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Central Teams Win Russian Championships
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Central dealt defeat to Moscow in narrowly capturing the team titles for both men and women as the Russian championships continued this week in Penza. Pictured: Recent Russian citizen Nikolai Kuksenkov (back left) led Central to the men's team title.

Central dealt defeat to Moscow in narrowly capturing the team titles for both men and women as the Russian championships continued this week in Penza.

The men and women matched medals, with Moscow winning silver and Volga bronze Monday and Tuesday at the Burtasy Sports Palace.

Two-time Olympian Ksenia Afanasyeva led her Central squad to the women's team title, edging defending champion Moscow by just one tenth of a point. Afanasyeva contributed the top scores on both vault (Yurchenko double full with a large step to the side, 15.000) and floor exercise (double layout; two whips to triple twist; 2 1/2 twist; double pike).

Central earned the top team total on vault, with 14.800 from first-time senior Yevgenia Shelgunova and two-time Olympian Anna Pavlova. Shelgunova, who competed with a large back brace, showed good content on uneven bars (toe-on full to Maloney; piked Tkatchev to Pak salto; toe-blind to Jaeger; full-twisting double) but the judges were not impressed with her sloppy execution (13.300).

World and Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina, who won the all-around title Sunday, contributed three hit routines (15.250 on vault, 15.450 on uneven bars and 15.200 on balance beam) but mistakes from her teammates kept Moscow out of first. Olympic vault bronze medalist Maria Paseka earned the highest mark on vault for her Amanar (15.750), however.

2012 Ukrainian Olympian Nikolai Kuksenkov hit four events to lead Central to the men's title. Kuksenkov, who has been training under Vladimir coach Igor Kalabushkin since after last summer's Olympic Games, received Russian citizenship at the end of 2012. He had the top scores of the day on pommel horse (15.250), and contributed 14.700 on still rings, 15.000 on parallel bars and 14.550 on high bar.

Olympian Alexander Balandin had the best mark on still rings with 15.450 to help Central win its narrow victory. .350 ahead of Moscow.

European high bar champion Emin Garibov helped Moscow take second, with the top scores on parallel bars (15.100) and high bar (15.550). Penza native Denis Ablyazin, whose scores counted for both Moscow (where he trains) and Central, outscored the field on floor exercise (15.250) and vault (15.300), and earned 15.250 on still rings (15.250).

Men's all-around champion David Belyavsky contributed six events for the fifth-place team from the Urals.

Competition continues Wednesday in Penza with the first day of event finals.

2013 Russian Championships
March 4-5, Penza

Women's TeamVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Central44.60041.50039.60041.150166.850
Yevgenia Shelgunova14.80013.300
Ksenia Afanasyeva15.00012.75014.450
Anna Pavlova14.80013.30013.100
Anna Dementyeva14.40013.55013.600
Yuna Nefyodova13.800
Yulia Chemaryova
2.Moscow44.20042.80040.90038.850166.750
Anastasia Grishina13.20014.75013.75013.950
Aliya Mustafina15.25015.40015.200
Maria Paseka15.75012.650
Anna Myzdrikova11.95013.150
Alla Sosnitskaya11.750
Anastasia Marchuk
3.Volga42.75039.60040.20039.450162.000
Olga Bikmurzina14.25013.250
Maria Smirnova13.700
Polina Fyodorova11.90013.800
Alyona Polyan12.85012.600
Anna Dementyeva14.40013.55013.600
Yevgenia Shelgunova14.80013.300
4.St. Petersburg42.15039.20039.05039.300159.700
Tatiana Nabiyeva14.05014.500
Yekaterina Kramarenko14.25013.80013.35012.800
Maria Dunayeva13.150
Anastasia Cheong12.55013.300
Alla Sidorenko
Lilia Akhaimova13.85010.90013.200
5.Northwest40.15037.65036.10036.500150.400
Kristina Goryunova14.050
Eleonora Goryunova13.05010.45012.400
Anna Vanyushkina13.20011.800
Daria Anishina13.90011.90012.300
Tatiana Kirilova11.70012.500
Maria Dunayeva13.150
6.South40.65035.55033.40037.900147.500
Natalia Medvedeva13.40012.800
Yekaterina Baturina12.10013.70013.650
Valeria Golenischeva11.800
Anastasia Osetrova13.90011.65011.45011.450
Yelena Klyuchkova
Irina Andreyeva13.3508.250
7.Siberia39.65034.40033.70035.500143.250
Maria Nechayeva13.00013.00011.35011.750
Olga Tyo13.55011.0009.95011.600
Yekaterina Shtronda13.10010.40012.40012.150
8.Urals38.60026.55032.15032.550129.850
Anna Solomeina9.70011.55011.250
Anastasia Kuznetsova7.00010.850
Yelena Tyapkova12.600
Maria Popova12.55011.050
Francheska Yanayeva13.4509.8509.55010.450

Men's TeamFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Central42.75043.60043.70043.60044.65041.650259.950
Alexander Balandin15.40014.750
Andrei Perevoznikov14.950
Anton Neudakin14.40014.55013.600
Kirill Prokopyev14.05013.40013.60014.550
Kirill Ignatenkov14.30014.50014.90013.500
Nikolai Kuksenkov15.25014.70015.00014.550
2.Moscow42.90043.20041.75044.60044.25042.900259.600
Emin Garibov14.80013.90015.10015.550
Denis Ablyazin15.25015.25015.300
Dmitry Stolyarov14.55014.95014.70013.850
Alexander Fafashkin13.85012.60014.450
Alexei Rostov13.85013.500
Vyacheslav Veselov13.80014.350
3.Volga42.55041.05043.75043.95043.25040.100254.650
Denis Ablyazin15.25015.25015.30013.100
Pavel Pavlov13.30014.40014.65014.650
Dmitry Kharkov14.150
Vilyam Katyn13.800
Sergei Stepanov12.90014.00013.100
Pavel Russinyak14.00014.35014.10014.45013.900
4.Siberia42.90042.00042.40044.30042.95039.400253.950
Igor Pakhomenko14.65013.85015.00012.800
Nikita Ignatyev14.30014.60015.05014.000
Andrei Cherkasov14.55013.10014.85014.800
Daniil Kazachkov13.70014.70012.600
Grigory Zyryanov13.85014.45013.100
Yaroslav Maksyukov
5.Urals42.40040.75041.35044.05042.40039.800250.750
David Belyavsky14.80014.95014.00015.10013.90013.850
Mikhail Kudashov14.10013.55013.90014.200
Nikita Lezhankin13.450
Sergei Danilenko12.25014.30012.350
Roman Suetin13.50014.75014.20013.600
Vladimir Grigorkin
6.St. Petersburg40.30040.10040.75042.10041.30037.200241.750
Vladislav Kozin13.00013.60013.85013.45013.000
Eldar Yunusov14.50013.20014.100
Alexander Ilyin
Dmitry Gogotov14.95014.15013.95014.15015.05012.800
Gleb Garmash12.35012.800
Timofei Danyuk11.45011.400
7.Northwest39.60036.55042.00038.25042.05037.200235.650
Filipp Chuglazov13.50010.55013.30013.45012.050
Maxim Khodykin12.00013.30012.40011.650
Matvei Petrov11.80014.00010.300
Kirill Ignatenkov14.30014.50014.90013.500
Alexander Balandin15.40014.750
8.Far East23.80022.65011.70025.85024.05011.100119.150
Mikhail Tarlo12.40011.30011.70012.65013.30011.100
Pavel Belousov11.40011.35013.20010.750

International Gymnast Magazine's coverage of Russian gymnastics includes:

March 2013 - Grishina interview
January/February 2013 - Mustafina center poster
September 2012 - Olympic Games special issue
July/August 2012 - Mustafina and Komova on cover photo collage, Olympic Games preview
May 2012 - "Up for the Challenge" (Komova interview)
January/February 2012 - "Poised for Perfection (Afanasyeva cover photo and interview)
December 2011 - World Championships special issue
June 2011 - "Russian Intensity" (Nabiyeva interview)
May 2011 - Dementyeva and Mustafina on cover (May 2011)
January/February 2011 - "The Mustafina Mystique" (Mustafina profile)
December 2010 - Mustafina on cover, World Championships special issue
October 2010 - Komova on cover, World Championships preview
July/August 2010 - Komova on cover photo collage
June 2010 - Komova on cover

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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