THE FIRST ONLINE INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT REVIEW
Updated: Jul 4
The online competition held by the Russian federation where Israel, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan took part on the 20th of June, along with the host country, was beyond doubt an eventful one. The best gymnasts of the world took part in it, including Arina Averina, Dina Averina, Lina Ashram and Lala Kramarenko to mention a few. Some may qualify it as a fiasco, due to the many apparatus losses and mistakes that happened among pretty much all the gymnasts.
Individual gymnasts performed only with two apparatuses. Some of them even performed with only one. Groups performed with the same apparatus only once. This was understandable due to the lack of preparation the gymnasts were subjected to, but we couldn't help but wonder if this tournament should have gone ahead in the first place, because the results of the two routines weren't satisfactory at all.
In our previous post, (click here to read) we discussed how online competitions were a great way to have clear and short term goals that can help athletes stay in shape. We are very happy with how it was organized for the lower levels, but when it came to elite athletes we have our doubts.
This should have been an experiment and the audience, as well as the coaches, should have had no expectations. The main goal of a tournament of this nature shouldn't have been one of excellence and self-improvement, it should have been one of keeping athletes focused and as close to normality as possible. Maybe it shouldn't have been broadcasted at all.
Gymnasts like Lala Kramarenko and Maria Borisova (She was the first to compete and her technical faults were severely bad in comparison to her previous competitions) left the mat with low morale.
Viner shouted at some of the girls on camera, which tells us her expectations were much higher. The audience was not particularly happy with this. The questions is, is it realistic to have higher hopes for the tournament? Probably not.
In case you missed the broadcast, or you just want a quick summary of what happened, here are some of the most remarkable moments of the first Online International Tournament. Let us know in the comments the ones we have missed!
The score list with all the participants of the tournament are down below too, make sure you look at them too.
Dina Averina's Ribbon
The starting position with the ribbon wrapped around her leg has already gone viral on the Internet, giving us some memes and everything! This starting pose was really original, and the rest of the routine continued along the same creative lines. It was beautiful.
The problem was how poorly polished it was. Again, we can't blame Dina for not being at her prime after such a long break at home. It was also obvious that her back injury wasn't helping. Besides the stiffness and subtle lack of fluidity, the belt incorporated to both her ribbon and hoop are a very clear evidence of this.
This makes us wonder if she should have stayed out of the tournament to rest her back properly. We don't know if it was her idea of her coach's. We suppose that like the rest of us, she felt it was about time to get back on track and challenge herself after these quiet months.
In the middle of her routine, she had to replace her apparatus. It seems like the Averina twins don't ever have any luck with the ribbon.
However, given the standards of the tournament due to the recent lack of training, the routine may have potential as long as she manages to get her back better. We can't wait to see this routine when it looks cleaner and more fluid!
Team Russia's five balls
Out of all the routines of the competition, Team RUS' one is the one that deserves the most forgiveness. After all, a group routine is about synchronization and teamwork, something that there is no way a group can rehearse far apart and practising social distancing.
This is something that perhaps many people didn't think about, as the girl's got a lot of criticism for their performance, including from Viner-Usamova's part. The routine was undeniably chaotic, with many mistakes and losses. But they were in an even bigger disadvantage than individual gymnasts since they need each other to practice.
That being said, the routine itself was not nice at all. It was a perfect example of how Russians can sometimes get a little too caught up on the difficulty score greediness. Balls thrown in the air with no direction or logic non-stop, and senseless movements that make them look like they have gone a little crazy are prominent throughout. And honestly, we do not know who pick their music, but it is safe to say it wasn't the nicest out there.
Everybody has had her eyes on Lala for the last few seasons. It seemed she was going to take over some of the seniors' position, and the Russian federation certainly had high hopes on her.
It certainly wasn't her day, based on her two competition routines. Her normally amazing body difficulties and balances were all over the place and her apparatus handling was weaker than before. This made fans and coaches doubt her capability to make it to the top. Comments on her routines videos (posted by the Russian Federation) were rather harsh on the young girl. Many of these were about her weight gain.
Time will tell if Kramarenko will be the new Russian favourite or not, but basing our opinions on the performance and shape of this competition is not fair. With limited guidance from coaches, and sitting at home all day (like all of us!) does not determine her skills.
After all, nobody was prepared for a lockdown in or out of the world of gymnastics and there could be so many explanations for her poor execution. Some athletes simply need the rules and guidance on their coaches more than others, and can't perform well without their usual well structure routine. That does not mean she is a bad gymnast, and hopefully, once she gets strong and has a proper training routine again she will get back on track.
For many of us, it was quite upsetting to see how such a young girl, that happened to have a key moment of her career in the middle of a pandemic. got so much criticism. Viner was not happy with her routines, and god only knows what the reprimand from her was like behind the scenes. Comments on videos and social media did not help, especially given that she was clearly upset straight after performances...and probably mad enough at herself.
Don Quixote Pas de Deux
On a lighter note, her gala performance was probably the most elaborate one when it comes to creativity. In our previous post, we analysed different routines and combinations the Don Quixote Pas de Deux in Act 3, We wish her Online gala performance had to do with us because she danced to the same music with a beautiful and very artistic composition.