Difficulty and Still More Difficulty!

Sovetskii Sport

Odessa, December 13, 1976   Today began the USSR individual team championships in sports gymnastics for youth, dedicated to the Lenin Komsomol, in the Sports Palace.  After the first day among the masters of sport the leaders were Muscovite Elena Mukhina with 41.1 points and Rostov native Sergei Khizhnyakov -- 55.45.

This is a real review of our Olympic chances, because practically all the best young gymnasts in the country participated in the tournament and they showed visible progress in Soviet gymnastics.  Particularly important is the generation change after the Montreal Olympics.  Leading up to the Moscow Games, the trainers must make the necessary corrections in order to gain Olympic luster.

This competition was difficult in many respects:  a difficult rivalry during the competition, and extraordinary difficulty in the routines of the competitors.  Because the new compulsory program for masters of sport will be in force as of January 1 of the coming year, the gymnasts in Odessa performed their voluntary exercises twice.  The teams were composed not only of juniors.  Children (girls 11-12 years, boys 13-14 years) were allowed to compete using an easier master's program.

The girls competed first and could receive extra points for presenting unique elements in their routines.

Maria Filatova recently conquered the spectators in Montreal with her acrobatic exercises; not even the Olympic champion N. Comaneci of Romania presented such a difficult program.  But now Masha didn't amaze anyone, because today very many gymnasts surpassed her in difficulty.  In the girls' competition it was evident that quantity of difficult skills does not equal quality.  We hope that the trainers pay attention to artistry during the execution of difficult exercises. 

The boys demonstrated elements which have never been performed before.  First. Viktor Levenkov from Minsk showed on rings a triple salto dismount.   Anatoly Saifulin from Lvov performed on high bar a double salto with double twist dismount.  This is more complicated than the famous "moon salto" of Tsukahara.  Anatoly Shikovets from Minsk very easily did a triple salto dismount from high bar, although this unique trick has so far been performed only by members of our senior team.

Technical Results
Jr. USSR Championships in sports gymnastics, 12 December.  First day, voluntary program.
1. E. Mukhina (Moscow, Army Club) - 41.1; 2. S. Zakharova (Kishinev, Trudoviye Reservi) - 38.45; 3. M. Filatova (Leninsk-Kuznetsk, Burevestnik) - 37.6.  Boys: 1. S. Khizhnyakov (Rostov-on-Don, Army Club) - 55.45; 2. A. Agafonov (Moscow, Army Club) - 54.85; 3. S. Sedov (Moscow, Burevestnik) - 54.8.

This page was created on February 18, 2007.

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