Ksenia Klimenko

Play-by-Play: 2019 Tokyo World Cup, Women's All-around Final

Morgan Hurd of the USA.

Morgan Hurd of the USA.

Rotation 1:

Morgan Hurd (USA) VT: Good DTY, hint of legs in the air, drifts off to the right. Wow -- she was really off on the takeoff of that, but saves it with just a fairly big step to the side. 14.233 with 0.1 for going over the line.

Aiko Sugihara, JPN, VT: Really nice Yurchenko 1.5, small hop. Gorgeous in the air, and just floated all the way through. Hi there Aiko! 14.1.

Asuka Teramoto, JPN, VT: Terrific handspring Rudi, very nearly stuck. Asuka comes off the podium with a smile, and with good reason: she's done this vault for years and received very little acclaim for it. That was the best one ever, though! 14.6. Wow.

Lee Yunseo (KOR), VT: Yurchenko full, some legs and a small hop. Better and higher than we saw at the American Cup last month, in any case. 13.166.

Ellie Black (CAN), VT: WOW. STUCK handspring layout front full. A tad piked in the air as always, but whatever — that was gorgeous. Everyone's having the best day of their lives on vault at the Tokyo World Cup. Maybe there's something in the water. Maybe it's the equipment. 14.500.

Liu Jingxing (CHN), VT: Tidy FTY with a couple of tiny steps back. 13.1.

Carina Kroll (GER), VT: Handspring front tuck half, a little low on the landing and maybe just a smidge underrotated, but stuck all the same. Can't remember the last time so many have stuck or nearly stuck their vaults! 13.033.

Carolyne Pedro (BRA), VT: Very good FTY, small hop on the landing but nothing much else to take away from it. 13.5.

Ksenia Klimenko (RUS), VT: Yurchenko layout with a small step back. Wise choice to do the simpler vault after landing the full on her hands and knees in warmup. 12.1.

After one: It's Asuka Teramoto, then Ellie Black, then Morgan Hurd after a marvelous vault rotation at the Tokyo World Cup. Hurd may not have gotten the start she wanted, but she's capable of making up the difference. Her competition is looking good, however.

Rotation 2:

Aiko Sugihara (JPN), UB: 12.866 for clean routine with full twisting double tuck dismount. Short on a couple handstands, though.

Asuka Termaoto (JPN), UB: Inbar blind to pike Jaeger, Nice Ricna. Stalder full to Gienger. Blind to pike Jaeger. Bail to Ray. Great high full twisting double tuck, small hop on the landing. Cool new routine for her. 13.266.

Lee Yunseo (KOR), UB: Inbar full. Inbar Shaposh to Pak to stalder, misses feet on toe on into her stalder, has to stop and opts to jump off an rechalk. The rest was clean. 12.133.

Ellie Black (CAN), UB: Toe Shaposh to clear hip uprise Tkatchev. Toe Tkatchev, hop change to pike Jaeger. Pak. toe shoot Shaposh half to high. Full turn. Toe on front half tuck dismount, stuck. 13.533.

Liu Jingxing (CHN), UB: Huge toe Tkatchev but falls on it, just cast too far out. Would have been amazing. Pak. Maloney to inbar Gienger. Blind to full spin to Jaeger. Beautiful double layout, stuck. Highly impressive routine despite the fall. 12.333.

Carina Kroll (GER), UB: Stalder to toe full, finished out of handstand, Maloney to Pak, nice. Ray, labored handstand before blind to Jaeger. Toe half. Same dismount as black -- toe on front half tucked, misses and lands on her hands and knees. 10.766.

Carolyne Pedro (BRA), UB: Shaposh to Pak. Toe full to Maloney to bail to Ray. Blind to Jaeger. Toe stalder half turn (finishes out of handstand), giants to double tuck. Very clean in the interior, underwhelming dismount. 12.566.

Ksenia Klimenko (RUS), UB: Off on opening stalder full. Uh-oh. Repeats the skill to toe Shaposh half. Toe blind on high -- has to improvise -- to pike Jaeger to Pak. Maloney to inbar Geinger. Blind to double front half out, underrotated and crashed. Poor kid is in tears as she walks off the podium. 10.966.

Morgan Hurd (USA), UB: Inbar Shaposh to uprise stalder full to Tkatchev. Ricna to Pak. Ray. Inbar blind. Inbar to full twisting double tuck, hangs on for the stick. Really correct handstands in that routine. Score in the blog. 14.300.

After two: Ellie Black and Asuka Teramoto both remain in striking distance of Morgan Hurd entering the third rotation. Black is 0.5 back, while Teramoto trails by 0.667. Afterward things open up -- Sugihara, currently fourth, is more than 1.5 points behind Hurd.

Rotation 3:

Asuka Teramoto (JPN), BB: Front aerial, split jump, straddle jump. Double turn. Onodi. Switch to side somie. Bhs, layout. Side aerial. 2.5 twist dismount, tiny hop. Solid as ever on beam. 13.333.

Lee Yunseo (KOR), BB: Back dive mount. Double wolf turn. Split leap to switch half. Front aerial, jump. Side aerial. Side somie. Bhs, layout, balance check. Switch to split jump full, not 180. 2.5 twist, slightly underrotated. Best routine from her so far. 11.933.

Ellie Black (CAN), BB: Switch leap mount. Double turn. Solid punch front. Bhs, layout to two feet, so aggressive! Really giving nothing away. Switch to switch half to bhs. Side somie. 2.5 twist, small hop forward. Terrific set. 13.733.

Liu Jingxing (CHN), BB: Back dive mount. Roundoff, layout to two feet, wobbles, no connection to jumps. Switch ring to bhs, lovely. Front aerial to split jump to back tuck. Split half. Big wobble on jump near the end. Nice double tuck dismount. 13.6.

Carina Kroll (GER), BB: Roundoff, bhs mount (falls). Bhs, layout, nice. Split leap to split half, wobble. Illusion turn, very nice. Side aerial. Side somie. Switch to split jump. Bhs, 1.5 dismount. 11.4.

Carolyne Pedro (BRA), BB: Split leap mount. Switch to Tourjete. Split half. Bhs, layout, small adjustment. Punch front, another small wobble but nothing serious. Front aerial to split to bhs. Back tuck. Double tuck with a tiny hop back. Huge improvement from Stuttgart! 12.233.

Ksenia Klimenko (RUS), BB: Switch, scissone, wolf. Side aerial, layout stepout, pretty. Side somie. Front aerial to ring jump. Front handspring to front tuck, too forward, grabs beam, makes it look like choreo (judges won't be fooled though). Overtime. Front 1/1 dismount. 12.633.

Morgan Hurd (USA), BB: Wobble on standing full. Side aerial, check. New standing layout, layout combo, great. Front aerial, pause, ring jump, wobble. Tiny wobble before split half. Save of the year so far on switch ring. Double pike, shuffle back. Overtime, I think? 12.933 gives the lead back to Black.

Aiko Sugihara (JPN), BB: Wolf turn double. Side aerial, wobble. Bhs, layout. Front aerial to ring jump, wobble. Very nice switch ring. Double pike with step/shuffle back. She looks thrilled to have that one done. Lots of elegance to this routine, but her own move, the double turn with leg at head, is absent. 13.0.

After three: Fantastic beam routine moves Ellie Black ahead of Morgan Hurd with just one routine left to perform. Hurd will need to be 0.3 better than Black on floor to win the meet. Teramoto's only 0.567 off the lead as well.

Rotation 4:

Carina Kroll (GER), FX: 1.5 to front layout/tuck full. Wonderful double turn with leg at head to illusion turn. Tourjete 1/1. Double tuck, steps back and out of bounds. Double full, two small steps back. Switch to switch half. Well performed. 12.533.

Ksenia Klimenko (RUS), FX: 2.5 to punch front, tidy, teeny hop forward. Double tuck, hop back. Double turn with leg at head. Switch half. 1.5 to front full. Double wolf turn (sigh). 12.833.

Lee Yunseo (KOR): Double turn with leg at head. Double pike. Triple twist. Nice presentation. Double wolf turn. 1.5 to front layout 1/1. Double tuck, a bit low to end. And a Wenson finish, something seen more in Aerobic gymnastics — google it. 12.266.

Carolyne Pedro (BRA), FX: Arabian double front mount, well done. Double turn with leg at head, not quite finished. Switch ring. 1.5 to double tuck. Switch 1/2. Ends with double pike. 12.833. So she gets her 51! 51.132 overall score.

Liu Jingxing (CHN), FX: Fast music. Full in tuck, small step back. Double tuck. Double turn with leg at head. Punch front to double full, bounces out of it, loses her footing and has to put her hands down. Oops. Double pike, underrotated and Melnikovas it. 11.5.

Aiko Sugihara (JPN), FX: New routine for her. Double layout, didn’t get the punch she needed, underrotates and falls. Too bad — her day was going so well! Floaty 2.5 to front layout though. Double turn with leg at head. Double turn with leg up. Double tuck. Switch ring to switch. Lovely expression in the choreo as well. 12.0.

Asuka Teramoto (JPN), FX: Double turn with leg at horizontal. Two whips to 3/1, stuck. Asuka's come to play! 1.5 to 2.5. Front 2/1. Switch ring to switch 1/1. Excellent double pike. Great finish! 13.6.

Morgan Hurd (USA), FX: New routine! Double double tuck, a tad underrotated, steps forward. Double layout, stuck. Switch ring. Switch 1/1. Loving the beauty in this set! Front layout to front 1/1. Double pike, small bounce back. Hurd's capable of a little better on floor, but for someone who had elbow surgery in December, that was still pretty darn good. The tumbling's quite good, but the artistry, expression and musical interpretation were next level. 13.6.

Ellie Black (CAN), FX: Popa. 2.5 walkout to double tuck. Front layout 1/1 walkout to double tuck, tries to stick, has to step back and out of bounds. That may do it for her. Double full, sticks that. Like Hurd, excellent choice of music. She doesn’t do a routine — she gives a performance. But was it better than 13.3? No — 13.266 will be good for silver, however!

Results:

GOLD - Morgan Hurd, USA, 55.099
SILVER - Ellie Black, CAN, 55.032
BRONZE - Asuka Teramoto, JPN, 54.799
4. Aiko Sugihara, JPN, 51.966
5. Carolyne Pedro, BRA, 51.132
6. Liu Jingxing, CHN, 50.533
7. Lee Yunseo, KOR, 49.498
8. Ksenia Klimenko, RUS, 48.732
9. Carina Kroell, GER, 47.732

2019 Tokyo World Cup Preview - Women

The Americans captured the American Cup, Simone Biles steamrolled the competition in Stuttgart, and Aliya Mustafina conquered England via Birmingham. But Tokyo -- who’s going to take it all in Tokyo?

The 2020 Olympic city is hosting the fourth and final FIG All-around World Cup event of the year this weekend, and while the lineups have been shuffled like a deck of cards almost since the day they were announced, the final competitors list makes the podiums no less difficult to predict. All the same, here’s a modest auguring about who’s going to land in the top five in the women’s competition, with a bit of context as to why.

Morgan Hurd of the USA.

Morgan Hurd of the USA.

GOLD - Morgan Hurd, USA. The 2017 world all-around champion and 2018 world bronze medalist has proven time and again that not only does she do extremely difficult gymnastics, she can hit her routines when it really matters. Despite a December elbow surgery, Hurd is ready for this competition or she would not have been tapped for the assignment. She may not throw some of her most difficult tumbling in Tokyo, but if everything goes moderately well, she shouldn’t need to either.

SILVER - Ellie Black, Canada. Expect the unexpected from Ellie Black: whether it’s breaking into the medals at the American Cup after hurting her knee in podium training or becoming the comedic heart and soul of the Superstars of Gymnastics show in London, the 2017 world all-around silver medalist is full of surprises. Black struggled mightily on uneven bars early in her elite career but has transformed it into her potentially highest scoring event, which says something about her ability to improve and adapt. Going four for four in Tokyo will see her in good stead for another podium.

BRONZE - Asuka Teramoto, Japan. One of the world’s undersung gymnasts for the past six years, tiny Teramoto has everything it takes to make onto the podium in Tokyo, including a good Rudi vault. Already a veteran of two Olympic teams, the quiet 23-year-old rock of Team Nippon will be taking advantage of the Tokyo World Cup to try out new routines, which might lead to problems or re-announce her as one of Japan’s preeminent gymnasts. Here’s betting it’ll be the latter.

4. Aiko Sugihara, Japan. Japan’s pirouetting sensation, a member of the 2016 Olympic squad, is a very well balanced gymnast with pretty presentation and plenty of difficulty. After a foot injury kept Sugihara from performing at last year’s world chapmpionships, but the 19-year-old is back and may wind up in a private duel with teammate Teramoto for a spot on the podium.

5. Ksenia Klimenko, Russia. Weak vaulting is likely to keep the deserving Klimenko, perhaps the most classical and fluid gymnast from Russia since the great Anna Pavlova, from rising much higher than fifth unless all of the leaders have multiple falls. After a frustrating performance at the Russian Championships last month, here’s hoping the Youth Olympic uneven bars champion uses this meet to rebuild her confidence.

Others who will challenge for the top five? There’s 2018 Youth Olympian Lee Yunseo, China’s talented but internationally inexperienced Liu Jingxing, Brazil’s Carolyne Pedro and Carina Kroll, one of the rising stars of a deeper-than-ever German team. One of the beauties of gymnastics, however, is that you never can tell what will happen on the day -- anything is possible.

Quick hits: DTB Pokal, Women's Team Final

Melni.jpg

Rotation 1:

Aleksandra Shchekoldina (RUS), VT: FTY, hop back.

Kristen Polderman (NED), FX: Whip to double tuck, small hop back. Full twist to double full twist. Interesting! Punch front to 1.5 twist, steps OOB. 12.366.

Celia Serber (FRA), FX: Full in tuck, stuck. Double pike, 0.3 step back. Entertaining choreography and fun Caribbean music. Punch front to double full, step forward and near fall. 12.833.

Angelina Melnikova (RUS), VT: DTY, hop back. Efficient twist. Not a fantastic block, but made it work thanks to the tight twist. 13.9.

Tisha Vollman (NED), FX: Cheerful folk music. Whip to full in tuck, nice. Double tuck. 1.5 to punch front. The Dutch are so great about telling stories with their choreo. Thoroughly entertaining. 13.333.

Flavia Saraiva (BRA), VT: DTY, very nice! Small step. Great technique on that -- legs totally together, no starfishing there. 14.066.

Aline Friess (FRA), FX: Sits down her opening front layout to double front. Which was a shame, as the rest of the routine was quite good. Roundoff, full in tuck. Roundoff, double tuck to end. A very intriguing newcomer for France! 11.966.

Eythora Thorsdottir (NED), FX: Music: It's fado! "Porto" by Dulce Pontes. Haunting and lovely. Triple turn. 3/1 to punch front, very good! Double tuck. Pulls around the 2.5 to punch front. Captivating as ever, she holds the house in the palm of her hand when she performs. 13.4.

Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA), FX: Full twisting double layout, steps OOB. Open full in tuck, stuck. Nice! Same routine as 2018, but coming into her own as a performer -- her delivery is far sassier than last year. Front layout walkout to double tuck. Double pike.

Rebeca Andrade (BRA), vault: Fantastic DTY with just a step back. 14.8. One of the reasons Brazil beat Russia in the team qualification here is because Russia did FTYs and a DTY from Melnikova, whereas Brazil came in with three DTYs. The DTY difference -- it's a thing.

Flavia Saraiva (BRA), UB: Taktchev to Pak. Maloney to Tkatchev. Toe full. Blind to front giant to double front, step/hop forward. 13.266.

Rotation 2:

Angelina Melnikova (RUS), UB: Inbar full, inbar Shaposh to Pak. Toe Khorkina II. Inbar blind to pike Jaeger. Toe full to to good high full twisting double tuck with a hop.

Aline Friess (FRA), VT: Handspring layout front half. She's got power -- expect that to turn into a Rudi within a short time. 13.566.

Jade Barbosa (BRA), UB: Stalder Shaposh, Tkatchev. Ricna to Pak. Maloney to bail to Ray. Toe full. Blind to font giant. Double layout with flexed feet if you're picky.

Angelina Simakova (RUS), UB: Stalder, to Maloney to Gienger. Comes off on pike Jaeger. Toe full to Pak. Toe Khorkina II. Blind to double front, small hop/step.

Beautiful (and aggressive!) bar routine from Rebeca Andrade caps off his rotation. No coach standing anywhere near the bars, this is all on her own and so very confident. It's been awhile since we've seen a gymnast swing a routine with so much power! 14.566.

Ksenia Klimenko (RUS), UB: Stalder full to Khorkina II, toe blind to pike Jaeger to Pak. Peels off on her Maloney transition. Oh dear, it was all so nice before. Geinger. Blind to excellent double front half with a hop. 13.033.

Netherlands/France on Vault: A parade of FTYs, all really of good quality, landed with a variety of small hops. The exception was Kristen Polderman, who I believe showed a Tsuk full, and Aline Friess's pretty front layout half.

Rotation 3:

Tisha Volleman (NED), UB: Khorkina II transition, Jaeger. Bail to toe stalder, full twisting double tuck. 12.633.

Angelina Simakova (RUS), BB: Back dive mount. Switch ring, small wobble. Bhs, layout, layout, wobble. Front aerial. Ring jump, wobble. Switch (at 180?) and jumps. Side aerial. Double tuck with a step back. A nice routine, but a fair share of wobbles. 12.4.

Aline Friess (FRA), UB: Maloney to Pak, Khorkina II, toe stalder, full turn, blind to Jaeger. Hop change to double front, underrotated and sits. 12.166. She does not look amused.

Thais Fidelis (BRA), BB: Bhs, layout, layout, really well done. Switch to split half to straddle jump. Front aerial, split, bhs. Split ring leap. Side aerial. Punch front. Double pike with a step. Good routine. 12.733.

Eythora Thorsdottir (NED), UB: Shaposh to Pak. Maloney to bail to toe full to Ray. Blind to pike Jaeger. Full twisting double tuck in which the twist seemed to happen in slow motion, but she made it. 13.333.

Angelina Melnikova (RUS), BB: Punch front mount to split, straddle, nicely connected. Switch. Kotchetkova. Bhs, layout. Front aerial. Wolf turn 2/1. Split full. Double pike, small hop. Well controlled throughout, showing what Melnikova is capable of. 13.166.

Lea Marques (FRA), UB: Stalder blind to pike Jaeger. Crunchy Nabieva but doesn't fall. Does fall twice later in the routine, however. Double tuck dismount. Props to her for going for the difficulty, even if it didn't work out. 10.566.

Rebeca Andrade (BRA), BB: Bhs, layout, layout. Front aerial to split ring jump. Split half. Switch ring. Side aerial. Double pike. 13.433.

Sanna Veerman (NED), UB: Stalder Shaposh to Bhardwaj, Maloney to Pak to toe Shaposh half and comes off, just not enough swing to make it. Piked Jaeger. Toe full to full twisting double tuck with a small hop. 12.833.

Daria Belusova (RUS), BB: Roundoff, layout stepout mount. Bhs, layout. Switch. Onodi. Ring jump. Side aerial. Front aerial. Split jump to Korbut. Wolf turn. Bhs, bhs, double tuck. 12.466.

Claire Pontlevoy (FRA), UB: Inbar fall. Inbar Shaposh to Pak. Stalder Shaposh half. Inbar blind to pike Jaeger. Stalder half. Blind to double front, step back. 13.2.

Flavia Saraiva (BRA), BB: Roundoff, bhs, split jump, Korbut mount sequence. Roundoff, layout to two feet, great as ever. Bhs, layout, layout, comes off. (Aww! Even the music stops.) Switch ring. Front aerial to ring jump. Double pike, step forward. 13.033.

Rotation 4:

Claire Pontlevoy (FRA), BB: Front aerial. Side somie. Wolf turn. Bhs, bhs, layout. Side aerial. Switch to scissone. Double full dismount. Some great qualities in this young gymnast -- it will be exciting to watch her in the next few years.

Thais Fidelis (BRA), FX: 1.5 to double Arabian, lands both feet OOB, but a nice pass all the same. Open full in tuck. Dramatic symphony music, quite Russian. Double tuck. Double pike. "Huge drama here in the Porsche Arena!" cries the announcer. Very much so. 13.266.

Sanna Veerman (NED), BB: Front pike mount. Bhs, layout, wobble. Side aerial. Switch to jump full. Side somie. Switch 3/4. 1.5 twist dismount. 11.7.

Angelina Simakova (RUS), FX: 2.5 to front layout 1/1, very good. Full in tuck. Fun rather playful piece of piano music is a very good fit for her. Double pike. Double tuck.

Aline Friess (FRA), BB: Front pike, almost comes off but really went for it. Roundoff, layout to two feet, almost comes off again but saves it. Punch front. Switch to switch half and this time she really does fall. Off again on wolf 2/1. Double tuck.

Flavia Saraiva (BRA), FX: Her 2018 routine, with one big difference: First pass is roundoff, bhs, whip to double layout. Terrific. Full in tuck. 1.5 to front layout. The audience loves the music, clapping along. Double pike to end. 13.666. Flavia's blowing kisses!

Tisha Volleman (NED), BB: Roundoff, Arabian mount! Falls off, but awesome stuff. Front aerial to front somie. Illusion, inadvertently does an extra half turn out of it. Falls again on side aerial. Double turn. Full turn with leg up. Side somie. Double full.

Melanie de Jesus dos Santos (FRA), BB: Front pike. Front pike on the beam. Bhs, layout to two feet (fall). Split half. Switch half. Front aerial, split jump. Double tuck. 12.366.

Rebeca Andrade (BRA), FX: Full twisting double layout. Double layout. Powerful piece of music, called 'Battlefield" by Magic Sword. 2.5 to front layout 1/1. Double pike, step back. A very affecting routine. So much force. 14.133.

Eythora Thorsdottir (NED), BB: Off on roundoff, layout to two feet mount. Full turn with leg up to switch to full turn with leg at head, so pretty. Split leap to side aerial to Korbut. Wonderful sequence where she really seems to take on a character. Onodi, has to grab the beam, tries to turn it into a needle scale as a cover up, and then falls again. Triple full dismount.

Angelina Melnikova (RUS), FX: Full twisting double layout, truly a layout position. Double layout, just too low. Underrotated and stumbles around on the landing as a result. Double tuck, stuck. Double pike. Well. Certainly better than at the Russian Championships...14.066.

So, one takeaway from today is that the gymnasts whose performances really endure are the ones who bring something different, whether choice of skills (Dalaloyan) or supreme artistry (Thorsdottir). It's always been that way, I suppose, but feels somehow important to say now.

DTB Pokal Women's Team Challenge - Finals

1 - Brazil, 164.396
2 - Russia, 159.496
3 - Netherlands, 153.763
4 - France, 150.462

Angelina Simakova crowned Russian all-around champion

New Russian women’s all-around champion Angelina Simakova. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru.

New Russian women’s all-around champion Angelina Simakova. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru.

Four months after making her World Championships debut on bars and beam, Angelina Simakova bested a host of experienced contenders for the Russian all-around title Thursday in Penza.

Despite a fall on vault during the early rounds of the second of two days of competition, the 16-year-old from Obninsk, southwest of Moscow, persevered to take her first senior Russian title ahead of Olympic medalists Angelina Melnikova and Aliya Mustafina.

Simakova kept pace with Mustafina on uneven bars (14.1) and presented a steady beam routine that included a beautiful switch ring and an impressive new back handspring, layout, layout series. On floor, she showed precise 2.5 to front layout full, double pike and double tuck tumbling passes, all with very secure landings.

2018 champion Melnikova, second after day one, maintained her position with steady routines on vault, uneven bars and balance beam, but came apart on floor exercise, crash-landing her first two tumbling passes. The 11.633 she received for the routine ate up the lead she had gained over Simakova and dropped her back to second overall.

Angelina Melnikova on floor.

Angelina Melnikova on floor.

Fan favorite Mustafina, readying to compete at next weekend’s Stuttgart World Cup, finished third and showed her usual brilliance on uneven bars, where she has won the last two Olympic gold medals, and steadiness on balance beam, as well as a brand new floor routine choreographed by 2012 Olympic teammate Ksenia Afanasyeva.

Fifteen-year-old Daria Belousova showed very correct technique and positions in an impressive first year senior showing, finishing fourth ahead of 2006 European junior champion and 2008 Olympic team alternate Daria Elizarova, who at 28 was as nimble as ever as she tumbled a triple full to punch front and 2.5 to front layout full on floor.

2018 Youth Olympian Ksenia Klimenko showed wonderful lines and polish in all her exercises but vaulted only a Yurchenko layout to finish sixth, while three-time world team member Tatiana Nabieva, 24, was seventh.

Russian Championships - Women’s All-around final

1. Angelina Simakova, 107.897
2. Angelina Melnikova, 107.463
3. Aliya Mustafina, 107.398
4. Daria Belousova, 106.164
5. Daria Elizarova, 105.963
6. Ksenia Klimenko, 105.831

Aliya Mustafina on beam.

Aliya Mustafina on beam.

Quick hits: 2019 Russian Championships, Women's AA final

Aliya Mustafina. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru

Aliya Mustafina. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru

Rotation 1:

Daria Elizarova, vault: Beautiful stuck handspring front pike half from the 2006 European Junior Champion! Not particularly difficult but gorgeously done.

Ksenia Klimenko, vault: Has trouble coming onto the horse (way too high on the table), does only a Yurchenko layout. Had the same trouble at last summer's Youth Olympic Games, if memory serves...

Ksenia Kamkova, beam: Humphrey turn, double wolf turn. Front aerial to split to double stag ring, lovely. Side aerial to layout, wobble. Ring jump. Tourjete half. Side somie. Double twist.

Natalia Kapitanova, bars: Stalder 1/1 to Shaposh to Pak (legs apart), stalder to Khorkina II, Tkatchev, toe blind, front giant, toe full to double pike.

Anastasia Ilyankova, bars: Fantastic set Downie? to Pak, Toe Tkatchev half to Ezhova, but full twisting double tuck with a huge step to the side and off the mat.

Angelina Melnkiva, bars: Stalder full to Maloney to Park to toe Khorkina II, inbar blind to pike Jaeger, half turn to toe full to full twisting double tuck. Well done! Gelya all smiles afterward.

Rotation 2:

Elena Eremina, floor: Full in? Lovely presentation. 1.5 to front pike. Double turn with leg at head, a little rough at the end.

Aliya Mustafina, bars: Her regular royal routine. Such wonderful technique. A little tiny bit off on the toe full before her dismount if you want to be really picky, but not a big deal. Sticks her full twisting double tuck today. 14.1.

Daria Belousova, bars: Nabieva to begin, nice. Pak. Toe Khorkina II. Toe blind to pike Jaeger. Full turn to stuck full twisting double tuck. Determined routine, and very good handstands.

Sidenote: A furrow-eyebrowed Belousova is a sight! Meanwhile Melnikova still hasn't stopped smiling.

Daria Elizarova, bars: Stalder to toe shoot to high. Pike Jaeger. Toe full to Tkatchev. Pak. Toe half to toe shoot. Nice Arabian dismount. Elizarova, who went to compete for UZB for awhile, is one of those "in any other country in the world, she'd be at Worlds" gymnasts. Sigh.

Ksenina Klimenko, bars: Wonderful lines for this event. Stalder full to Khorkina II. Pike Jaeger to Pak. Maloney and a double front half out! Gorgeous routine. 14.1.

Angelina Simakova, bars: Inbar Gienge. Blind to Pike Jaeger. Toe full to Pak. Toe Khorkina II. Blind to double front, stuck. 14.1 as well. Popular score on bars today...

Tatiana Nabieva, beam: Punch front, big wobble. Switch, split half. Roundoff, layout to two feet, well done. Full turn with leg at head. Side aerial. As always, doesn't truly connect with her choreo but we love her anyway. Double full with a step back.

Rotation 3:

Aliya Mustafina, beam: Switch half, wobble. Onodi to ring jump, smaller wobble. Bhs, layout, very nice! Double turn, saves it. Switch to side aerial. Front aerial to split to double stag. Double tuck, close to stuck, small hop forward. Well done overall.

Daria Belusova, beam: Roundoff, layout stepout mount. Bhs, layout. Almost comes off on a switch leap. Onodi, pause, ring jump. Side aerial. Pretty leaps. Front aerial, split, Korbut. Messes up her double wolf turn but stays on. Two bhs to double tuck with a step.

After an age in which Mustafina dons a pair of red bedroom slippers and takes a lap around the arena, we have her beam score: 12.533.

Have to hand it to the judges at this Russian Championships: They don't seem to be engaging in score inflation here. A 12.533 is being scored at 12.533. Belusova earns...12.533.

Daria Elizarova, beam: Punch front, solid. Front aerial, bhs. Switch, wolf full. Side aerial. Side somie. Split half, the sole nod to this current code. Nice double tuck. Elizarova comes from a world where wolf turns on beam aren't a thing, and it's wonderful. 13.366.

Ksenia Klimenko, beam: Wolf turn. Swtich, scissone. Wonderful balletic Russian presentation. Side aerial, bhs. Side somie. Front aerial to ring jump. Front handspring, punch front. Beautiful switch ring. Front layout full dismount. Gorgeous through and through. 13.333.

Angelina Simakova, beam: Switch ring, excellent. Bhs, layout, layout, very nice! Frotn aerial, little wobble, ring jump. Switch to split jump. Side aerial. Side somie. Double tuck with a step back. 13.466.

Angelina Melnikova, beam: Punch front mount, a smidge unbalanced. Switch leap. Kotchetkova, wobble. Bhs, layout, small step back. Front aerial to ring jump. Building confidence as it goes on. Wolf turn double. Side somie. Split full. Nice lift on double pike, small hop.

Standings going into the final rotation: Melnikova in front, followed by Mustafina, Simakova and Belousova.

Rotation 4:

Daria Belousova, floor: 2.5 to punch front. Triple full, chest low on landing. Sounds like she's using a cut of Jaycie Phelps's 1996 music. Bounces out of double pike. Double tuck. Walks gingerly off the podium and looks miserable -- something must be hurting. 12.966.

Daria Elizarova, floor: Triple full to punch front. Both feet OOB on landing, but still so cool. 2.5 to front layout full, magically gets it around. Double pike. Very efficient work. Finishes with a smile. The Russian commentators like it a lot.

Ksenia Klimenko, floor: 2.5 to punch front. Jazzy piano music. Double turn with leg at head. Double tuck, step back. Switch half. 1.5 to front layout full. Switch ring. Tourjete half. Double pike to end. And a wolf turn to cap things off. 13.0.

Angelina Simakova, floor: 2.5 to front layout full. Full in. Double pike. Double tuck. Not going to lose more than 0.1 on any of those landings, very precise. Nice routine. 13.566.

Angelina Melnikova, floor: Oops, not her music. Oops, still not her music. Melnikova is hesitating between faithfully holding her opening pose for the next five minutes and walking off the floor. Ah! Here we go. Double turns in combo. Falls on 1/1 double layout. Not enough height. And again on double layout! Nearly loses it again on double tuck. A decent landing on double pike, finally, but aie.

Aliya Mustafina, floor: Arabian double front, awkward landing but not horrible. Bounces out of high double tuck. Mustafina turn, a little underrotated. 1.5 to front layout full. Double twist (legs). Not perfect but she got through it. Meanwhile, 11.633 for Melnikova.

Final standings:

1. Angelina Simakova, 107.897
2. Angelina Melnikova, 107.463
3. Aliya Mustafina, 107.398
4. Daria Belousova, 106.164
5. Daria Elizarova, 105.963