Aliya Mustafina: Russia
She took the world by storm in 2010, winning the World All Around title. Unfortunately, she landed badly on her vault in the 2011 European Championships, tearing her ACL. She needed surgery and did not compete until the very end of that year, in a small meet in Russia. She competed recently at the European Championships, where she had a disastrous day in qualifications, but a very good day in the team final.
She comes in as a favorite to win on bars, where she has one of the most difficult routines in the world, and her own unique dismount with 1 and 1/2 twists. She will also likely compete the All Around, but will is not favored to win, in my opinion, because I’m not sure she has enough difficulty. She could still challenge for an AA medal, however, and I certainly hope she walks away from London with some hardware.
Here’s Aliya Mustafina in the crowning achievement of her career, winning the 2010 World All Around title.
(BTW, it’s pronounced mu-STAH-fi-na, NOT mu-sta-FI-na)