Bross and Mustafina

Russias Aliya Mustafina

Russia's Aliya Mustafina

U.S. Junior National Champion Rebecca Bross may have swept the gold medals at the International Junior competition in Japan last week, but Russian Aliya Mustafina was right behind her on every event.

Is this the rivalry of the future?

Well…maybe. Mustafina doesn’t quite have the difficulty and steadiness that Bross, despite a fall on one event during both days of competition at the U.S. Junior Championships, seems to have developed, but both are extraordinarily young.

2007 U.S. Junior Champion Rebecca Bross

2007 U.S. Junior Champion Rebecca Bross

At 14, Bross has a resume similar to WOGA compatriot Nastia Liukin — junior national champion, second in the all-around at the Pan American Games, rising star status definitely confirmed.

Rebecca Bross, 2007 Pan American Games, Floor Exercise, Event Finals:

Mustafina, meanwhile, hasn’t had the breadth of competition experience Bross has, but everywhere she’s appeared, she’s stunned with her elegance and big skills. Last year at the Friendship Classic she presented highly polished routines on beam and floor and promise on vault and bars. In 2007, she’s upped her difficulty a good deal — perhaps at the expense of a little of that polish. Nevertheless, like Bross, she’s one of the ineligible-for-2008-juniors poised to break out in 2009 if she can remain injury free. 

Tiny Mustafina’s day at the Friendship Classic, 2006:

And at Gymnix 2007 on floor:

4 Responses to “Bross and Mustafina”

  1. firedannyainge Says:

    I am not a big Bross fan personally but she is getting better. IMO gymnastics has no room for beauty anymore. People think Nastia is so perfect but she isn’t even close to the gymnasts of the 80’s and 90’s.

  2. Nicola Mansani Says:

    Both of them have their peculiar style … anyway I’d be curious to visit the training facilty where Mustafina works and have a look at today training routine these young eastern ladies are subjected. Someone knows how could I contact one of their coaches (Nazarova, Kamalova, …)?

  3. Natasha Says:

    I watched Aliya and Nailia Mustafina train at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow once a week for 4 months in 2007. I was only lucky enough to have this opportunity because I speak Russian and went in and showed their coach my British coaching certificates. She didn’t speak English but she can read a bit and agreed to let me watch once a week. It took a couple of months for them to trust me and start chatting to me a bit but it was the most fantastic experience. Their coach was very harsh with them though and there were tears almost every day. I can see how they got so good but after what I saw I don’t think it’s worth it.

  4. A note on the Mustafina sisters « The Gymblog Says:

    […] note on the Mustafina sisters By Blythe Reader Natasha commented on a post made more than a year ago concerning Russian up-and-comer Aliya Mustafina and her sister Nailia: I watched Aliya and Nailia […]

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