Everything is Logical

Sovetskii Sport

March 4, 1976   The 42nd USSR Championships of sports gymnastics began today, and a trick was played on the rank of absolute champion of the country.  Because of illness, Ludmila Turischeva, Olga Korbut and Nikolai Andrianov didn't compete; because of injury, Alexander Dityatin and Gennady Yakunin didn't compete.  We saw numerous groups of debutantes on the adult platform who hoped that senior USSR coaches Larissa Latynina and Leonid Arkaev would notice their abilities.  And a first:  in the women's competition, the judges could award more than 10 points if an exercise showed complicated or original elements performed cleanly.

First on the platform were the women.  Attention was paid to the captivating duel between Nelli Kim of Chimkent and the 9th-grader from Rostov, Svetlana Grozdova.  Nelli was very good on floor but she fell off beam like an autumn leaf and scored 9.1.  Svetlana Grozdova tried very hard.  For an entire year she didn't compete because she was sick, but now she has recovered and prepared new combinations.  But her compulsory exercises weren't daring and on bars she didn't succeed.

So who, then, displayed true class in the compulsory program?  Elvira Saadi, the most experienced of the competitors.  Ten years earlier she made her debut in adult competition.  She was the leader.  Next was world champion Nina Dronova. And it is a pleasant surprise that young Leningrader Olga Koval, a student of V. Reison, represented (as we like to say) the classical school.  She also demonstrated class, something that is not easy to do in the compulsories.  Meanwhile, in the distance was L. Gorbik, M. Filatova and L. Komarova.  We wait for surprises from them in the coming days...

USSR Championships of sports gymnastics.  Tblisi, 3 March. Sports Palace.
Women, compulsory program. 
1.  E. Saadi (Dynamo) - 38.0 (9.5, 9.5, 9.45, 9.55); 2. N.  Dronova (Gantiadi) - 37.35 (9.45, 9.4, 9.2, 9.3); 3. N. Kim (Spartak) - 37.3 (9.4, 9.4, 9.1, 9.4) and O. Koval (Trud) - 37.3 (9.35, 9.3, 9.25, 9.45); 5.  L. Builova (Dinamo) - 36.85; 6-7. M. Ostanina (Zenit), E. Davydova (Spartak) - both 36.75.

This page was created on February 19, 2007.
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