Rising Russian star Anastasia Grishina told IG that her performance at this month’s European championships in Brussels showed her potential for success at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Anastasia Grishina (Russia)
"The results were quite normal on the day of qualifications," said Grishina, who in Brussels earned the highest all-around total of the field in the team finals, where Russia finished 0.752 behind Romania. "I made a mistake on floor and took second place in the all-around, but unfortunately I didn’t advance to the final on floor. But in the team final I didn’t fall anywhere, and I was first all-around. This says that making a mistake is not allowable."
Grishina, the only senior gymnast to compete in three apparatus finals in Brussels, said she and her teammates were not disheartened by their silver team medal. She said they can challenge for gold in London by perfecting their routines and upgrading their vaults from double-twisting Yurchenkos to Amanars (2-1/2 twisting Yurchenkos).
"As for the mood of the team, we're sorry that it was a little insufficient to reach first place in Brussels," she said. So we need to polish our programs for victory in London. To win with the team, we will have to increase our difficulty on vault. My vault in Brussels wasn’t competitive because of its low start value.”
In addition to Grishina, the Russian team in Brussels included 2010 world all-around champion Aliya Mustafina, 2011 world all-around silver medalist Viktoria Komova, Maria Paseka and Anastasia Sidorova. Missing from the team were 2011 world floor exercise champion Ksenia Afanasyeva and 2011 European all-around champion Anna Dementyeva.
Grishina said her performance in Brussels also confirmed the improvements she will need to make so she can perform at her individual best in London. No formal all-around competition took place in the senior division in Brussels, where medals were awarded for team and individual apparatuses only.
"I would like to make my vault more difficult, and increase my difficulty on bars a little," said Grishina, who placed second on uneven bars, fourth on balance beam and fifth on vault in Brussels. "I want to polish my choreography on floor, so my turns will be more stable."
Born Jan. 16, 1996, in Moscow, Grishina is competing at the senior level for the first time in this Olympic year. She placed second all-around to Komova and first on bars and floor at the 2010 Junior Europeans, and first all-around at the 2011 Russian junior championships.
At the 2012 Russian Championships, held in March, Grishina finished third all-around, behind gold medalist Mustafina and silver medalist Afanasyeva. She also placed first on floor exercise, second on vault and balance beam, and third on uneven bars.
Grishina said she hopes her admirers will appreciate her routines at the Games this summer.
“I would like to tell my fans to cheer for me in London,” she told IG. “And I will really, really try to please them with my performances.”
International Gymnast magazine's recent exclusive interviews/profiles with Russian gymnasts include:
"Up for the Challenge" - Komova interview (May 2012)
"Poised for Perfection" - Afanasyeva interview/cover photo (January/February 2012)
"The Mustafina Mystique" Mustafina profile (January/February 2011)
To order back issues, click here.