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Melnikova Takes Two More Titles in Penza
(3 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)



All-around champion Angelina Melnikova (Voronezh) added two more gold medals to her haul as the Russian championships ended Sunday in Penza. Pictured: Seniors Daria Skrypnik, Seda Tutkhalyan, Aliya Mustafina, Angelina Melnikova and Daria Spiridonova pose after the apparatus finals on Sunday.

All-around champion Angelina Melnikova (Voronezh) added two more gold medals to her haul as the Russian championships ended Sunday in Penza.

Melnikova, who also led Central to the team title in Penza, won the balance beam and floor exercise titles in Sunday's apparatus finals. She shared the floor exercise gold medal with two-time Olympian Ksenia Afanasyeva (Tula).


Angelina Melnikova (Voronezh) won beam and tied for first on floor exercise.

Melnikova, a first-year senior, is a fresh face for the Russian team and could be a major force this summer in Rio. She performed consistently all week and looked improved even from last month's DTB Team Challenge in Stuttgart, showing she could be on the right projectile toward peaking in August. On balance beam she hit her best routine of the meet (ff ff two-foot layout to sissone to wolf jump; punch front; double pike, small hop; 15.333/6.3D), while also showing off the attention to artistic detail ignored by the Code of Points.

On floor, Melnikova tumbled a double layout; piked full-in; two whips to double tuck, and double pike, showing a bit too much power but staying in bounds all her passes. She tied former world champion Afanasyeva, 24, who had steps on her first two passes (double layout; two whips to triple twist) but otherwise performed well.

All-around bronze medalist Maria Kharenkova (Khimki) took the silver on balance beam, with a relatively clean routine (slight check after her ff ff layout series; 15.00/6.3), and bronze on floor exercise.

World and Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina (Moscow) won the bronze on balance beam, adding to her bronze on uneven bars and team silver. She had several wobbles and missed connections (double turn to full turn; Side somi; switch leap switch side; Onodi; front aerial, side aerial; switch ring; stuck double tuck; 5.9 D). She was gifted with an 8.9 Execution score although the rankings were ultimately correct, as the fourth-place gymnast, Yevgenia Shelgunova, was also scored rather generously for her execution.

Despite still recovering from last fall's meniscus surgery and suffering from back pain, she was determined to compete bars and beam in Penza. Mustafina lived up to her nickname of "Iron Aliya" — except for a few cautious beam routines, she hit six out of six routines in Penza.

"Aliya has proved herself a real heroine at these Russian championships," said Russian team coach Valentina Rodionenko. "This meet was very important to her — the time left before the Olympic Games is running out. Our doctors were not happy with her decision to take part in this meet, but Mustafina was adamant."

Mustafina impressed the coaching staff enough to be named to June's European championship team, along with Melnikova and world vault champion Maria Paseka, with the remaining gymnasts to be named.


Yelena Yeryomina (Saint Petersburg), junior balance beam champion (Master of Sport)

Unlike Mustafina, all-around silver medalist Seda Tutkhalyan (Moscow) did herself no favors in Penza. She missed uneven bars the first two days, but seemed to raise hopes with hitting her upgraded beam routine both days. But on Sunday she continued to frustrate the Russian coaching staff by bombing both her routines. The 2014 Youth Olympic champion, who failed to make an impression at the last year's world championships, finished last on both balance beam (fall on switch half; near fall on RO layout full; fall on piked full-in) and floor exercise (fall on upgraded second pass of whip, whip to piked full-in; stumble out of bounds on 1 1/2 front full).

"Seda, Seda ... a very good gymnast, but every time she competes, we don't know what will happen," Rodionenko said. "She can either do her routines very well or allow stupid mistakes. At the Russian championship this was very clearly demonstrated. We put her on the team at the world championships last year, and she very seriously let down. At the European Games in Baku it was the same thing. She is, of course, in the top group. But, sometimes, the right choice is not in favor of the difficulty, but the stability."

In the junior competition, all-around champions Anastasia Ilyankova (Master of Sport division) and Ksenia Klimenko (Candidate for Master of Sport) each added another title, with Ilyankova winning floor exercise and Klimenko winning uneven bars. Yelena Yeryomina (third all-around in Master of Sport) won balance beam. Alexandra Schekoldina, second all-around to Klimenko, won vault in the Candidate category.

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2016 Russian Women's National Championships
April 10, Penza

Senior Balance Beam FinalScore
1.Angelina Melnikova2000Voronezh15.333
2.Maria Kharenkova1998Khimki / Rostov-on-Don15.000
3.Aliya Mustafina1994Moscow / Penza14.800
4.Yevgenia Shelgunova1997Zvenigorod / Alatyr14.667
5.Daria Spiridonova1998Moscow13.800
6.Polina Fyodorova1996Cheboksary13.767
7.Daria Skrypnik2000Krasnodar13.433
8.Seda Tutkhalyan1999Moscow12.533

Senior Floor Exercise FinalScore
1.Ksenia Afanasyeva1991Khimki / Tula14.567
1.Angelina Melnikova2000Voronezh14.567
3.Maria Kharenkova1998Khimki / Rostov-on-Don14.267
4.Yevgenia Shelgunova1997Zvenigorod / Alatyr14.133
5.Natalia Kapitonova2000Penza14.067
6.Anastasia Dmitrieva1999Tolyatti / Samara13.567
7.Daria Skrypnik2000Krasnodar13.267
8.Seda Tutkhalyan1999Moscow11.900

Junior Balance Beam Final (Master of Sport)Score
1.Yelena Yeryomina2001Saint Petersburg14.567
2.Ulyana Perebinosova2001Khimki14.167
3.Angelina Simakova2002Dzerzhinsk13.900
4.Polina Borzykh2001Surgut13.033
5.Anastasia Gaynetdinova2002Sterlitamak12.900
6.Ksenia Kamkova2002Yekaterinburg12.600
7.Anastasia Ilyankova 2001Leninsk-Kuznetsky12.433
8.Viktoria Panchuk2002Dzerzhinsk11.500

Junior Floor Exercise Final (Master of Sport)Score
1.Anastasia Ilyankova2001Leninsk-Kuznetskny13.800
2.Angelina Simakova2002Dzerzhinsk13.767
3.Polina Borzykh2001Surgut13.467
4.Alyona Arkusha2001Krasnoyarsk13.367
5.Viktoria Panchuk2002Dzerzhnisk13.333
6.Anastasia Gaynetdinova2002Sterlitamak12.900
7.Ksenia Kamkova2002Yekaterinburg12.567
8.Ulyana Perebinosova2001Khimki12.533

Junior Vault Final (Candidate for Master of Sport)Vault 1Vault 2Average
1.Alexandra Schekoldina2002Surgut13.43314.03313.733
2.Viktoria Gorbatova2002Khimki13.56713.80013.684
2.Anastasia Budylkina2002Voronezh13.76713.60013.684
4.Ksenia Pekelman2002Novosibirsk13.46713.56713.517
5.Anastasia Agafonova2003Vladimir / Kovrov13.36713.53313.450
6.Ksenia Klimenko2003Surgut13.30013.50013.400
7.Alina Stepanova2003Veliky Novgorod13.00013.66713.334
8.Daria Belousova2003Cheboksary12.93313.73313.333

Junior Uneven Bars Final (Candidate for Master of Sport)Score
1.Ksenia Klimenko2003Surgut13.833
2.Anastasia Agafonova2003Vladimir / Kovrov13.700
3.Yelizaveta Serova2003Moscow13.067
4.Alexandra Schekoldina2002Surgut12.967
5.Viktoria Gorbatova2002Khimki12.933
6.Varvara Zubova2002Moscow11.933
7.Alyona Belomoyeva2003Saint Petersburg11.700
8.Daria Belousova2003Cheboksary11.633
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