U.S. woman to win the most coveted title in gymnastics.

Mustafina, the 2010 World all-around champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, was originally quoted as saying she would miss this year’s Worlds, mainly due to a back injury, in Russian media.

The Russians took silver behind the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics and bronze behind the U.S. and China at the 2014 World Championships.

The seven-woman Russian team for Worlds also includes Maria Paseka and Ksenia Afanasyeva, 2012 Olympians who missed the 2013 and 2014 Worlds.

The new Russian star may be Daria Spiridonova, who won the Russian Cup all-around earlier this month and was also put on the seven-woman team for Glasgow.

MORE GYMNASTICS: Video: Brazil’s only Olympic medalist does still rings high above Rio de Janeiro in Adidas spot