Nabieva takes on France
Posted December 2, 2008on:
It used to be that Russia desperately wanted to be like France. Remember Peter and Catherine the Great? St. Petersburg? All those Russians hanging out in Paris in the 19th century?
Now it’s France’s turn. A whole crop of young Russian gymnasts are in France for the annual “gala” of St. Petersburg gymnasts, held in Dreux on November 29th, and the Tournoi d’Arques, to be held this weekend.
Naturally, one Russian competitor stands out above the rest: Junior European Champion Tatiana Nabieva. Everyone was excited to see her in Dreux, but she has a (relatively minor) heel injury, and only did an exhibition on bars to rest herself a bit for Arques. Meanwhile, Ekaterina Kramarenko was also present and looking happy. Olga Alexeeva, Polina Miller, Diana Sapronova, Irina Sazona and the tiny Olga Vilkova (twelve years old, in her international debut) also participated at Dreux. Vilkova is totally adorable, though I don’t know much about her.
These girls will also move next to Arques, along with Ekaterina Krilova, Alina Ribalova and Ksenia Povilaynen.
They’ll be joined there by gymnasts from a number of other countries, as listed here on the Web site of the FFG.
There are lots of lesser-known (to say the least) gymnastics countries, including for instance Algeria. However, we’ll also see Georgiana Gheorghe and Madalina Neagu of Romania and supposedly gymnasts from Canada and Brazil, although that is unconfirmed. As you can see from the poster, the tournament directors are not playing down Nabieva’s presence.
Gheorghe was third in the Romanian Junior Nationals Category III competition this year, after Andreea Tufa and Larisa Iordache. Neagu was second in Category II, behind Diana Bulimar.