January 22, 2009

Semyonova to Compete at Europeans; Afanasyeva By No Means Certain for American Cup

Some interesting news from Russia today...

Moscow sports club CSKA reports that Ksenia Semyonova is recovering well from her wrist problem. She is back in full training and is slated to compete at both the Russian Nationals and the European Championships in March, albeit on two events rather than four. Meanwhile, Ksenia Afanasyeva is said to have recovered from what sounds like a torn muscle in her side, but according to her coach, it is by no means certain that she will compete at the American Cup. Here's the article...

Ksenia Semyonova (photo: Jasmin Schneebeli-Wochner/Gymbox)

Semyonova and Afanasyeva Train Seven Hours a Day

Let us recall that at the end of last year, world champion Ksenia Semyonova was forced to forego participation in the World Cup Final in Madrid because of painful sensations in her wrists. However, doctors diagnosed nothing dangerous, explaining the pains in her hand as the peculiarity of a young gymnast's growing organism. Ksyusha did not even stop training; she simply reduced the burden on her sore wrist a little.

"Now Ksenia feels considerably better," says Marina Nazarova [Semyonova's coach]. "The painful sensations have practically disappeared, and it is now possible to carry out full training. We hope that by the time of the Russian Championships, which will take place in Bryansk from March 5th to 14th, Ksyusha will be back in good form. Although we will only be preparing two routines for the European Championships in April – bars and floor exercise."

According to Marina Nazarova, the extent of Ksenia Semyonova's participation in the Russian Championships has not yet been determined. Everything will depend on the gymnast's form. For the present Ksyusha is training seven hours a day: a one-hour session in the gym in the morning, and two three-hour sessions in the afternoon and evening.

Ksenia Afanasyeva (photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)

"Ksenia Afanasyeva is carrying out a similar regime," continues Marina Nazarova. "We are preparing her for the European Championships, both for the individual apparatus and for the all-around. Ksyusha's muscular problems in her side are a thing of the past, thank God. She is training intensively, spending sufficient time on all four apparatus of the all-around."

Meanwhile, it is far from settled that Afanasyeva will take part in the American Cup mid-February, although currently Ksenia and yet another CSKA representative, Kristina Goryunova, seem to be the most likely candidates for the trip across the ocean. "Control workouts will show Afanasyeva's degree of readiness for the American Cup," says Marina Nazarova. "But we are inclined not to send Ksyusha to this tournament. Really, the main thing for her at the moment is to prepare successfully for the Russian and European Championships."

So there you have it. Don't be surprised if it's Goryunova rather than Afanasyeva who shows up in Chicago next month.


  1. Kyusha, I take it, is a nickname for Ksenia?

  2. Yep. It's like Emmy for Emily, Katie for Katrina, that sort of thing.

  3. Good to see Semenova back! Hey, do you have any idea of why she's doing floor instead of beam?

  4. Hi,

    Kristina's Official Website is reporting that Kristina will be at the American Cup and Ksenia will not be attending.

    Take care!

  5. Thanks Alan! We'll post the news in our next update. Take care yourself! :)