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Mustafina, Ryazanov Win Russian Championships
(11 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Aliya Mustafina and Yuri Ryazanov claimed the all-around golds Tuesday at the Russian Championships in Bryansk.


Aliya Mustafina (Moscow)

Mustafina, 14, defeated world uneven bars champion Ksenia Semyonova to take the national championship. 2008 Junior European champion Tatiana Nabiyeva, 14, won the all-around bronze.

Top qualifier Ksenia Afanasyeva fell to sixth.

"I cannot say these results are unexpected for me," women's head coach Alexander Alexandrov said. "After the Olympic Games both Ksenias suffered injuries and could not train at full capacity, though they trained a lot. Therefore those errors they committed here were predictable. Nothing awful – it is all fixable. Ksushya Semyonova was in the overall lead after three events and erred only on floor exercise, and it was enough to drop her down to second place."

Three of the top four gymnasts were born in 1994, making them ineligible to compete at next month's European Championships in Milan.

"But here for me there is one important problem: We cannot enter the girls born in 1994 at the European Championship," Alexandrov said. "We have only two Olympians - Semyonova and Afanasyeva. [Kristina] Goryunova is slowly gaining momentum, but still not enough. [Yulia] Berger erred today. For this season will have to pick the team from who we have. It is not enough."

2008 Olympian Ryazanov, the top qualifier, easily defeated Vladimir Olennikov and Dmitry Barkalov for his first national title.

"Today it became clear that Yura Ryazanov is already almost ready to score 90 points," men's head coach Yevgeny Nikolko said. "The serious error he committed that prevented it was on his pommel horse dismount. Under the new rules, the skill was not credited, and, consequently, the overall result was below the level he needed. But by and large only Ryazanov is able to show such a high result."

Nikolko said he allowed Sergei Khorokhordin, third in Sunday's qualification, to sit out the competition because he was not feeling well. Two-time Olympian Maxim Devyatovsky, still recovering from the recent death of his mother, finished 25th.

"I am not ready to discuss who will be preparing for the European Championships," Nikolko said. "We will finally address it after the team competition tomorrow. But, as always, in addition to those who now compete on the national team we will train young people who are very well-received — Misha Bodnar, Dmitry Stolyarov, Emin Garibov. They all for one reason or another did not show what they are capable of in Bryansk. But these are the gymnasts we are eyeing for the Olympic Games in London."

Source: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2009 Russian Championships
March 10, Bryansk

Women's All-Around
1. Aliya Mustafina (Moscow) 58.550
2. Ksenia Semenova (Tula) 58.200
3. Tatiana Nabiyeva (Saint Petersburg) 56,900
4. Anna Dementyeva (Samara) 55.550
4. Kristina Goryunova (Novgorod) 55.550
6. Ksenia Afanasyeva (Tula) 55.200

Men's All-Around
1. Yuri Ryazanov (Vladimir) 88.225
2. Vladimir Olennikov (Moscow) 86.775
3. Dmitry Barkalov (Vladimir) 86.325
4. Andrei Likhovitsky (Rostov-on-Don) 85.825
5. Anton Neudakin (Vladimir) 85.000
6. Nikita Ignatyev (Leninsk-Kuznetsky) 84.400

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