Russian superstar Viktoria Komova won four of five gold medals at the 28th Voronin Cup held Friday and Saturday in Moscow, where 2010 world champion Aliya Mustafina made her competitive return after knee surgery.
Russian superstar Viktoria Komova won four of five gold medals at the 28th Voronin Cup held Friday and Saturday in Moscow, where 2010 world champion Aliya Mustafina made a successful return after knee surgery.
Komova captured the all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise titles, leaving the vault title to Israel's Valeria Maksyuta. The year-end tournament is held in honor of Mikhail Voronin, the late Olympic gold medalist former head of the Dinamo Moscow gymnastics club.
"This tournament is special," said Komova, the 2011 world champion on uneven bars and all-around runner-up. "In fact, Dinamo feels like my own gym, I feel at home here. I'm pleased with my performance, just a few breaks on the balance beam that I still need to work on. I still decided not to go [for Yurchenko 2 1/2] on vault to take care of myself and not harm my recovery from my [ankle] injury."
Mustafina finished fourth all-around and picked up the silver medal on uneven bars, eight months after tearing her ACL on vault at the European championships in Berlin. She underwent surgery in Munich and followed her German surgeon's rehabilitation plans carefully. She had considered making her competition return at last month's DTB Cup in Stuttgart, but elected to postpone.
At the Voronin Cup, Mustafina competed a Yurchenko full on vault and showed an impressive level of tumbling and turns on floor exercise (double tuck; triple twist; 1 1/2 to front full; 2 1/2; click to watch.) She displayed her usual form on uneven bars, scoring 15.475 in the final. She struggled only on balance beam. She left out her standing Arabian but began confidently with a double turn; front aerial to ff, back tuck; Onodi; but fell on a side aerial. She added a new side somi but balked on the first flip flop in her ff, ff, double twist dismount and had to repeat it (watch).
The five-time world medalist said she was pleased with her comeback.
"I am happy with the competition and my performance," she said. "I really wanted to compete because it's the first start after the April injury. Of course, there are still some limitations I encounter during training. We can say that my recovery is still ongoing."
Russian head coach Alexander Alexandrov also declared her return as success.
"Everything is good, especially for the first competition after an eight-month break," she said. "It was very important to get back into competition to check how her leg feels. The results are a secondary matter in this case. While she did not do very much, she did what she can do."
Several Russian stars were absent from the competition, Alexandrov noted. World floor exercise champion Ksenia Afanasyeva just competed last weekend at the Mexican Open, while Tatiana Nabiyeva is resting with a sore back. European champion Anna Dementyeva is resting after a long and busy season. Soon-to-be-senior Anastasia Grishina &mndash; preparing for next month's pre-Olympic tournament in London &mndash; scratched the meet with the flu.
External Link: TV News Report on Mustafina's Comeback