2014 Bulgarian National Team: No Simona Peycheva, Some New and Old Faces

The Bulgarian Federation has announced that Maria Mateva, Neviana Vladinova, Anastasia Kisse and Radina Filipova are the four gymnasts on the national team. Three more gymnasts are in the "expanded" group as alternates: Sara Staykova, Kristina Tasheva and Katrin Taseva.

Maria Mateva and Anastasia Kisse have already represented Bulgaria in many international competitions. Their spots on the team are no surprise to anyone. While both of these gymnasts have achieved a good level of performance, I am sad to say I have not seen great improvement from either of them in recent years. To me, Sara Staykova was the more promising athlete but, unfortunately, she was not stable and clean enough in 2013 to solidify her spot. Kristina Tasheva from "Akademik" had an injury but I I hope to see her recover.

Neviana Vladinova to me is the only gymnast who has consistently improved in difficulty, confidence, and expression. Here is one of her latest routines at the Italian Championships. Pretty good!

The new face is Radina Filipova, a very talented young girl with long legs and overall a great figure for gymnastics. I think she has a lot to learn but I am glad she has made the team. Here is the routine that I have so far liked best. A lot needs to improve, though, especially in terms of her knees,releves, jumps:

I wish the girls the best of luck and hope they show the world what true Bulgarian gymnastics style means!

As you may have heard, Simona Peycheva did not make the national team. As you watch Radina's routine above, ask yourself how many light years ahead of her Simona is. The answer is: too many. Simona should have been on the team. I really hope she keeps competing, whether for Bulgaria, or not.