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.
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: