December 19, 2008

Marina Nazarova on Ksenia Semyonova and Ksenia Afanasyeva

Russian blog Moskovskiy Komsomoletz posted this article after the Mikhail Voronin Cup. It's mostly about veteran Nikolai Kryukov, who was judging at the competition but says he has not retired from competitive gymnastics. We'll post the Kryukov part of the story later, but for now we'd like to focus on some tidbits about Ksenia Semyonova and Ksenia Afanasyeva. You see, the Voronin Cup was attended by Marina Nazarova, who coaches both Semyonova and Afanasyeva, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about her gymnasts' health.

Ksenia Semyonova (photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)

This is what Nazarova had to say about Ksenia Semyonova, who is indeed, as we reported earlier, suffering from bad growing pains:

"How shall I describe this? The workload in gymnastics is absolutely colossal. We were prepared for the World Cup Final, but, for example, during her bar routines Ksyusha had constant pains in her left wrist. She had a thorough checkup in Germany, and now she's constantly consulting specialists. But the fact is that there's only one thing we can do: wait until it's over. The girl continues to grow fast. Last year she grew seven centimeters [nearly three inches]. Lately she's added three more [over an inch], and she feels pain in her growth zones when training hard. This doesn't mean Ksyusha has stopped training; it simply means we've reduced her training load as far as possible to take care of her wrists."

Ten centimeters in one year is a lot. We can imagine it must be a painful experience for Semyonova.

Ksenia Afanasyeva (photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)

Meanwhile, this is what Nazarova had to say about Ksenia Afanasyeva, who sustained an unspecified injury in November:

"She's aiming for the American Cup in February. She has undergone treatment, and it seems everything is OK, but we'll know more about her condition just before the tournament."

Finally, Nazarova said she considers the European Championships in April to be the official start of the 2009 competitive year, and hopes to have her girls ready for battle by that time. "Let's just hope those growth zones will play along..."

So there you have it. Another name to add to the American Cup roster: Ksenia Afanasyeva. Cool. Looks like it's going to be a good competition!

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