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Daria Elizarova to Compete for Uzbekistan!

October 31, 2010

photo: dariaelizarova.ru

Some interesting news I heard today is that 2006 Junior European Champion, Daria Elizarova, has been approved to compete for the Uzbekistan by the FIG. It is a surprise in some ways, but I think it is a good decision for Daria if she wants to make it to Worlds and the Olympics in the future.

Daria was a huge star for Russia in 2006, and seemed like a definite contender for their Olympic team. Unfortunately, injuries kept her from her dream in the last olympic cycle. She was the alternate for the 2007 world team and originally made the 2008 olympic team, but had to give up her spot because of an illness.

After the olympics, Daria continued competing, but has never had the success she did as a junior. She had pretty good results at the Russian Cup this year, and I’m sure that she was disappointed to not be named to the world training squad. She arguably had a better competition than Pavlova, Kurbatova and Myzdrikova. I wonder if she had decided to compete for Uzbekistan prior to the team announcement. She is not the only gymnast who has moved to Uzbekistan after less than stellar results; Alina Kozich of the Ukraine competed for Uzbekistan after a very disappointing Beijing Olympics.

As an individual, this move will be great for Daria. She will be the best all around gymnast in Uzbekistan, which should more or less secure her a spot on their worlds team next year and as an individual at the Olympics if she remains injury free. For Uzbekistan as a team, this is a huge boost. They qualified in 24th position as a team for worlds in Tokyo, which was great for them. Using Daria’s scores from event finals (bars, beam, floor) and prelims (vault) at this years Russian Cup, Uzbekistan would have placed 17th, less than a fall (which I’m sure they had) away from 16th, the cutoff to make the Olympic Qualifying event which would obviously be a huge success for them. The scores from the Russian Cup generally have a bonus, but the event final scores did not seem overly inflated and I honestly doubt Daria was worthy of much bonus on vault.

Uzbekistan is competing at the Asian games very soon, so hopefully Daria will be able to compete for the team there.

Good Luck, Daria!

***UPDATE 11/1/10***

Daria’s floor from this year’s Russian Cup! I’m pleasantly surprised. She has her 2 1/2 + Front 1/1 and triple back. The last videos I saw of her competing those skills were from 2005 and 2006. Uzbekistan should be happy to have her. She needs to get rid of that second jump to “prone support” at the end of her routine, though. There’s a .1 deduction for that which she really doesn’t need to be getting.

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