Declaration of Readiness

June 22, 1976  Gymnasts of the national team of the Soviet Union concluded their last competition before the Montreal Olympics.  Our women, with visible domination, won the match with the CSSR women's team at the Minsk Sports Palace.

One day after the optional program, the women competed for titles on the individual events and demonstrated complex gymnastics exercises.  Many of the elements we saw were, until quite recently, considered unique -- variants of the Tsukahara on vault, double saltos on floor exercise, and the Korbut salto on beam are now commonplace.  Even such a rare dismount on the high bar, a triple salto, was executed by N. Andrianov and V. Safronov.

But even in this exciting competition it's possible without exaggeration to name a sensation -- the optional program of 15-year-old Elena Mukhina.  One and one-half years ago this girl was training at CSKA.  Then well-known trainer Mikhail Klimenko took her in his group.  He didn't have experience working with girl gymnasts; formerly he always coached men.  On the other hand, he had daring and original ideas and he was creative and a hard worker.  In a very brief time -- 1 1/2 years -- he taught Mukhina complex combinations on all the apparatus. 

Lena practically doesn't have a weak event.  Floor exercise in particular stood out.  It's possible with confidence to say that never before has a gymnast performed a routine like Lena's.  Gymnastics experts were very satisfied with the most difficult elements in her routine.  In the first diagonal, Mukhina performed a twisting double back salto; in the second, a double salto; and in the third, a double twist.  Even male gymnasts have not attained such a degree of complexity.  Moreover, Lena's execution was very good.

The day of finals was a day of triumph for M. Filatova.  Three times she stood on the top step of the winners' pedestal:  for vault, uneven bars and beam.

What a competition!  We won't anticipate the decision of the training council, who must name the members of the Olympic team.  But we shall note  that the "new wave" -- M. Filatova, N. Shaposhnikova, E. Davydova and O. Koval -- were well prepared and appear to be more useful than the more experienced sportsmen.  The young are in a rush, they are impudent and show much complexity in their exercises.

With the men, the approach of the young was also obvious.  V. Markelov confirmed that he is leading our gymnasts.  Another who impressed was G. Kryssin.

Soon will be the competitions in Montreal.  The time leading up to the Olympics will be spent perfecting combinations and polishing elements.  But one thing is clear: our gymnasts will be ready for the Olympics.

Technical Results
Minsk Palace of Sport, June 19-20, women's match: USSR-CSSR
All-Around: 1. Saadi 77.75 (9.7, 9.65, 9.85, 9.85), 2. Filatova 77.05 (9.7, 9.8, 9.8. 9.4), 3. Grozdova 77.0 (9.55, 9.65, 9.8, 9.85), 4. Koval 76.95, 5. Shaposhnikova 76.5, 6. Pohludkova CSSR 76.35.
Event Finals:
Vault: 1. Filatova 19.475, 2. Davydova 19.4, 3. Saadi 19.25, 4. Holkovickova 19.05; 5. Mukhina 18.8; 6. Poradkova 17.575.
Bars: 1. Filatova 19.375, 2. Pohludkova 19.175; 3. Mukhina 19.125; 4. Koval 19.1; 5. Smolikova 19.075, 6. Shaposhnikova 18.295
Beam: 1. Grozdova, Saadi and Filatova 19.6, 4. Pohludkova 19.35, 5. Knopova 19.275, 6. Koval 18.775
Floor: 1. Saadi, Grozdova and Shaposhnikova 19.7, 4. Pohludkova 19.3, 5. Poradkova 19.175, 6. Mukhina 19.175

This page was created on March 19, 2006.
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