According to a post on on a popular Russian social media site, 2012 all-around Olympic silver medalist Viktoria Komova has halted her training, and will not be part of the Russian team when they head to Rio for the Olympics.
The post, which was written in Russian and translated by a fan, said:
"Dear friends, fans, and gymnastics lovers. Unfortunately back pain isn’t allowing me to train to my full potential and get ready for competitions. I’ve made the very difficult decision to stop training and take care of my health. I want to thank everyone for their support! Without your love and warmth it would’ve been more difficult to go all the way. Thanks everyone and see you soon! Love and kisses."
Komova's last major competition was the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, where she won a gold medal in the uneven bars competition, but watched in disappointment as the Russian team failed to medal. She made a comment about the American gymnastics team, who won gold at that event, suggesting they took steroids, but apologized for her comment almost immediately. Komova hasn't competed anywhere in 2016, as she's been nursing a back injury.
The future now remains uncertain for Komova, who also suffered an ankle injury in 2014. Komova turned 21 in January, and will be 25 when the Olympics take place in Tokyo. With two major injuries already behind her, the odds of a comeback continue to get longer the older she gets.
Impact On The Russian Team
With Komova on the shelf, the United States becomes an even bigger favorite to retain the Olympic gold medal in the team event. Russia will have to rely on Aliya Mustafina, the 2012 all-around bronze medalist and 2010 World Champion. Mustafina sat out last year's World Championship with an injury of her own, but she did pick up two golds at the 2016 European Championship. Ksenia Afanasyeva will be returning for her third Olympics and recently won bronze on the vault at the European Championships, but she is recovering from an injury of her own. Maria Paseka, the third gymnast that has already been named to the team, sat out the European Championships with an injury.
Komova's absence will also benefit 3 time World Champion Simone Biles in the all-around competition. With Komova sidelined, and Romania's Larisa Iordache not guaranteed a spot in the Olympics, Biles' only real competition may come from one of her teammates, whether that be 2012 gold medalist Gabby Douglas, 2012 all-around finalist Aly Raisman, or the incredibly talented Maggie Nichols.