Aliya Fargatovna Mustafina (Russian: Алия Фаргатовна Мустафина, Tatar: Алия Фәрхәт кызы Мостафина, Alia Ferhad kyzy Mustafina), born 30 September 1994 in Yegorievsk, Russia is a Russian artistic gymnast. She is the 2012 Olympic Uneven Bars Champion, the 2012 Olympic All-Around and Floor Exercise bronze medalist, the 2010 All-Around World Champion, 2013 European All-Around Champion, 2013 European Uneven Bars Champion, and the 2013 World Balance Beam Champion. She also won Gold with the Russian team at the 2010 World Championships and was the 2009 Russian national champion in the all around and on the balance beam. She is also the reigning Russian national champion in the all around. Mustafina's younger sister, Nailya, is also a Russian elite gymnast (who was a member of Russia's junior team and won the silver medal on floor exercise at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships in San Jose). Her father, Farhad Mustafin, was a bronze medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Mustafina trains at Moscow's Central Sport Army Club (CSKA).
In 2006, Mustafina competed in the 2006 Frienship Classic. She won the vault and balance beam finals and placed second behind Catherine Nguyen in the all-around, uneven bars and floor exercise finals.
Mustafina first came to international prominence as a gymnast in what was her first major junior competition, the 2007 International Junior Competition. She won silver medals in the all-around, the uneven bars, the vault, the balance beam, and in the floor exercise. USA's Rebecca Bross won all five of those competitions. It was noted as a result of these championships that both Mustafina and Bross were likely to be a major force in Gymnastics in the years to come, a prediction that was born out by subsequent results.
Also, in 2007, Mustafina finished second in the all-around at the Gymnix International in Montreal. She also finished second with the Russian team in the Stella Zakharova Cup.
Mustafina competed at the 2008 Junior European Gymnastics Championships in Clermont-Ferrand. She was a gold medalist with the team and finished second in the all-around to team mate Tatiana Nabieva.
Later in 2008, Mustafina competed in the Massilia Gym Cup in Marseille, finishing second in the floor exercise and seventh in the all-around.
Mustafina began the year by becoming all-around champion at the Russian national championships. She also won on the balance beam, finished second on the uneven bars, and third in the floor exercise.
In July 2009, Mustafina competed in the Japan Cup in Tokyo where the Russian team finished second. Mustafina also finished second in the all-around to China's Huang Qiushuang. She followed this up by winning the all-around in the Russia Cup and at the Doha Gymnasiade. At the latter, she also won Gold with the Russian team and finished first on the uneven bars, on the balance beam, and in the floor exercise.
In March, whilst warming up on the floor for the Russian nationals, Mustafina sustained an ankle injury. This prevented her from taking part in the national championships. Junior Viktoria Komova went on to take the all-around title in Mustafina's absence. This was ironic as both Mustafina and Komova are widely regarded as Russia's two best hopes for individual gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the female gymnastics competitions.
Mustafina quickly recovered from her injury to take part in the World Cup in Paris, where she finished second on the balance beam.
In May, Mustafina took part in her first major senior competition, the 2010 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Mustafina won the silver medal on both the uneven bars and the balance beam, as well as the gold medal with the Russian team. She also qualified for the floor final, finishing eighth.
Following the European Championships, Mustafina took part in the Japan Cup where she finished first with the Russian team and third in the all-around. She then took part in the Russian Cup where she finished first in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise, and finished third on beam. She then competed at the Holland Invitational where she finished first with the Russian team and first in the all-around.
At the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Mustafina was the top qualifier for the all-around competition, and qualified to participate in all four of the event finals. She was the first gymnast to accomplish this feat since Svetlana Khorkina in 1997. She then won gold with the Russian team (contributing most points in the process and playing the leading role - the teams win was Russia's first at the World Championships as an independent nation), and improved upon her scores in qualification to go on and win the all-around gold. When it came to the event finals, however, she seemed almost exhausted from her previous exertions and her scores fell, but despite that still succeeded in winning silver medals in the vault, on the uneven bars, and in the floor exercise. She fell on the beam to finish seventh in that final. All in all, therefore, Mustafina's five medals (two golds and three silvers) made her the most successful gymnast at the 2010 World Championships and the most successful in a world championships since Andreea Raducan of Romania and Khorkina at the 2001 World Championships.
Commenting on Mustafina's win in the all-around at the World Championships, Andy Thornton from Universal Sports stated: "The story behind Aliya Mustafina's all-around gold today is that of a revived dynasty; the dominant Soviet women's team of the 1980's and early 1990's - whom many consider to represent the absolute epitome of artistic gymnastics - was dead and now reborn. In addition to leading her teammates to their country's first world title as an independent nation, Mustafina has delivered one of the great performances by a female gymnast ever - capturing the very same artistry, difficulty, and competitive composure that made her Soviet predecessors so beloved and revered. Mustafina's four-event arsenal is so well balanced it's hard to pick a favorite event to watch her on, and a win so convincing and undeniable as hers gives a satisfying sense of closure to a competition. She has established herself and her Russian teammates as the absolute gymnasts to watch over the next two years - and the gymnasts to beat."
On the 13th November 2010, Mustafina competed in the "Freddy Cup" Italian Grand Prix (in which the women competed on beam and uneven bars) where she won the balance beam competition (in which she added some new skills to her routine), beating Viktoria Komova into second place in the process. However, she missed out some elements in her uneven bars routine and ended up fourth in that competition, a competition which was won by Komova.
Mustafina next competed at the Toyota Cup in Japan in December 2010 where she was again scheduled to compete with Komova in what is now regarded as the main rivalry in women's gymnastics, ahead of what International Gymnast Magazine is calling the "anticipated all-around showdown between the two stars...at the Russian championships in March and European championships in April". However, at the last minute, Komova was switched to the Voronin Memorial event instead, but later withdrew due to injury. At the Toyota Cup, Mustafina won gold on the floor and on the vault. She also won silver on the beam, finishing second to Lauren Mitchell.
In late December 2010, Mustafina entered the Voronin Memorial event as a surprise late entrant. She won the all-around competition and also won golds in the floor exercise and on the uneven bars.
Commenting on a highly successful 2010 in the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation magazine, Gimnastika, Mustafina stated: "What did I learn from the World Championships? That we can win, too! We can beat the Chinese and we can beat the Americans – there's nothing that difficult in it. We have to work and everything will be fine."
It was expected that Mustafina would begin the new gymnastics season by competing at Russian Nationals. However, she was switched to compete at the AT&T American Cup instead which took place on the 5th March 2011. Mustafina finished second in the all-around to America's Jordyn Wieber. Looking out of sorts in her first event of the new season, a touch down on the floor at the end of a tumbling pass in the floor exercise ultimately cost Mustafina the gold medal (albeit losing out by just 0.068 points).
Mustafina next competed at the Bercy World Cup (French International) from the 19–20 March 2011. She competed on the beam, the uneven bars, and on the vault, winning gold in all three events. She did not compete in the floor exercise.
On the 8th April 2011, Mustafina competed at the European Championships where she suffered an injury to her left knee during the first rotation in the all-around on the vault (on landing whilst performing a Yurchenko 2 1/2, also known as an Amanar) and had to withdraw. Her compatriot, Anna Dementyeva went on to win the all-around competition.
Mustafina duly underwent surgery on 13 April 2011. During her rehabilitation, she kept begging the Russian head coach, Aleksandr Aleksandrov (also her personal coach), to put her on the team for the World Championships in Tokyo. Aleksandrov called her "the leader, the heart and soul" of the Russian team, but as she was not fully healed from her injury, he did not put her on the team.
Mustafina took part in her first competition after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and knee surgery at the 2011 Voronin Cup, she finished 6th in the all-around and won silver on uneven bars behind compatriot Viktoria Komova. In an interview, Mustafina said she was pleased with her comeback.
Mustafina began her year by winning the Russian National All-Around title in the absence of Viktoria Komova who would later go on to defeat Mustafina at the upcoming Russian Cup All-Around. Mustafina continued to show steady improvements. She competed at the SUI-GBR-RUS competition in April, where she stuck a double-twisting Yurchenko.
Mustafina was named to the Russian team for the European Championships. She did not compete on balance beam in the team final, but after posting scores in the 15 range on vault and uneven bars, she performed poorly on floor exercise. The Russian team took the silver behind Romania.
Mustafina competed at the Russian Cup in June. She qualified first into the all-around, but placed second behind Viktoria Komova. She also won gold on uneven bars and floor exercise, and silver on balance beam.
On July 7th, Mustafina was named to the Russian team for the Olympics.
During qualifications, Mustafina competed on all four events. She qualified fourth to the all-around, fifth to the uneven bars, and eighth to the floor exercise final.
During the team final, Mustafina continued to compete on all four events. She stuck her double-twisting Yurchenko, performed well on bars and floor, but had a few errors on balance beam. After teammate Anastasia Grishina's floor routine (where she received a 12.466), Mustafina and her teammates were all in tears, as they thought they hadn't done enough to even medal. When they found out they won the silver, placing behind the United States and ahead of Romania, they were all smiles during the medal ceremony.
In the all-around, Mustafina performed a very clean double-twisting Yurchenko and scored a 15.233. She moved on to the uneven bars and scored a 16.100, the highest score on uneven bars of the night. However, on balance beam, she fell on her Arabian salto and was over her allotted time. She scored a 13.633. She then went to floor exercise and scored a 14.600. Originally, she tied for the bronze with USA's Aly Raisman, until a tie breaker was induced and the bronze was awarded to Mustafina. Mustafina said of USA's Gabby Douglas, the Olympic All-Around Champion:
- “She was fantastic. She didn’t make a single mistake. She became the leading athlete from the very beginning.”
Mustafina then competed in the uneven bars event final. She performed sixth, and scored a 16.133. This guaranteed her a medal with two gymnasts to go, and it ended up being gold. China's He Kexin took the silver and Great Britain's Beth Tweddle took the bronze. She was the first Russian gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal in twelve years, the last one being Elena Zamolodchikova at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in the floor exercise and vault final.
In the floor exercise final, Mustafina performed sixth. She performed very well, much better than she had previously in the Olympics. She scored a 14.900 and originally tied for the bronze with Italy's Vanessa Ferrari. However, a tie breaker was induced, and Mustafina was awarded the bronze behind USA's Aly Raisman and Romania's Catalina Ponor.
Mustafina competed in the team competition at the Stuttgart World Cup at the end of November, and won the team gold medal.
In January, Mustafina was announced as part of the lineup for the La Roche-sur-Yon World Cup. She withdrew prior to the competition.
In March, Mustafina successfully defended her Russian National Championship All-Around title with an aggregate score of 59.850. Mustafina also revealved an upgraded balance beam routine with a difficulty of 6.6. She also helped her team, Moscow, win the silver medal in the team competition, and won a bronze on the uneven bars after making a small mistake on one of her pirouettes. Although she also qualified to the balance beam and floor exercise event finals, she chose to pull out because her knee started bothering her. Later that month, Mustafina was named to the Russian team for the European Championships, where she will hopefully qualify to the all-around and event finals. At the end of March, Mustafina competed at the Stella Zakharova Cup, winning gold in the team final, all-around, and on uneven bars, and silver on balance beam.
In April, she competed at the European Championships, where she qualified in fourth place for the all-around after a poor performance on beam and solid scores on the other events, first for the uneven bars and third for the floor final. She won gold in the all-around ahead of Romania's Larisa Iordache and Mustafina's compatriot Anastasia Grishina. She also won gold in the uneven bars final. However, the day before the floor exercise final, she was taken out and replaced with her teammate Grishina.
In June, Mustafina's coach, Aleksandr Aleksandrov, left Russia to coach in Brazil. Mustafina was coached by Raisa Ganina for the Universiade in Kazan in July. However, a week before the competition, Mustafina came down with an illness and was replaced by the team alternate, Ekaterina Kramarenko, in podium training. She recovered in time to take part in the competition. Not only that, she won three gold medals (team, all-around, uneven bars), and a silver medal (balance beam). She placed ninth in the floor exercise final (as Ellie Black and Elsa García tied for second behind her compatriot Ksenia Afanasyeva) with a fall on her double tuck dismount. Mustafina was named to the Russian team for the World Championships later that summer. Because she had a spot on the team, she was told to sit out the Russian Cup to rest for Worlds. A week before the competition began, it was announced Mustafina was training two vaults again.
In qualifications, Mustafina competed in the fourth subdivision. She fell on her upgraded first tumbling pass on floor (whip, whip, double Arabian). Mustafina went on to vault, where she stood up her first vault but sat down her second. She performed a watered down bar routine to ensure a spot in the bars final. She qualified to the all-around in fifth, the uneven bars final in fifth, and the beam final in eighth. She also qualified as the second reserve on vault.
In the all-around, Mustafina hit four clean routines, including a well-executed whip, whip, double Arabian, stag leap pass on floor to win the bronze behind USA's Simone Biles and Kyla Ross. In the uneven bars final, she competed seventh. She hit a very good routine to score 15.033, and won bronze behind China's Huang Huidan and Ross. In the balance beam final, Mustafina performed first to score a 14.900. After her routine, her coaches filed an inquiry about her D-score, but it was rejected. However, her score maintained throughout the final and she won over Ross and Biles. Mustafina became the first Russian to win the World title on balance beam since Dina Kochetkova in 1996. Mustafina also became the seventh gymnast to achieve the rare feat of winning a World medal in every event, following Larisa Latynina, Ludmilla Tourischeva, Ecaterina Szabo, Elena Shushunova, Lavinia Miloşovici, and Svetlana Khorkina.
Prior to the competition beginning, Mustafina had submitted a triple Y turn on floor exercise to the FIG. However, she did not perform it over the course of the competition, so it was not added to the Code of Points or named after her.
In late October, Mustafina was announced as a competitor for the Stuttgart World Cup, but withdrew from the individual roster in early November. She was later named to the Russian team for the Team Challenge at the World Cup. Her team won the silver medal in the Team Challenge, and Mustafina posted the highest balance beam score: 15.150.
|2007||Japan Junior International||2nd||2nd||2nd||2nd||2nd|
|Stella Zakharova Cup||2nd|
|2008||Clermont-Ferrand Junior European Championships||1st||2nd|
|Massilia Gym Cup||7||2nd|
|2009||Junior Russian National Championships||1st||2nd||1st||3rd|
|2010||Paris World Cup||2nd|
|Birmingham European Championships||1st||2nd||2nd||8|
|Rotterdam World Championships||1st||1st||2nd||2nd||7||2nd|
|2011 Paris World Cup||1st||1st||1st|
|2012||Russian National Championships||1st|
|Brussels European Championships||2nd|
|London Olympic Games||2nd||3rd||1st||3rd|
|Stuttgart World Cup||1st|
|Stella Zakharova Cup||1st||1st||1st||2nd|
|Moscow European Championships||1st||1st|
|Antwerp World Championships||3rd||3rd||1st|
|Stuttgart World Cup||2nd|
2007 - "Sahra Saidi" by Goma Gamal
2009-2010 - "Hijo de la Luna" by Sarah Brightman
2011 - "Hood Jump" by John Powell
2013 Worlds - "Soulseeker" by Thomas Bergersen
|Olympic Uneven Bars Champions|
|Margit Korondi • Agnes Keleti • Polina Astakhova • Věra Čáslavská • Karin Janz • Nadia Comăneci • Maxi Gnauck • Ma Yanhong | Julianne McNamara • Daniela Silivaş • Lu Li • Svetlana Khorkina • Émilie Le Pennec • He Kexin • Aliya Mustafina|
|World All-Around Champions|
|Vlasta Děkanová • Helena Rakoczy • Galina Rudko • Larisa Latynina • Věra Čáslavská • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Elena Mukhina • Nellie Kim • Olga Bicherova • Natalia Yurchenko • Elena Shushunova | Oksana Omelianchik • Aurelia Dobre • Svetlana Boginskaya • Kim Zmeskal • Shannon Miller • Lilia Podkopayeva • Svetlana Khorkina • Maria Olaru • Svetlana Khorkina • Chellsie Memmel • Vanessa Ferrari • Shawn Johnson • Bridget Sloan • Aliya Mustafina • Jordyn Wieber • Simone Biles|
|World Balance Beam Champions|
|Vlasta Děkanová • Helena Rakoczy • Keiko Tanaka • Larisa Latynina • Eva Bosáková • Natalia Kuchinskaya • Erika Zuchold • Nellie Kim • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Nadia Comăneci • Vera Cerna • Maxi Gnauck • Olga Mostepanova • Daniela Silivaş • Aurelia Dobre • Daniela Silivaş • Svetlana Boginskaya • Kim Zmeskal • Lavinia Miloşovici • Shannon Miller • Mo Huilan • Dina Kochetkova • Gina Gogean • Ling Jie • Andreea Răducan • Ashley Postell • Fan Ye • Nastia Liukin • Iryna Krasnianska • Nastia Liukin • Deng Linlin • Ana Porgras • Sui Lu • Aliya Mustafina|
|European All-Around Champions|
|Larisa Latynina • Natalia Kot • Larisa Latynina • Marjana Bilic • Věra Čáslavská • Karin Janz • Tamara Lazakovich | Ludmilla Tourischeva • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Nadia Comăneci • Maxi Gnauck • Olga Bicherova • Elena Shushunova • Daniela Silivaş • Svetlana Boginskaya • Tatiana Gutsu • Gina Gogean • Lilia Podkopayeva • Svetlana Khorkina • Alina Kozich • Marine Debauve • Vanessa Ferrari • Ksenia Semenova • Anna Dementyeva • Aliya Mustafina|
|European Uneven Bars Champions|
|Larisa Latynina • Polina Astakhova • Thea Belmer • Věra Čáslavská • Karin Janz • Tamara Lazakovich • Ludmilla Tourischeva • Nadia Comăneci • Nadia Comăneci | Elena Mukhina • Elena Mukhina • Maxi Gnauck • Ecaterina Szabo • Elena Shushunova | Oksana Omelianchik • Daniela Silivaş • Henrietta Ónodi • Svetlana Boginskaya | Natalia Kalinina | Mirela Pasca • Tatiana Gutsu • Svetlana Khorkina • Svetlana Khorkina | Simona Amânar | Lilia Podkopayeva • Svetlana Khorkina • Émilie Le Pennec • Beth Tweddle • Darya Zgoba • Ksenia Semenova • Beth Tweddle • Viktoria Komova • Aliya Mustafina|