||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|— Gymnast —|
Semyonova in 2009
|Full name||Ksenia Andreyevna Semyonova|
October 20, 1992 |
|Height||154 centimetres (5 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||48 kilograms (106 lb)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Years on national team||2006 – 2011|
|Head coach(es)||Marina Nazarova|
|Assistant coach(es)||Nadezhda Nabokova|
|Music||Puttin' On The Ritz (2008), Tango Colegiales/Murga Tango(2009-2010), Clubbed To Death (2010-2011)|
|Eponymous skills||Beam: Full turn with leg held in back attitude
Floor: Double turn with leg held in back attitude
Ksenia Andreyevna Semyonova (Russian: Ксения Андреевна Семёнова) born October 20, 1992, in Tula, Russia, is a retired Russian artistic gymnast. She is the 2007 world champion on the uneven bars, and the 2008 European Champion on the uneven bars and the balance beam. Semyonova is the 2009 European all-around champion. She also won a gold medal with the Russian team at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
Semyonova's initial international success was at the WOGA Classic in January, where she placed first on uneven bars and balance beam. She continued her success as part of the Russian team at the Gymnix International in Montreal, scoring an exceptional 15.95 on uneven bars, blowing away the rest of the field with her world leading start value of 7.2. She also won balance beam with an exceptional 15.85 and placed 3rd in floor exercise. In March at the Russian National Championships, she helped the Central region to victory in the team competition, won the uneven bars with 15.975 and took 3rd on beam. Semyonova was unable to compete at the European championships in April but returned to win the uneven bars competition at the Russian Cup in July. Her main competition of the year came at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in September, where she succeeded in becoming world champion on the uneven bars, scoring 16.35 over Nastia Liukin and Yang Yilin, making her the first Russian world champion in gymnastics since her idol Svetlana Khorkina.
Semyonova's first major meet came in April with the European championships, where she helped Russia take silver in the team competition and secured gold in both the uneven bars and the balance beam, with scores of 15.9 and 15.95 respectively. In May she competed at the Moscow Stars World Cup, where she won another gold on the bars, scoring 16.075. Her success continued in June when she finished 2nd at the Dutch Open, behind Anna Pavlova, the two of them leading an all Russian sweep of places first to sixth. Semyonova had problems during the Russian Cup in July, where she fell on beam in qualifications and on vault in the all around final, but she still managed to take silver behind her teammate Afanasyeva.
Aged just 15, Semyonova represented Russia at the 2008 Summer Olympics and placed fourth in the all-around, just out of medal contention. Semyonova's team was considered to be one of the top four competitive teams (along with China, the USA, and Romania), but narrowly missed an opportunity to medal in Beijing, trailing the third place Romanian team by less than a full point. Semyonova also placed sixth in the uneven bars competition. In the team preliminaries, she placed eighth overall on balance beam; her excellent scores almost qualified her to compete in the balance beam finals. However, only two athletes from each country may compete in the event finals. Her teammates Anna Pavlova and Afanasyeva qualified in sixth and seventh place, edging her out of the competition. Semyonova and Afanasyeva both earned a score of 15.775, but the tie-breaking rules gave the advantage to Afanasyeva. Semyonova competed in the uneven bars finals, placing a respectable 6th, but was left behind the front runners Nastia Liukin, Yang Yilin, He Kexin and Beth Tweddle because of a deficit in start value, which Semyonova had little time to upgrade due to her determination to excel in the all-around competition. Semyonova ended the season with a wrist injury that prevented her from competing at the World Cup finals in Madrid.
Semyonova started her season at the Russian National Championships, where she placed second in the all around to outstanding junior Aliya Mustafina. She won the uneven bars and floor exercise to book her place on the European championships squad. Semyonova placed first in the all-around competition at the 2009 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Milan, Italy, just ahead of her teammate Afanasyeva. In the event finals, she was second on the uneven bars behind Beth Tweddle of the United Kingdom and third on floor, behind Tweddle and the 2006 World Champion, the Italian Vanessa Ferrari. Semyonova also qualified for the balance beam final and finished in fifth place with an uncharacteristically shaky routine. In July she suffered a minor injury to her wrist, keeping her out of the Russian Cup, but was confirmed to the Russian team for the world championships in October along with Yekaterina Kurbatova, Anna Myzdrikova and Afanasyeva, who eventually withdrew due to an injury. After a qualifying round marred by wobbles and a fall on her floor routine, she was 10th going into the all-around but failed to make any event finals. Another fall from the uneven bars during the first rotation prevented her from a better placement and she finished 13th overall.
The season was marred by injuries for Semyonova, who had to sit out the earlier competitions to rest a painful back injury. Nevertheless, she competed at the European championships in Brussels on floor and beam and qualified for the floor final, from which she eventually gave up her spot to let her teammate Anna Myzdrikova (who went on to win the silver medal) compete. She also contributed to Russia's win in the team final. Semyonova was selected to compete at the world championships in Rotterdam, again only competing in two events. Whereas her beam routine in the qualifying round was steady and well-executed, she counted two falls in her floor exercise on her opening pass (double layout) and on her double pike. Another steady beam routine helped her team to win Russia's first team world title in history and earned Semyonova her second world title.
As of 2009, Ksenia performed the following routines:
|Uneven Bars||Glide kip cast to HS (KCHS), Stalder shoot to HB (Ray); KCHS, Pike stalder (Inbar) 1½, straddled jaegar; KCHS, Inbar ½, Inbar full, Deltchev; KCHS, Pak salto, KCHS, stadler 1/2 Toe shoot to HB; Toe-on full to piked double Arabian dismount||6.5|
|Balance Beam||Swing to handstand mount; switch split leap; front aerial, flip-flop, pike back salto; side somi; aerial cartwheel; full turn with leg at Horizontal; sheep jump; onodi, flip-flop, layout stepout; sissone, split jump; roundoff (RO) double pike dismount||6.0|
|Floor Exercise||Double Layout ; 2½ twist punch layout barani; Switch ring, Split leap full; Double turn with leg in attitude (Semyonova); 1½ twist punch layout front full; Double pike dismount||5.6|
Semyonova performs the "Tkatchev to immediate giant full" combination on the uneven bars and may be the first female gymnast to perform it (but the combination [toe-on] Tkatchev to immediate giant was already performed by former gymnasts like Elise Ray in 2000's or Roza Galieva in 1993). This move is usually done by men on the horizontal bar. She also performs a Deltchev salto on uneven bars, now an unusual skill in the women's sport and an uncommon piked double Arabian dismount. She has a skill on floor named after her, a double spin in back attitude which carries a D rating under the 2009–12 Code of Points.