The 2016 Russian National Championships took place in Penza, Russia from the 4th to the 10th April 2016.


Junior & Senior WAG gymnasts competed along with the up and coming junior gymnasts who are being groomed for the elite stage along with MAG gymnasts.

The almost week long competition was jam packed with great gymnastics and we got to see most of the Russian Rio team in action.


Aliya Mustafina and Seda Tutkhalyan 

Sadly, 2015 World Uneven Bars Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Viktoria Komova was missing to to a back injury, however we got to see 2012 Olympic Champion Aliya Mustafina back in action for the first time since the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Mustafina only performed on UB and BB, however earned bronze medals on both events. 2015 World Vault Champion, Maria Paseka was also in action, only performing on VT and UB, and finishing in a disappointing 4th on VT and 2015 World Uneven Bars World Champion, Daria Spiridonova was also in action competing AA and shone on UB, winning the gold medal on that event. Ksenia Afanaseya also competed just two events, VT and FX, however won the gold medal on FX, proving why she is a World Champion on that event.


The FX podium

2015 World Team member and 2014 Youth Olympic Games AA Champion, Seda Tutkhalyan was also in action, competing AA along with fellow 2015 World Team member and 2014 World Championships bronze medalist, Maria Kharenkova. Tutkhalian took 2nd AA and 1st on VT whilst Kharenkova took 3rd AA, 2nd on BB and 3rd on FX. Russian veteran and 2010 World Champion, Tatiana Nabieva also graced the competition floor, taking 8th AA and 6th on her best event, UB.


Tutkhalyan, Afanaseyeva & Melnikova

However it was none of these World Championship medalists who took the AA gold medal but rather, new Senior, Angelina Melnikova who took top honours with a combined two day score of 119.334, scoring a huge 60.067 on day 1 of competition, which also counted towards the team competition. Melnikova also earned gold medals on BB with a huge 15.333 and on FX, where she tied Ksenia Afanaseyva for top honours. Melnikova, with huge scores on every event, is certainly making her case for a spot on the Russian Olympic team this Summer.


Angelina Melnikova

Whilst many of the scores such as Melnikova’s BB score had many screaming about ‘home scoring’ being too high, Melnikova’s BB routine was certainly well deserving of the 15.333 it received.


Angelina Melnikova with Russian legend, Svetlana Khorkina 

The results certainly give some food for thought and make the race for the last Russian Olympic Team spot extremely interesting as Russia have already named four of the five gymnasts that will compete in Rio as Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Maria Paseka and Ksenia Afanaseyva.


Future Olympic teammates? Melnikova and Mustafina 

Certainly the top 8 AA are contenders, however apparently Nabieva has retired…huh? This is only the 50th time this has happened. Seda Tutkhalyan, a 2015 World Team member and once thought to be the next Russian star, certainly didn’t do herself any favours this week. Whilst finishing second AA and winning VT, she finished last on both BB and FX and showed at last years World Championships that she is prone to nerves when under pressure. Kharenkova, who is quite forgotten when it comes to selection for the Olympic team didn’t damage her prospects this weekend, finishing 3rd AA, 2nd on BB and 3rd on FX, whilst Spiridonova, 2015 World Champion, didn’t exactly cement herself as a contender, showing that she is good on bars (which we already know), and it being an event where Russia is particularly strong already, it begs the question of whether she is really needed. Certainly, Melnikova, winning AA, FX and BB is the front runner at the moment. But honestly, it’s Russia, I can never tell what their strategy will be.

Full results are as follows:

Senior AA:

  1. Angelina Melnikova 119.334 (60.067 + 59.267)
  2. Seda Tutkhalyan 114.933 (58.266 + 56.667)
  3. Maria Kharenkova 114.832 (58.266 + 56.566)
  4. Daria Skrypnik 114.266 (56.933 + 57.333)
  5. Evgeniya Shelgunova 114.032 (57.499 + 56.533)
  6. Natalia Kapitonova  113.067 (57.634 + 55.433)
  7. Daria Spiridonova 110.799 (54.067 + 56.732)
  8. Tatiana Nabieva 109.100 (55.667 + 53.433)
  9. Anastasia Dmitrieva 108.633 (55.233 + 53.400)
  10. Daria Elizarova 107.500 (53.633 + 63.867)
  11. Polina Federova 107.401 (54.567 + 52.834)
  12. Lilia Akhaimova 106.601 (52.834 + 53.676)
  13. Yuliya Biryulya 105.367 (53.033 + 52.334)
  14. Elena Guseva 102.498 (51.399 + 51.100)
  15. Alexandra Sadkova 102.301 (52.334 + 49.967)
  16. Daria Mikhailova 102.066 (52.166 + 49.900)
  17. Viktoria Bykova 101.266 (50.299 + 50.967)
  18. Inga Galeeva 101.168 (51.187 + 50.001)
  19. Margarita Varnakova 100.901 (52.034 + 48.867)
  20. Varvara Natalova 99.833 (51.233 + 48.600)
  21. Viktoria Kuzmina 98.099 (50.000 + 48.099)
  22. Ksenia Artemova 97.966 (50.666 + 47.300)
  23. Ektarina Boeva 97.733 (49.200 + 48.533)
  24. Alyona Chernova 96.167 (50.500 + 45.667)

Senior VT:

  1. Seda Tutkhalyan 14.550
  2. Tatiana Nabieva 14.467
  3. Anastasia Dmitrieva 14.217
  4. Maria Paseka 14.000
  5. Alla Sosnitskaya 14.000
  6. Evgenia Menovschikova 13.650
  7. Polina Federova 13.633
  8. Yuliya Biryulya 13.617

Senior UB:

  1. Daria Skrypnik 15.300
  2. Daria Spiridonova 15.300
  3. Aliya Mustafina 15.200
  4. Natalia Kapitonova 14.933
  5. Angelina Melnikova 14.700
  6. Tatiana Nabieva 14.300
  7. Maria Kharenkova 13.900
  8. Evgenia Shelgunova 13.667

Senior BB:

  1. Angelina Melnikova 15.333
  2. Maria Kharenkova 15.000
  3. Aliya Mustafina 14.800
  4. Evgenia Shelgunova 14.667
  5. Daria Spiridonova 13.800
  6. Polina Federova 13.767
  7. Daria Skrypnik 13.433
  8. Seda Tutkhalyan 12.533

Senior FX:

  1. Angelina Melnikova 14.567
  2. Ksenia Afanasyeva 14.567
  3. Maria Kharenkova 14.267
  4. Evgenia Shelgunova 14.133
  5. Natalia Kapitonova 14.067
  6. Anastasia Dmitrieva 13.567
  7. Daria Skrypnik 13.267
  8. Seda Tutkhalyan 11.900

Junior AA:

  1. Anastasia Illyankova 115.265 (57.867 + 57.401)
  2. Ulyana Perebinosova 113.967 (57.301 + 56.666)
  3. Elena Eremina 111.635 (55.000 + 56.633)
  4. Angelina Simakova 111.598 (55.466 + 56.132)
  5. Viktoria Panchuk 108.167 (54.300 + 53.867)
  6. Polina Borzykh 107.466 (54.633 + 52.833)
  7. Ksenia Kamkova 107.166 (54.366 + 52.800)
  8. Viktoria Gazeeva 104.566 (52.333 + 52.233)
  9. Anastasia Gainetdinova 103.999 (52.833 + 51.166)
  10. Ektarina Polikarpova 103.800 (51.967 + 51.833)
  11. Elizaveta Kochetkova 102.167 (50.700 + 51.467)
  12. Viktoria Trykina 100.599 (49.533 + 51.066)
  13. Diana Goloshumova 99.833 (49.600 + 50.233)
  14. Anastasia Shinkarenko 99.067 (49.267 + 49.800)
  15. Alexandra Mayzel 98.232 (49.033 + 49.199)
  16. Tatiana Krutikova 98.133 (49.233 + 48.900)
  17. Alyona Arkusha 97.967 (49.767 + 48.200)
  18. Khristina Osokina 97.666 (48.833 + 48.833)
  19. Tamara Konovalova 97.233 (48.467 + 48.766)
  20. Polina Gubenkova 96.700 (48.434 + 48.266)
  21. Yulia Tatarinova 95.466 (47.333 + 48.133)
  22. Ektarina Levchenko 95.367 (47.676 + 47.600)
  23. Anastasia Unzhakova 94.832 (47.466 + 47.366)
  24. Maria Petrova 94.400 (47.367 + 47.033)

Junior (Espoir equivalent) AA:

  1. Ksenia Klimenko 112.867 (56.233 + 56.634)
  2. Aleksandra Shekoldina 111.733 (55.733 + 56.000)
  3. Varvara Zubova 110.334 (56.000 + 54.334)
  4. Anastasia Agafonova 108.299 (53.699 + 54.600)
  5. Viktoria Gorbatova 107.667 (55.266 +52.401)
  6. Daria Belousova 107.300 (53.167 + 54.133)
  7. Taisia Borozdyko 102.467 (51.367 + 51.100)
  8. Alina Stepanova 101.733 (50.500 + 51.233)
  9. Anastasia Yakovleva 98.967 (49.334 + 49.633)
  10. Ksenia Pekelman 98.833 (49.366 + 49.467)

Senior Team:

  1. Central 1 (Angelina Melnikova, Maria Paseka, Daria Elizarova, Kristina Kiseler, Evgenia Shelgunova, Ksenia Afanaseyva) 279.765
  2. Moscow (Aliya Mustafina, Alla Sostinskaya, Daria Sprirdonova, Seda Tutkhalyan, Viktoria Kuzmina, Ksenia Artemova) 271.165
  3. Volga (Polina Federova, Anastasia Dmitrieva, Natalia Kapitonova, Olga Bikmurzina, Ksenia Sabaldash, Daria Lopatina) 270.201

66448

Junior Team:

  1. Central 1 (Tatiana Krutikova, Anastasia Budylkina, Viktoria Gorbatova, Angelina Simakova, Ulyana Perebinosova, Anastasia Agafonova) 272.098
  2. URAL (Polina Borzykh, Aleksandra Shekoldina, Ksenia Klimenko, Alisa Spasova, Ksenia Kamkova, Polina Ternisova) 268.431
  3. Moscow (Elizaveta Kochetkova, Viktoria Gazeeva, Viktoria Trykina, Varvara Zubova, Elnara Ablyazova, Elizaveta Serova)


A cute moment between a Russian junior and the Russian veterans

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