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Aliya Mustafina

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Aliya Fargatovna Mustafina (Russian: Алия Фаргатовна Мустафина, Tatar: Алия Фәрхәт кызы Мостафина, Alia Ferhad kyzy Mustafina) (born 30 September 1994 in Yegorievsk, Russia) is a Russian artistic gymnast. In 2010, Aliya won a gold medal and was the all-around title winner at the World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam. She was the 2009 Russian national champion in the all around and on the balance beam.

2007Edit

My Mom  Aliya came to international prominence as a gymnast in her first major junior competition, the 2007 International Junior Competition. She won silver medals in the all-around, the uneven bars, the vault, the balance beam, and the floor exercise. Rebecca Bross won all five of those competitions. As a result of these championships, both Mustafina and Bross were predicted to be major forces in gymnastics in the years to come, a prediction that was borne out by subsequent results.

Later that year, Aliya finished second in the all-around at the Gymnix International in Montreal. She also finished second with the Russian team in the Stella Zakharova Cup.

asdfghjkl2008Edit

Aliya competed at the 2008 Junior European Gymnastics Championships in Clermont-Ferrand. She was a gold medalist and finished second in the all-around to teammate Tatiana Nabieva.

Later in 2008, Aliya competed in the Massilia Gym Cup in Marseille, finishing second in the floor exercise and seventh in the all-around. also on porno

2009Edit

Aliya began the year by becoming all-around champion at the Russian national championships. She also won on the balance beam, finished second on the uneven bars, and placed third in the floor exercise.

In July 2009, Aliya competed in the Japan Cup in Tokyo where the Russian team finished second. She also finished second in the all-around to China's Huang Qiushuang. She followed this up by winning the all-around in the Russia Cup and at the Doha Gymnasiade. At the latter, she also won a gold medal with the Russian team and finished first on the uneven bars, on the balance beam, and in the floor exercise.

2010Edit

In March, while warming up on the floor for the Russian nationals, she sustained an ankle injury. This prevented her from taking part in the national championships. Junior Viktoria Komova went on to take the all-around title in Aliya's absence. Mustafina and Komova are widely regarded as Russia's two best hopes for individual gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the female gymnastics competitions. Aliya quickly recovered from her injury to take part in the World Cup in Paris, where she finished second on the balance beam.

In May, Aliya took part in her first major senior competition, the 2010 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships. She won the silver medal on both the uneven bars and the balance beam, as well as the gold medal with the Russian team. She also qualified for the floor final, finishing eighth.

Following the European Championships, she took part in the Japan Cup where she finished first with the Russian team and third in the all-around. She then took part in the Russian Cup where she finished first in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise, and finished third on beam. She then competed at the Holland Invita

tional, finishing first with the Russian team and first in the all-around.

At the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Aliya was the top qualifier for the all-around competition, and qualified to participate in all four of the event finals. She was the first gymnast to accomplish this feat since Svetlana Khorkina in 1997. She won gold with the Russian team, contributing the most points in Russia's first win at the World Championships as an independent nation. She improved upon her scores in

qualification to go on to an all-around gold. In the event finals, however, she seemed almost exhausted and her scores fell. She still won silver medals in the vault, on the uneven bars, and in the floor exercise. She fell on the beam to finish seventh in that final. Aliya's five medals made her the most successful gymnast in a world championships since Andreea Raducan of Romania and Khorkina at the 2001 World Championships.
Aliya mustafina 3
Aliya during the 20100 World Championships in Rotterdam

Andy Thornton from Universal Sports stated: "The story behind Aliya Mustafina's all-around gold today is that of a revived dynasty; the dominant Soviet women's team of the 1980's and early 1990's - whom many consider to represent the absolute epitome of artistic gymnastics - was dead and now reborn. In addition to leading her teammates to their country's first world title as an independent nation, she has delivered one of the great performances by a female gymnast ever - capturing the very same artistry, difficulty, and competitive composure that made her Soviet predecessors so beloved and revered. Aliya's four-event arsenal is so well balanced it's hard to pick a favorite event to watch her on, and a win so convincing and undeniable as hers gives a satisfying sense of closure to a competition. She has established herself and her Russian teammates as the absolute gymnasts to watch over the next two years - and the gymnasts to beat."

On 13 November 2010, Aliya competed in the "Freddy Cup" Italian Grand Prix (in which the women competed on beam and uneven bars, winning the balance beam competition. However, she missed some elements in her uneven bars routine and ended up fourth in that competition while Komova placed first.

In November 2010, an uneven bars element was named after her: Swing fwd to double salto bwd tucked with 1½ twist (540°) (Element Value = E 6.505).

Aliya competed at the Toyota Cup in Japan in December 2010. She was again scheduled to compete with Komova, who was quickly becoming her primary rival However, at the last minute, Komova was sent to the Voronin Memorial event instead, but Komova ultimately withdrew from that event due to injury. At the Toyota Cup, Aliya won gold on the floor and on the vault. She also won silver on the beam, finishing second to Lauren Mitchell. In late December 2010, she entered the Voronin Memorial event as a surprise late entrant. She won the all-around competition and also won golds in the floor exercise and on the uneven bars.

Commenting on a highly successful 2010 in the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation magazine, Gimnastika, She stated: "What did I learn from the World Championships? That we can win, too! We can beat the Chinese and we can beat the Americans – there's nothing that difficult in it. We have to work and everything will be fine."

2011Edit

She was expected to begin the new gymnastics season by competing at Russian Nationals. However, she was switched to compete at the AT&T American Cup instead, which took place on 5 March 2011. She finished second in the all-around to America's Jordyn Wieber. Looking out of sorts in her first event of the new season, a touch down on the floor at the end of a tumbling pass in the floor exercise ultimately cost Aliya the gold medal (albeit losing out by just 0.068 points).

Aliya next competed at the Bercy World Cup (French International) from 19–20 March 2011. She competed on the beam, the uneven bars, and on the vault, winning gold in all three events. She did not compete in the floor exercise.

On 8 April 2011, she competed at the European Championships where she suffered an injury to her left knee during the first rotation in the all-around on the vault (on landing whilst performing a Yurchenko 2 1/2) and had to withdraw. Her compatriot, Anna Dementyeva went on to win the all-around competition.

Knee injuryEdit

International Gymnast Magazine initially reported that the injury she suffered at the European Championships was a meniscus tear to her left knee.However, the magazine later retracted its report. On 9 April 2011, it was announced that she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and strained her medial collateral ligament, and would therefore miss the 2011 World Championships. Her coach Alexander Alexandrov stated: "She has torn cruciate ligaments in her left knee, meaning she'll definately miss the world championships." Russian Squad Coordinator Valentina Rodionenko added: "It was thought to be an injured meniscus...The diagnosis was clarified through the imaging: rupture of the left anterior cruciate ligament. Aliya spent the night in the hospital and in the morning she was allowed to return to the hotel. They put on a tight bandage so there would be no swelling, because a lot of swelling causes problems for the surgery. The same type of injury was suffered by British gymnast and 2009 world all-around runner-up Daniel Keatings.
Aliya mustafina knee injury
Aliya after injuring her knee

Alexandrov stated that Aliya's recovery and rehabilitation would likely take six to eight months and that the focus is on ensuring her readiness for in 2012 Olympics in London. Two other notable gymnasts, Annia Hatch and Justin Spring, have returned to medal in the Olympics after suffering ACL injuries about a year before.Annia HatchAlexandrov stated that the coaches did not quite understand how she had sustained her injury. He stated: "Maybe on landing one leg landed before the other and she got a twisted knee. Alexandrov also criticised the warm-up arrangements as being too short and believes that that may have been a factor behind the injury.

On 11 April 2011, arrangements were made for surgery at the sporthopaedicum Munich at the ATOS Private Clinic in Munich by Professor Michael J. Strobel, a specialist in knee joints. The clinic has treated Boris Becker, Oksana Chusovitina and members of the German national football team. Rodionenko said, "Aliya could have had surgery in Berlin. But local experts themselves insisted that it’s better to contact one of the clinics in Munich that specializes in knee joints." Chusovitina added that: "If she does surgery at the right place and has proper rehabilitation, trust me, she can vault. The doctor the Russians are going to operated on me. Same knee, but I had another problem. After Athens I could not vault, nor even really do anything. After eight months of looking for the cause, only this doctor figured out what was wrong. I had the surgery, and after two weeks I was walking without pain. Believe me, he’s really a professional of the highest class. For 30 years he’s been operating only on knees." Coach Alexandrov stated: "Doctors have promised that everything will be fine. It's just hard to get through the rehabilitation period, because the recovery from these surgeries is almost more important than the surgery itself. In any case, it is already clear that Mustafina will miss the world championships like she missed the European championships. But this is not so bad: before the Olympic Games there will be yet another Europeans. Getting competition experience again is so important once she has recovered."

Aliya's surgery was postponed from 12 April 2011 until the following day, as she had only arrived at the clinic on the evening of 11 April 2011 and spent most of 12 April 2011 undergoing tests. Alexandrov was also quoted as saying when announcing the postponement: "By the way, according to doctors, the survey revealed that Aliya is not the most difficult case for such injuries."

The day after surgery, the first bandage was changed and other postoperative measures carried out. Asked how she was feeling after the surgery, she stated that the pain in the knee was subsiding and that she was keeping in touch with her friends via her laptop and skype, which helped her to pass the time. Mustafina returned to Russia on 16 April 2011. On 17 April 2011, Rodionenko stated: "So far so good. Last night, Aliya arrived in Moscow. Doctors said the operation went fine. Now we must wait, with four weeks of complete rest for the leg."

She returned to the ATOS Clinic on 15 May 2011 for two weeks for a post-surgery evaluation to ensure that her recovery was going as it should.She attended with Viktoria Komova, who was being evaluated for an injured ankle, and Komova's mother Vera Kolesnikova. A rehabilitation plan was drawn up by the clinic for Mustafina during her two-week stay and she returned to Russia on 30 May 2011

Commenting on Aliya's injury, Lee Ann Gschwind of Universal Sports stated: "For Aliya, the apparent curse could prove to be a blessing. The last reigning world champion to win Olympic gold was Lilia Podkopayeva back in 1996...It could..relieve some pre-Games pressure. The Olympics are still more than 15 months away, a relatively forgiving time frame. If all goes according to plan, she should have ample time to recover and regain her form. She could even be back for the 2012 spring season and get in some competitive routines before London. But she will also need to be mindful not to rush her comeback. What's so impressive about her, apart from her ability, is her confidence and attack. What a shame it would be to see those traits diminished in her return."[31] Former Soviet gymnast Lidia Ivanova added: "The possibilities of modern medicine are high. In my time, a meniscus injury was a huge disaster. Now, I believe that Aliya will recover."

In an interview with Olga Yemolina from Moscow News in May 2011, she stated that while she would not be able to compete in the all-around competition at the 2011 World Championships, she still hoped to compete on the uneven bars and the beam at the championships. She stated: "First, I need that psychologically, so I don't lose my confidence. Second, if I can, I'll be ready. Why not?".She also confirmed that she was doing some light training in accordance with her rehabilitation plan. Asked whether it was odd being a spectator at gymnastics meets now, she said: "Of course it is. I really want to be out there competing. But no athlete is safe from injuries and you have to find the strength in yourself to not get absorbed by one. After what happened to me, I told myself that I could not get depressed, that I had to heal my knee and continue training"

Later in May 2011, Russian Squad Coordinator Valentina Rodionenko confirmed that Aliya would definitely not be competing at the World Championships to avoid her being rushed back too soon. The plan was for her to return to competition at the 2012 Russian Championships and then for her to compete at the 2012 European Championships in Brussels from 9–13 May 2012.

She returned to the ATOS Clinic on 15 June 2011 for further post operative evaluation. Her official website reported on 18 June 2011 that the results of the evaluation were that her recovery was going very well and that she will be returning to Russia on 22 June 2011 to begin light training.

On 1 July 2011, Valentina Rodionenko stated that She may be able to compete as early as December 2011 in the Voronin Cup. Nevertheless, in an interview with R-Sport, she herself reaffirmed that she is still hopeful of competing on the uneven bars and on the beam at the 2011 World Championships. She stated: "Of course I’d like to return; I want to compete at world championships. There is a chance I can go and compete on two events, but we still don’t know how my leg will be and how quickly I can bring back my routines. But the most important thing for me is the Olympic Games. Even if I don’t go to Japan, that won’t be all that terrible. The main competition will be in London next summer. But if I can go to worlds, then why not".

On 13 July 2011, however, Alexandrov stated that there was absolutely no chance of Aliya competing at the 2011 World Championships. He told Russian Newspaper Sport-Express that: "The German doctors recommended completely avoiding any loading whatsoever on the leg she had the operation on, because in order for the knee to recover fully, it cannot be forced at all...So, Aliya is not doing any exercises that include jumping. First the leg has to be brought back into shape and the muscle functions need to be recovered. That is pretty dreary work." Hence, She's training at present remains confined to upper body conditioning and rehabilitation on the knee that was injured.

In early September 2011, She and Alexandrov announced in an interview with TV Channel, Rossiya 2, that Aliya would be resuming a full training schedule in December 2011.In the meantime, Blythe Lawrence reported in the Gymnastics Examiner on 17 September 2011 that Aliya is continuing with her upper body conditioning, with rehabilitation work on her knee, and she is now adding new skills to her repertoire which does not require the use of her injured knee, such as a Memmel turn on the beam.

Aliya took part in her first competition after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and knee surgery at the 2011 Voronin Cup, she finished 6th in the all-around and won silver on uneven bars behind compatriot Viktoria Komova. In an interview, she said she was pleased with her comeback. "I am happy with the competition and my performance," she said. "I really wanted to compete because it's the first start after the April injury. Of course, there are still some limitations I encounter during training. We can say that my recovery is still ongoing."

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