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Mustafina Takes European Crown in Moscow
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Russian star Aliya Mustafina won the women's all-around title Friday at the European Gymnastics Championships, held in her hometown of Moscow. Pictured: Gold medalist Mustafina, flanked by silver medalist Larisa Iordache (Romania) and bronze medalist Anastasia Grishina (Russia)

Russian star Aliya Mustafina won the women's all-around title Friday at the European Gymnastics Championships, held in her hometown of Moscow.

Mustafina gave Russia back-to-back victories on Friday at the Olympisky Complex, following compatriot David Belyavsky's win a few hours earlier in the men's all-around final. She also brought Russia its third straight continental crown, following victories from Ksenia Semyonova in 2009 in Milan and Anna Dementyeva in 2011 in Berlin.

Mustafina went head-to-head in the same rotation with Romanian star Larisa Iordache, who led Thursday's qualification after Mustafina fell twice from beam.

On Friday, Mustafina began on balance beam but was shaky, scoring 14.400 to Iordache's much steadier 14.833. Visibly protecting her injured right ankle, Mustafina tumbled well on floor exercise in a mature routine marred only by her much-maligned twisting form. She earned a solid 14.466, but Iordache extended her lead by scoring 14.866 for her fast-paced exercise (double-double; full-in; triple twist; double tuck).

On vault, the event where she had so memorably suffered a torn ACL two years ago in Berlin, Mustafina triumphantly drilled her double-twisting Yurchenko for huge applause and 15.033. Iordache still held a decent lead going into bars, but a sloppy routine (13.833) opened the door widely. Mustafina needed less than 14.500 to win, and the Olympic champion delivered with 15.133 to take the title.

"I'm just glad about this medal," Mustafina told "All Sport" after her victory ceremony. "None of the events were easy for me today. But there are reasons to be critical and there are reasons to praise. The crowd was supporting me today, it was very noticeable and enjoyable! Yesterday I told the coaches - qualification is over and everything will start with a clean slate."

Russia's Anastasia Grishina looked thrilled to take the bronze medal behind Iordache. Grishina had fallen off bars (piked Jaeger) and beam (double turn) in Thursday's first session of qualification and believed herself out of contention for the final. She surprisingly advanced, however, after world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva's troubles on two events in the final session left her only third among the Russians.

In the first rotation, Grishina left out her double-double on floor exercise and went out of bounds (13.866). She followed with one of the best vaults she has done and hit bars cleanly, complete with a stuck dismount. Coached by Viktor Razumovsky since January, Grishina finally delivered under pressure, as she hit her balance beam routine in the fourth rotation to move into the bronze medal position.

Romanian Diana Bulimar, second in qualification, tied Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber for fourth. The dynamic Bulimar showed off plenty of acrobatics, but was heavily deducted for execution and artistry, particularly on floor exercise. Though she landed a clean double-twisting Yurchenko, her uneven bars were too simple (13.666) to bring the score she needed to stave off Grishina.

Previously known for her vaulting, Steingruber impressed with her all-around placement. Her floor upgrades were notable, as she tumbled full-twisting double layout and double layout passes.

Romanian-born Roxana Popa (Spain) finished sixth, followed by Italian talent Elisa Meneghini. Ruby Harrold (Great Britain), Maria Paula Vargas and Ida Gustafsson (Sweden) rounded out the top 10.

Competition continues Saturday with the first day of apparatus finals. The competition will be streamed live to viewers in Europe at this link.

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2013 European Gymnastics Championships
April 19, Moscow

Women's All-Around FinalVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Aliya Mustafina15.03315.13314.40014.46659.032
2.Larisa Iordache14.90013.83314.83314.86658.432
3.Anastasia Grishina14.90015.03314.13313.86657.932
4.Diana Bulimar14.76613.66614.40014.23357.065
4.Giulia Steingruber15.06613.80014.36613.83357.065
6.Roxana Popa14.63314.30013.13313.63355.699
7.Elisa Meneghini13.86613.63314.00013.70055.199
8.Ruby Harrold13.90014.03313.30013.40054.633
9.Maria Paula Vargas13.83313.90013.40013.20054.333
10.Ida Gustafsson13.83313.96613.23313.10054.132
11.Noemi Makra13.83313.46613.70012.96653.965
12.Giorgia Campana13.90013.93313.16612.96653.965
13.Ilaria Käslin13.73313.16613.93312.80053.632
14.Lisa Katharina Hill13.76614.36611.96613.30053.398
15.Ana Filipa Martins13.23313.30012.80013.00052.333
16.Noel van Klaveren14.36611.73312.36613.33351.798
17.Olena Vasilyeva13.30012.76613.26612.00051.332
18.Charlie Fellows13.63313.20012.10012.26651.199
19.Lisa Ecker13.76612.50012.40012.52551.191
20.Jana Sikulova13.53313.63311.26612.50050.932
21.Cagla Akyol13.60011.73312.50012.53350.366
22.Dorina Boczogo13.60011.60011.70013.30050.200
23.Elisa Hämmerle13.93312.36611.03312.60049.932
24.Angelina Kysla0.00013.40011.46613.13337.999

IG Magazine Related Features:
Ksenia Afanasyeva: "Poised for Perfection" (interview and cover photo) - January/February 2012
Dorina Boczogo: "Boczogo Keeps the Beat" (profile) - January/February 2009
Anastasia Grishina: "Fresh Start" (interview) - March 2013
Ida Gustafsson: "Swedish Upswing" (team profile) - November 2010
Larisa Iordache: "Growing Pains" (interview and cover photo) - March 2013
Aliya Mustafina: cover photo - December 2010; "The Mustafina Mystique" (profile) - January 2011; cover photo - July/August 2012; center poster - January/February 2013
Jana Sikulova: "On the Upswing" (profile) - July/August 2006
Giulia Steingruber: "A New Hit for the Swiss" (profile) - December 2009

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