Rounding Off: Melnikova, Urazova named to team for World Artistic Gymnastics Championships

Plus, Dipa Karmakar back at training camp, Dominique Moceanu has still got it and a look back at Team China from Athens 2004

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Olympic team champions Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova have been named to the Russian Gymnastics Federation’s team for the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, scheduled for 18-24 October in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Maria Minaeva and Yana Vorona round out the team, according to Gymnovosti. Noticeably missing are Tokyo 2020 gold medallists Viktoria Listunova, the 2021 European all-around champion, and Lilia Akhaimova.

Melnikova starred in the Olympic Channel's original series 'All Around', which has chronicled her journey to gold at the Tokyo Games since mid-2019. The series' 12th and final episode will premiere on Olympics.com Wednesday (15 September).

The men’s squad does not include any of the athletes who helped ROC to team gold in Tokyo. Instead, Ivan Stretovich, Vladislav Poliashov, Nikita Ignatyev, Sergei Naidin, Mukhammadzhon Iakubov, and Grigori Klimentev are headed to Japan.

In related news, 2017 World all-around bronze and uneven bars silver medallist Elena Eremina has resumed training. Since her 2017 success, Eremina has been riddled with back injuries but was on the Russian national team in 2019 and 2020. She did not make the squad in 2021.

“Lena needed to take a break in order to reset herself,” said Vera Kiryashova, Eremina’s personal coach, according to TASS. “She resumed training now in order to compete at the high level again in the future.”

Dipa Karmakar back in training, targeting world championships

India’s most successful gymnast Dipa Karmakar returned to national training camp this week, after a long hiatus due to injury, according to Sportscafe.in.

Karmakar says the training camp will last until the World Championships, set for mid-October. She is training with 15 other women and hopes to vie for one of four spots to the global event.

“After a long time, our national camp is going to start from Sept 8 and will last till October 17. In between, there will be trials for World Championships and South Asian Championships,” she said. “We will get to experience a camp and seniors will also be there. We are 16-members and of them, 4 are from Tripura we all train under Bishweshwar Nandi.

“I am feeling very good,” Karmakar continued. “I just wish to give my best performance and I urge everyone to pray for us.”

1996 Olympic champion Dominique Moceanu proves she’s still got it

Dominique Moceanu, who was a member of the first U.S. women’s gymnastics team to capture Olympic team gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, has still got it.

The gold medallist posted a video recently on her social media from an adult gymnastics class at the Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center that she runs in Medina, Ohio. The video shows the 39-year-old, mother of two Moceanu limbering up, coaching other gymnasts and throwing both a double layout and also a split leg double layout variation.

With the success of 2008 Olympian Chellsie Memmel in 2021, the duo is showing that gymnastics is ageless.

From the vault…

This week, we take a look back at Team China on the floor exercise from the Athens 2004 women’s team final. Though Cheng Fei delivered a stunning effort to score 9.662, the second-best mark on the apparatus in the team final, the team counted four scores below 9.000 across the competition and ended up in seventh place.