Not Even One Mistake!
October 7, 1977. Minsk. The women's team from Dynamo won first place in the 1977 USSR Cup for gymnastics. In the individual competition, a strong athlete from Rostov-on-Don, Natalia Shaposhnikova, led the way with 77.75 points. There was a battle in the women's team scores on the second day. The two strongest teams - Dynamo (led by Shaposhnikova) and Army (led by Elena Mukhina/Moscow) - sought to prove their superiority. I must say that the members of both leading teams are friends who supported each other during the competition. For example, Dynamo had Elena Polevaya of Gomel (making her debut in adult competition), Lyubov Yudina and Larisa Nikiforova. These last two, along with Shaposhnikova, are students of Vladislav Rastorotsky. The Army team had Mukhina, Muscovites Olga Koval and Elena Gurina, and Zhanna Gazaryan (Baku).
At first, the scales fluctuated but then Dynamo went far ahead. And it happened thanks to a successful performance by Shaposhnikova. That evening she appeared before the audience in a new, cool and confident way. Previously, Natasha didn't perform with stability. But this time she didn't have any errors in two days of competition, showing the highest level of complexity on all apparatus. Her routine on the uneven bars was admirable for the giant swing she did on the upper bar and for the double back salto dismount. In Minsk we have perhaps seen a new direction in the development of routines for this apparatus. Of course, Mukhina and Filatova did not miss their chances. Indeed, there are many elements in their routines which rely on more solid supplements. But Lena and Masha made many mistakes. And they ended up behind Lena Polevaya, who captured second place.
Incidentally, the school girl from Gomel was first noticed at the All-Union Youth Games. And now! Lena is perhaps the smallest in height, and she shows good contents in her program.
I also want to mention Stella Zakharova from Kishinev. Stella, in spite of her 14 years, has already won many competitions. Two years ago, I said this about her: a girl who's gifted, no doubt, and at a higher than average level who probably won't get much better. However,I coach Vladimir Kuksa failed to open the possibility of his student.
It turned out that Stella is very strong. She's also brave and industrious. The coach revealed these qualities in Zakharova. Here, she demontrated not only unique acrobatics on floor (for example, double salto layout) but also a different vault and good choreographic training.
Technical Results. USSR Cup in Gymnastics, Minsk, 6 October Sports Palace
1. N. Shaposhnikova - 77.75 (9.9, 10.1, 10.6, 10.2)
2. E. Polevaya - 75.2 (9.7, 9.4, 9.9, 9.7)
3. E. Mukhina - 74.75 (9.05, 10.3, 8.6, 10.4)
4. M. Filatova - 73.55
4. S. Zakharova - 73.55
6. E. Nikolaentseva - 73.25
1. Dinamo - 385.55
2. Army Club - 366.55
3. Trud - 356.9