US Nationals Recap, Part 2. 2019 Russian Cup

Night 1 recap

The Up Start

Sunisa “Suni” Lee was my fave junior a couple of years ago and now she’s your Senior, Silver, All Around, medalist. It will be interesting to see what this bar routine scores on the International stage.

Riley McCusker had a shaky first day but probably would have been part of , The comeback kids from day one of the competition if she didn’t withdraw after allegedly throwing up twice on day 2. Her best score came from day one on beam (14.500)

MY GIRL, LILLY Lipeatt, FINALLY made the Junior National team after royally being nitpicked to death by the judges on night one. She clearly had better routines night 1 but her scores went up on day 2. It’s the beam judges I have the biggest issue with here but I’m going to celebrate her at least making the Junior National team this year instead.

Mykayla Skinner

Night 1

All the haters can suck it. If you’re not impressed with what she accomplished in only 2 months of training, Elite after spending 5 straight months competing every weekend and only falling once then you’re showing your hidden agenda(*)

I’m not blind . I know she needs to work on a lot ( form, technique, leaps etc..) but with a full season of training Mykayla is going to make this interesting.

NO ONE expected her to finish 4th at the Olympic trials in 2016. No one expected her to come back and do as well as she has this last 2 months. She freaking willed herself through hitting 2 bars routines when she couldn’t get anything to work at all on bars, two weeks earlier. You can doubt her being able to make this comeback but don’t doubt her will to try.

I wonder what the power gymnasts of the 90’s like Simone Amanar would have been able to do with the floor Simone Biles gets to tumble on. (Don’t whine at me, Simona, did an Amanar on the old vault. I think she could do some amazing tumbling if the equipment of today existed in 96)

Simone doesn’t have to upgrade. She has a 3 point lead on every person competing today so it’s extremely admirable how she still succeeds at upping the anti. She is pretty much guaranteed Vault and Floor Gold and the Olympics aren’t til next year. All she needs to do is stay healthy.


The Russian Cup AA

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 2.11.40 PM

1. Vladislava Urazova 114.365
2. Angelina Melnikova 109.832
3. Elena Gerasimova 107.865
4. Lilia Akhaimova 106.732
5. Yana Vorona 106.199
6. Angelina Simakova 105.132

Around 150.51 is the AA ceremony. Kind of weird the lack of updates from this competition. By now all the results are usually up at Gymnovosti but they aren’t this year.
Aliya is at the award ceremony. So is Komova. Aliya looks the same as she did a few months ago.


Hey Rocio. Where is Seda?????

Aliya out of Worlds

Event Finals
Day 1
(37.30 Paeska)

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 4.42.30 PM
1. Lilia Akhaimova
VT 1 – 14.733
VT 2 – 14.466
Average : 14.599
2.Angelina Melnikova
VT 1 – 14:333
VT 2 – 14.200
Average: 14.266
3.Eleonora Afanasyeva
VT 1 – 13.800
VT 2 – 13.600
Average: 13.700

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 4.46.38 PM
1. Daria Spiridonova – 14.500 (YAY:)
2. Vladislava Urazova – 14.300
3. Angelina Melnikova – 3.966


1. Yana Vorona – 14.300
2. Elena Gerasimova – 14.300
3. Vladislava Urazova – 14.233


1. Vladislava Urazova – 14.333
2. Elena Gerasimova – 13.633
3. Lilia Akhaimova – 13.600



1. Vladislav Urazova 56.633
2. Angelina Melnikov 53.900
3. Elena Gerasimov 53.700
4. Lily Ahaimova 53.333
5. Jan Crow 52.433

61 Responses to “US Nationals Recap, Part 2. 2019 Russian Cup”

  1. Gymbot Says:

    Saw your question on qualification in the comments from the last post. At worlds, AA gymnasts (20) will qualify by name (not country) based on rank during the qualifications at 2019 worlds.

    Thus Denisa Golgata is likely to earn her spot at worlds this year. If she pulls out, it would go to the next eligible person. Larissa would only be eligible if she competes at worlds in the all around.

    • Gymbot Says:

      Assuming she doesn’t go to worlds, the only way to become eligible is to win an AA spot from continental champs (Europeans 2020, top 2 of eligible gymnasts) or win an event title a la Jade Carey.

      • Gymbot Says:

        If they are from an NOC that earns a team berth, they can be added to the team or to extra spots earned at World Cup AA, continental champs, World Cup events.

        If they are from an NOC that does not qualify a team, the remaining options are world cups EF and continental games AA.

    • imperatorcarolus Says:

      A question that I haven’t asked myself until I saw the results of the Russian Cup quals, in which Urazova is first with good 3 points ahead of Melna: What happens with the gymnasts that are 15 this year and can’t compete as seniors, but are eligible for Olympics next year? Isn’t it unfair for them that other gymnasts can secure a nominative spot through this year’s Worlds or World Cups, and they can’t compete as seniors until next year? Can they compete this year to minimize this problem or they have to suck it up?

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Got you. It’s all so damn confusing.

  2. Gymbot Says:

    I was impressed with Sunisa Lee’s bars and beam, and her floor. She has to stay healthy though, might be harder for to stay it while she is nursing a hip? Injury.

  3. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Russian Cup is underway! One of the surprises is not from the actual competition, though. Maria Kharenkova, who is in fact competing at the Cup, has changed her nationality to Georgia. The change has been approved, so I think she will be able to compete for Georgia this Worlds (I am not totally sure, though).

    • Gymbot Says:

      So per the ongoing discussion, Kharenkova will easily qualify to the Olympics via the AA. The majority of the spots go to teams, and teams can’t qualify a spot per the AA at worlds, so Kharenkova really needs to be the 80th best gymnast or so and she can go to the Olympics

  4. Danielle Says:

    I would be ecstatic for a team of Mustafina, Melnikova, Urazova, and Gerasimova for Tokyo next year. Risky to put 2 first year seniors on there though. Melnikova was such a steady junior and look how that worked out at the olympics.

    Those who know more about the extra 2 spots, is Russia likely to get both? I know Paseka is going for one, but she’s competing against Jade. Still foggy on the rules.

    • imperatorcarolus Says:

      I think Eremina will be in the mix, too. She is still recovering for injuries, but she had wonderful form and high difficulty. If she is able to regain the form she had before injury, she should be on the team. But like always, in team Russia we can speculate about the best team and the final team would be the best ones who are somewhat healthy. Urazova and Melka should be locks if they are healthy, but the two remaining spots are still up for grabs.

      I think that Russia have options for the specialist spots. Paseka had good results (in one competition, she surpassed Jade) and it is possible. I don’t know, if Jade gets the spot both in floor and vault, which one get discarded. If she choses a spot on floor, Paseka very well could be second and get the spot. I think that Russia was trying to put a UB specialist up for the second spot. Probably Iliankova, but she has been injuried a lot in the last months. UB is a very disputed field right now, but many of her most direct competitors like Joanna or Nina, are going to try to go with the team or AA spots. The Chinese could be the most direct competitors of Iliankova or Spiri for the UB spot, but I don’t really know if they still had that idea, as Iliankova has been injuried. But if they try for a second spot, UB would be their best shot, as they have very good specialists in that apparatus.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I hope she comes back but I don’t see it. Look what Skinner did in 2 months. Elena’s had a year and she looks worse than the year before. I watched her floor when she fell on a double tuck as her first pass. Her bars looked a little better ( she stayed on) but I don’t see her improving that much and over taking the other 4. Aliya looked like she put weight on. I really feel like she’s done ( a personal opinion I know you don’t share) The thing that will always give her a chance is she has been counted on for years and always come through when needed which is why they might take her as the 4th regardless of what she does at an actual competition.

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        I believe that Skinner did a wonderful job, but I think that comparision is unfair for Eremina. Skinner was at NCAA, competing and healthy. She was not training elite as far as I know, but she was still doing gymnastics constantly at a high level and never stopped or left the sport altogether for extended periods of time. Eremina had a very serious injury, had surgery and was benched for more than nine months, and when she returned to the gym, she couldn’t do full routines for even longer. She hasn’t regained all her skills yet and I agree that I hoped her recovery would be faster, but we have to take into account the severity of her injury and the impact of her time outside the gym. But she is on the mend, doing full routines and if she doesn’t have any setbacks, she still has a year to improve. I would cut her some slack and see how she is in Europeans next year. She is not going to Worlds, that for sure, but Olympics could still be within reach for her if she stays healthy a continues improving towards her former level.

        Aliya is another story altogether. I won’t consider her done until she says she is retiring for good. As I pointed out before, I am far more worried about her injuries and their consequences than her weight, that I don’t consider specially excesive when she has been out of training for a while. What I don’t think is that she can come back as an AAer, mostly because of her injuries, but if for example Russia takes three AAers with Melka, Urazova and Eremina/Gerasimova, she could go as a UB/beamer and especially as a grounding presence, with the other two events watered down but prepared in case she is needed because some of her teammates are injuried (a consideration far too common in Russia) and they needed someone who delivers.

  5. imperatorcarolus Says:

    The Russian Cup was streamed internationally live, but I couldn’t watch it. The Twitter account @russiangymstan have uploaded a lot of videos on her account.

  6. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Vladislava Urazova – VT – 14.566— 🌹 (@russiangymstan) August 24, 2019

  7. imperatorcarolus Says:

  8. imperatorcarolus Says:

  9. imperatorcarolus Says:

  10. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Dasha Spiridonova won UB gold at Russian Cup Even Finals. She looks good. She might be out of Gymsberia, especially if Iliankova is not yet well enough. Remember that of the top six AAers of the Russian Cup, three of them are still juniors, so they can’t go to Worlds and Russia might prefer to take just two AAers and fill the rest of the spots as a team with especialists. Valentina especially loves good UB workers. Akhaimova won vault, with Melna second. I don’t know where Paseka is, because she was announced but I only got information of the top three. I’ll try to find out.

  11. imperatorcarolus Says:

    My dear GTT, Seda must be in Gymsberia, in such a deep place that they only living being that know of her real whereabouts is Valentina. Last time I saw her was at Moscow Championships in January. I don’t know if she competed at Russian Championships, but I have the list of the 18 best qualifiers and she wasn’t among them. And even Kapitonova, who is another Gymsberia resident, was there (17th place). I am not aware if she is there as especialist, although I doubt it very much.

    I am doubtful about Paseka. I know that she was at qualifications, but she didn’t end up at the podium in event finals, so she either had a disastrous day or she scratched off. But I don’t have the full list of participants, so I can’t confirm or deny anything.

    Here is Seda’s beam in the last competition I saw her in:

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Can you share the prelims scores in English. I’m interested in the used to be’s and how they faired.

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        This is from Day 1 or quals:

        1. Vladislava Urazova 56.633
        2. Angelina Melnikova 53.900
        3. Elena Gerasimova 53.700
        4. Lilia Akhaimova 53.333
        5. Yana Vorona 52.433
        6. Daria Belousova 52.033
        7. Angelina Simakova 51.467
        8. Uliana Perebinosova 50.467
        9. Aleksandra Shchekoldina 50.133
        10. Varvara Zubova 49.967
        11. Ksenia Klimenko 49.733
        12. Elena Eremina 49.300
        13. Vlada Kotlyarova 48.800
        14. Yulia Biryulya 48.367
        15. Maria Kharenkova 48.100
        16. Alina Stepanova 46.299
        17. Natalia Kapitonova 45.167
        18. Aleksandra Mayzel 43.667

        From the top five, Urazova, Gerasimova and Vorona are still juniors, but will be elegible for Tokyo. For this year, Melna seems to be the only lock, but Akhaimova has garnered a lot of sympaties for her placement in the AA and her gold medal on vault (and probably on floor, but that final didn’t happen yet).

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Thank you.

        Ksenia Klimenko still exists. Didn’t even know that.

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        Yep. And Kapitonova. I don’t know where are people like Trykina, Elizarova, Fedorova, Skrypnik or Kamkova, though. I liked Kamkova potential in beam.

  12. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Iliankova did an exhibition routine:

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      I forgot about her. Is she injured too?

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        She has been injuried for a long time. Last year, she did AA and was well placed both in Russian Championships and Cup, but she didn’t go to Worlds because she was injuried. Here she didn’t do the AA and her routine in the UB was as an exhibition (and I think she was out of gas towards the end and she fell in her dismount), so she might not be completely recovered yet or need more time to regain all her skills/stamina.

        If Aleexeva had been in Russia this year, she would have gone to Worlds almost for sure, because there are not many to choose from. With Aliya and Eremina injuried and/or not in their best form, Urazova, Gerasimova and Vorona still juniors and possibilities like Seda, Sikamova or Klimenko banished to Gymsberia or in their way there in Valentina’s eyes, she would have had a very good chance to make the team.

  13. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Russian Cup event final: Vorona won gold, followed by Gerasimova and Urazova.

  14. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Vlada won gold at floor finals, followed by Gerasimova and Akhaimova. I read that Melnikova didn’t compete at today ‘s finals because of “health concerns”, which I hope means she was sick and not injuried, but this point is yet to be confirmed.

    Any ideas of how to keep Vlada away from Valentina until Tokyo?

  15. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Looking at the Russian seniors available, I have the unhealthy and unrealistic hope that Nabs can make the team. She can throw a good vault, a decent floor and I have seen her compete a decent set of UB quite recently. If they get a beam worker that could compensate her, it wouldn’t be a bad option, even as an alternate or fifth member, because Russia can’t take the most condecorated gymnasts of this Russian Cup to Worlds this year because they are fifteen.

    I think Melnikova and probably Akhaimova are the only locks at the Russian team for Worlds right now. I think they would try to send two specialists and maybe another AAer to compensate those events that said especialist don’t dominate. But, as specialists, Iliankova, who had a pretty decent AA score, doesn’t seem recuperated enough to be a viable possibility. Spiri is good for UB, but her scores in the other apparatus fall very behind. Paseka, although it was said that she was training AA as a back up, didn’t present it at this cup so, although I remember she having a medal at UB and a decent floor in the past, I am not sure she still has that possibility and she didn’t usually do beam. So they need a third AAer for the team final or at least to choose specialists that, between them, can cover all the apparatus. The next senior AAer of the competition, on 6th place, was Sikamova, and I think she could be a good option, but Valentina is in a warpath with her since Euros and I don’t know if she considers her a real possibility.

    Sometimes, they take in consideration the results of the Russian Championships too, that took place in March. But I don’t know if they would help it that much. The winners of the AA then were Sika, Melna and Aliya. With Aliya discarded because of her injury, we have Sika and Melna, two of the top three senior AAers of this Russian Cup, with Akhaimova. Melnikova, Akhaimova and Aliya also won medals on floor then, Paseka and Nabs joined Melna on vault, Iliankova (injuried), Agafonova (I don’t know where she is, to be honest) and Melna won UB and Sikamova, Melna and Klimenko won beam, so not many possibilities there either. To consider these results would give Sikamova a push, but I don’t know. Russia really like to send especialists. They can even give the third AA spot to Eremina or Klimenko as gymnasts they really like to recuperate for the team, in preparation for Tokyo. Valentina likes Eremina very much, although she is still recovering her former level and could be ill advised to rush her, and Klimenko has had a rough transition year to senior after being a successful junior, so might be given a chance, especially for her beam and UB routines.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      I watched half of Nabieva’s Aurrora games floor and she literally walked into the corner of one of her floor passes. NO WAY IN HELL, Russia takes that half ass effort to worlds. I get everyone loves Nabieva but honestly she looks bored doing gymnastics hald the time.

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        Nabs said in a live feed (too many social networks right now for me to know in which one she was talking) that she had been injuried and had been training her floor just for a week or so before the Aurora games, so she didn’t want to get reinjuried. I don’t think she is bored of gymnastics, but knows that, barring a complete disaster (although, knowing Russia, that is not so farfetched, to be honest, it can happen anytime), Valentina is not taking her to any important international asigments, so she is doing whatever she wants, when she wants.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Nabieva has been half assing routines for years. Come on lol

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        And I love it. That is the point of the whatever she wants, when she wants. She is as well as retired for Valentina anyway and assigments like Aurora Games are little more than shows, so it really doesn’t matter very much. We were all there for her giving Danusia Francis a piggy back ride or things like that. But she usually are more serious in competitions she thinks are more important. She got very good scores, despite Valentina, on Russian Championships, getting in the top six and several medals and finals. And she did well in the Universiade, despite her injuries. In any case, I have trouble taking Aurora Games seriously, imagine Nabs. But it was true she said she had been injuried until recently and that’s why she had already said no to competing at Russian Cup.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I only watched Nabs floor routine and stopped when she walked into the corner like she didn’t want to be there. I read somewhere those games were on ESPN but I couldn’t bring myself to watch

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        Nah, it was a very secondary competition. More like an exhibition than anything else. Nothing to remark, to be honest.

  16. gymtruthteller Says:

    I got Aliya and I’m not sure

  17. imperatorcarolus Says:

    Ok, provisional team announced. But I agree with russiangymstan saying that we are talking about Valentina, so the final team can change a lot:

    • imperatorcarolus Says:

      Ok, top three senior AAers, plus Spiri and Shchekoldina, who totally slipped my radar. They are still deciding the alternate, but I don’t think it would be Agafonova.

      The Balance Beam situation has published a great piece about the Russian WAG selection situation after the Russian Cup, she clarified why Schekoldina is in this rooster, and what happened to Paseka, who actually competed at the final but crashed her second vault and ended up fifth. Valentina loves Paseka and I wouldn’t be surprised if she wormed her way into this team, though.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Paeska’s form is even worse now. I’m glad they didn’t name her.

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        The problem is, she has been winning medals with that form for years. If she cleans up a little and Valentina sees the opportunity of snatching a bronze at vault event finals with her, she is taking her, of that I am sure, because she has been doing the same for years with Paseka.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      YAYA Daria. I was so excited when she won bars .

      • imperatorcarolus Says:

        She did very well. And with Iliankova still out of the picture, she could be a possibility for Valentina to send to World Cups as a possible specialist. The UB field is very disputed right now for medals at Worlds, but she could do very well and usually is more reliable than Iliankova.

  18. gymtruthteller Says:

    Mykayla joining the club

    View this post on Instagram

    Feels good to bring this baby back! #tripledouble

    A post shared by MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner2016) on

  19. Gymbot Says:

    Konnor Mclain’s beam could get her on the Olympic team and her AA program is otherwise better than Kara Eaker.

    If she hits everything she plans in her beam, with the layout full, I think she has 6.9

  20. HartofDixie Says:

    Ohashi in The Body Issue. I think she’s the 4td gymnast to do this (Alicia, Aly).

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