And basically has already been named to the Russian worlds team.
Aliya: [Yawn] [Cough]
Valentina: You’re hired! My footstool is named Varvara Zubova.
Aliya Mustafina gave birth to a human(?) child 30 seconds ago and apparently immediately began using the umbilical cord for resistance training because she’s already back to competition, returning at last weekend’s Russian Championship to finish 4th all-around and join hands with Komova as they joyously dashed the dream of every other Russian who thought she might make another team ever.
Ilyankova: I finished 3rd at Jesolo! I am on the ris—
Aliya: [SMACK] NO. Back in your box.
Mustafina is certainly not yet at full strength or endurance (though this was not altogether dissimilar to a typical Aliya podium training performance), but I was impressed to see how close she already is to being back at international-competition level, and by seeing her go for a DTY and some real floor tumbling like the double arabian. I more expected this to be a UB/BB-focused return to competition with maybe a courtesy layout on the leggier events, but she did much more than a courtesy layout, enough to get a competitive all-around score on the first day. Continue reading We Need to Talk about Aliya’s Comeback