Absent from Antwerp: Grishina Has 'Big Plans' for 2014 and Beyond
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2012 Olympian Anastasia Grishina of Russia told IG this week that, despite missing the recent world championships because of a back injury, she has resumed training with new goals. Pictured: Grishina training bars with coach Viktor Razumovsky

2013 European all-around bronze medalist Anastasia Grishina of Russia told IG this week that, despite missing last month's world championships in Antwerp because of injury, she has resumed training with new goals.

"My coach and I have big plans to make my program more complicated, if only health allows and no injuries happen along the way," said Grishina, who now trains under legendary coaches Viktor Razumovsky and Irina Razumovskaya.

Grishina, a team silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, said an ailing back kept her off the Russian team for Antwerp.

Grishina at the 2013 European Championships in Moscow

"I had a back injury because of greater (training) loads," she said. "This began at the Russian Cup in August, and before Antwerp it became even more aggravated. I had aggravated the injury so much that, not only could I not compete, but I could not take a step. Consequently the (Russian gymnastics) federation made the decision to not put me on the team."

Despite the setback, Grishina said she is optimistic about her prospects in 2014 and beyond.

"Now I've recovered from the injury and everything is fine with me," she said. "I am already going to training. My plans for the future are, of course, the Russian championships, European championships and world championships."

Grishina said Russia's mixed results in Antwerp stemmed from injuries and illness that affected her and her 2012 Olympic teammates. They included 2012 Olympic all-around silver medalist Viktoria Komova, world and Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina, two-time Olympian and world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva and 2012 Olympic vault bronze medalist Maria Paseka. Of the 2012 team, only Mustafina was gymnast able to compete in Antwerp.

"In the preparation for the world championships, our team had some unwelcome troubles to Vika (Komova) and me, Ksyusha (Afanasyeva) had an operation and Masha (Paseka) had a bad back," Grishina said. "And before leaving for Antwerp, Aliya had been sick with the flu, and could not train for a few days. I think that, only for this reason, she competed a little worse than she could have and not as well as all of us expected."

Mustafina was the only Russian woman to win medals in Antwerp, where she placed first on balance beam, third on uneven bars and third in the all-around. Newcomer Anna Rodionova placed 16th all-around and eighth on balance beam. The third team member, veteran Tatiana Nabiyeva, competed vault and bars only after badly bumping her head in a training accident.

"Anya (Rodionova) is a very young gymnast," Grishina said. "She had no experience competing in (major) international competitions, even the European championships."

Grishina said she appreciates the encouragement that her admirers have shown during her recent struggles.

"I offer big thanks to everyone who is awaiting my performances and seeing me on the podium," she told IG. "And I want to give a big 'thank you' to my fans for their support and love."

Anastasia Grishina is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
June/July 2013 – two-page center poster of Grishina
May 2013 – European Championships coverage
March 2013 – "Fresh Start" (Grishina interview)

The November 2013 issue of International Gymnast magazine features in-depth coverage of the 2013 world championships and is available now in both print and digital format! To order back issues or subscribe, click here!

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