Melitina Staniouta Makes My Head Spin

I am enjoying the training videos from Grand Prix- Thiais and I feel very inspired. In the absence of Kanaeva, we have much more contested competitions now, and though girls like Mamun, Merkulova and Maksymenko are the favorites, some wonderful, even younger stars have begun to shine, like Durunda and Yusifova from Azerbaijan, and Rakhmatova from Uzbekistan.

But Melitina Staniouta, who is not a new star, has absolutely won me.

Dear fans, just watch the pivot she does starting at 1:03 of this video and tell me: isn't this beautiful girl the best gymnast in the world right now?

Seriously, I don't want to jinx her but I really hope she wins many gold medals this year. I thought she simply got "robbed" at the last competition in Holon, where she should have been first with clubs and with ribbon, but instead only won the hoop and got two silvers. Silver is not bad, but for someone of this class and talent, I just don't feel it is enough.

I am not going to discuss judging issues right now but will say that I do hope Melitina stays healthy. Sometimes, bad luck with injuries gets in the way of very deserved success. This kind of misfortune, involving a broken ankle, already hurt another star from Belarus, the fabuluous Larissa Lukyanenko, who should have competed for the top spot at the Worlds in 1993.

Much like Lukyanenko in the 90s, right now Melitina performs undoubtedly the best jumps in the sport, and some of the very best pivots. In addition, she puts a lot of risk with the apparatus in her routines and she has improved her confidence and expressivness. Nothing should get in the way of her path to the gold.