Some YouTube videos to go with the article on Belorussian gymnastics we just posted...
Belarus' most famous gymnast these days is Anastasia Marashkovskaya, who represented the country in Beijing and only just missed out on a berth in the vault final. Watch her very high double-twisting Yurchenko here. She is OK on the other events when she hits, but nothing special, we fear (check out her floor exercise here).
However, Belarus does have some nice juniors. One Belorussian gymnast we particularly look forward to seeing more of is Halina Ivanets, an elegant young lady with beautiful lines. Check out her beam and bar routines - she has good form on both events. Her floor routine isn't bad either.
Halina Ivanets at the 2008 Junior Europeans
(photo: French Gymnastics Federation)
Other promising juniors include Volha Makhautsova (not sure about the spelling of that name), who has a very decent bar routine and a reasonably well-choreographed floor routine which needs more difficulty but is promising in the dance department, and Aliona Hurhach, who does a nice beam routine and a pretty decent floor routine. Finally, there's Nastassia Zaitseva, who is more of a power gymnast, with all the attendant form issues. She won't win bar finals any time soon (here's why), but she's decent enough on floor and beam, when she doesn't miss her dismount. She's not a terribly powerful vaulter yet, but we think she may have some potential on the event.
Things we like about the Belorussian girls: they have slightly better choreography than most gymnasts, and they have actual beam mounts (as in, flipflops and somersaults). We wish other countries would follow suit...