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Angelina Melnikova
Ангелина Мельникова
Angelina Melnikova, 2019.jpg
Melnikova at the 2019 European Games
Personal information
Full name Angelina Romanovna Melnikova
Nickname(s) Gelya, Melka
Country represented  Russia
Born 18 July 2000 (2000-07-18) (age 21)
Hometown Voronezh, Voronezh Oblast, Russia
Residence Voronezh
Height 1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Years on national team 2014–Present (RUS)
Club SDUSHOR
Head coach(es) Sergei Denisevich, Natalia Ishkova
Music Kalinka (2015-16)
Spicy/Romeo and Juliet (2017)
Despacito/Unstoppable/Scene D'Amour (2018)
Fun by Josh Vietti (2019)
Awards Longines Prize for Elegance (2018)

Angelina Romanovna Melnikova (Russian: Ангели́на Рома́новна Ме́льникова; IPA: [ɐnɡʲɪˈlʲinə ˈmʲelʲnʲɪkəvə]; born 18 July 2000) is a Russian artistic gymnast. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she led the Russian Olympic Committee to gold in the team competition. She previously represented Russia at the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the team competition. She was also a member of the gold medal-winning Russian teams at the 2016 and 2018 European Championships, and the silver medal-winning Russian teams at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships.

Individually, she is the 2020 Olympic all-around and floor exercise bronze medalist, 2019 European Games all-around and uneven bars champion, the 2019 World all-around and floor exercise bronze medalist, the 2017 European champion on the floor exercise and 2021 European champion on uneven bars, a nine-time individual European Championships medalist, a four-time European Games medalist, and a two-time Russian national all-around champion (2016, 2018). At the junior level, Melnikova also won gold medals at the 2014 European Championships in the team, all-around, and balance beam events and was the 2014 Russian junior all-around national champion. She has been captain of the Russian women's national gymnastics team since 2017.

Personal life

Angelina Romanovna Melnikova was born 18 July 2000 in Voronezh, Russia. She started gymnastics at age six after her grandmother brought her to a practice once.

Melnikova studied sport and tourism at the Smolensk State Academy of Physical Education.

Melnikova has received two major honors. Following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she received the Order for Merits to the Fatherland, as well as the title of Honoured Master of Sport in the Russian Federation. At the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, she was presented with the Prize for Elegance.

In 2018, Melnikova started her own business designing and selling leotards.

Junior career

2014

Melnikova competed at the 2014 L'International Gymnix to win the team gold medal and all-around silver medal in Junior International Cup. She also placed second on uneven bars and third on floor exercise. In April, Melnikova competed at the Russian National Championships which were held in Penza with her home team, the Central Federal District. Her team placed first with a combined total score of 267.966. Individually Melnikova had a strong showing placing first in the Junior Master of the Sport All-Around with a score of 58.300. She also won two other gold medals on beam and floor with scores of 14.700 and 14.167 respectively. She competed in the uneven bars final and placed seventh. The results of these championships were used to help determine the gymnasts who would compete at the European Championships in Sofia and due to her strong performance Melnikova was selected for the team.

In May 2014, Melnikova competed at the European Gymnastics Championships in the junior division alongside teammates Maria Bondareva, Daria Skrypnik, Seda Tutkhalyan and Anastasia Dmitrieva. As a team they placed first with a combined score of 168.268. Melnikova then went on to win a gold medal in the all-around competition and on beam and a silver medal on bars behind teammate Skrypnik.

2015

Melnikova competed at the Junior Russian Championships in Penza, Russia on 1–4 April. She finished in 1st place with her team, then went on to take the silver in the all-around, 5th on the uneven bars, gold on the balance beam, and silver on the floor.

In September she performed at the Russian Cup. She was ineligible to compete due to her junior status, so performed as a guest. Her overall score of 57.234 was the highest of the competition, beating official champion Daria Spiridonova's score of 56.733.

Melnikova competed at the Elite Gym Massilia meet in Marseille, France in November, taking the all-around title ahead of France's Marine Brevet and Romania's Diana Bulimar, and winning a silver team medal for Russia with teammates Daria Skrypnik, Evgeniya Shelgunova and Natalia Kapitonova. She qualified to the floor and uneven bars event finals, but counted falls in both events, leaving her in 6th and 5th place respectively.

Senior career

2016

Melnikova made her senior international debut at the DTB Pokal Team Challenge Cup where Team Russia won the gold medal. Individually she scored the second highest all-around score behind Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland. In April Melnikova won the all-around at the 2016 Russian Artistic Gymnastics Championships; as well as taking gold in balance beam, floor exercise and finished 5th in the uneven bars final.

Russia takes silver in women's artistic gymnastics
Melnikova (top right) and the Russian team with their Olympic silver medals after the women's team final

In early June Melnikova competed at the European Championships. During the team final she contributed on all four events towards Russia's first place finish. Individually she qualified to the balance beam and uneven bars event finals. She finished fifth on balance beam and withdrew from the uneven bars final so compatriot Daria Spiridonova could compete.

In July, Melnikova was selected to represent Russia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil alongside Aliya Mustafina, Maria Paseka, Daria Spiridonova, and Seda Tutkhalyan. At the Olympic Games she performed subpar, partially due to a strained hamstring suffered during podium training. In the qualifying session she fell off of the beam and again on floor, failing to qualify into the individual all-around or any of the event finals as many expected her to. She improved upon her performance in team finals, competing all 4 events, but still counting a fall on beam. Her performances contributed to Russia's team silver medal.

In November Melnikova competed at the Arthur Gander Memorial in Chiasso, Switzerland. She won the three-event all-around ahead of Eythora Thorsdottir and Jessica López. Melnikova next competed at the Swiss Cup, a mixed pairs event where she was partnered with Nikita Ignatyev. They finished third behind the Ukrainian pair of Angelina Kysla and Oleg Verniaiev and the German pair of Kim Bui and Marcel Nguyen.

Melnikova ended the year competing at the Toyota International held in Toyota, Japan. She finished fourth on vault, first on uneven bars, and second on balance beam and floor exercise behind Mai Murakami on both apparatuses.

2017

Melnikova was named as team captain of the Russian women's national team starting in 2017, succeeding Olympic teammate Aliya Mustafina. Melnikova started her season at the Russian National Championships in Kazan. Although she was expected to do well in the absence of Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina, as well as coming into the meet as the reigning national champion, she faltered throughout the competition on every event except vault, finishing 9th in the all-around. She also placed 3rd on vault and balance beam, falling on the latter. Despite her poor showing at nationals, Melnikova participated in the Stuttgart World Cup in March, placing second behind Germany's Tabea Alt and ahead of the USA's Morgan Hurd. She then competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy, where she received three bronze medals in the team all-around, vault, and floor exercise. Later she participated at the London World Cup. She competed poorly, falling on balance beam and floor exercise with major mistakes on uneven bars and vault. It was announced in April that she would attend the European Championships as part of the Russian team, along with 2016 Olympic teammate Maria Paseka, Elena Eremina, and Natalia Kapitonova. During qualification Melnikova fell on the balance beam and uneven bars and she did not qualify for the individual all-around final. However she qualified for the vault and floor exercise finals. During the vault final her form was not as good as the other gymnasts, resulting in her coming 8th. During the floor exercise final she performed a clean routine which resulted in her winning the gold medal ahead of British gymnast Ellie Downie and Eythora Thorsdottir from the Netherlands.

In August Melnikova competed at the Russian Cup in Ekaterinburg, where she won the all-around ahead of Eremina and Maria Kharenkova. She also placed first on the balance beam and third on vault and in the team competition.

After the Russian Cup, Melnikova was selected to represent Russia at the World Championships along with Paseka, Eremina, and Anastasia Ilyankova. In qualifications Angelina competed the all-around, hitting her beam routine (12.600) but counting two falls and an out of bounds penalty on floor exercise due to a foot injury. Despite a low score of 11.166 on floor exercise she performed a clean Lopez and DTY (14.400) and hit her bars routine to qualify for the all-around final with a score of 53.132. Her uneven bars score, 14.966, was the fourth highest in the competition, but she was not allowed to advance to the final due to the two-per-country rule; both Eremina and Ilyankova scored higher, with a 15.100 and 15.066 respectively. Melnikova finished 16th in the all-around final.

In December, Melnikova competed at the Voronin Cup where she finished first in the all-around, ahead of Viktoria Komova.

2018

At the start of the season Melnikova was selected to compete at the Stuttgart, Birmingham, and Tokyo World Cups; however, she was pulled out of the Tokyo World Cup in favor of teammate and first year senior Angelina Simakova. Melnikova started off her season at the Stuttgart World Cup, where she finished fifth after botching her pirouetting elements on uneven bars, falling off the balance beam, and under rotating her piked full in on floor exercise. However, a week later at the Birmingham World Cup, she was able to improve on her performances, managing to get her pirouettes on bars without losing swing, avoiding a fall on beam, and managing better landings on floor. Her performance was good enough to win the meet, finishing ahead of USA's Margzetta Frazier.

In April Melnikova competed at the 2018 City of Jesolo Trophy where she claimed a gold medal with the Russian team, ahead of Italy and Brazil. On vault she won a silver medal; on uneven bars she claimed the bronze behind teammate Anastasia Ilyankova and USA's Ragan Smith. On balance beam she won another bronze medal, this time behind the American first-year senior Emma Malabuyo and Smith. She also finished fourth in the all-around, behind Malabuyo, Smith, and Ilyankova, and fifth on floor exercise.

Angelina Melnikova - Glasgow 2018 - 03
Melnikova competing at the 2018 European Championships

A week later Melnikova competed at the Russian National Championships. On the first day of competition she earned a silver medal with the Central District team and qualified to the all-around and all four event finals. Several days later, after scoring 14.466 on vault, 14.433 on bars, 13.300 on beam, and 13.566 on floor exercise, Melnikova won the gold medal in the all around ahead of Angelina Simakova and Viktoria Komova. In the event finals she earned a silver on vault with a 14.049 average, behind Viktoria Trykina and ahead of Tatiana Nabieva; gold on uneven bars with a 14.266, ahead of guest competitor Irina Alexeeva and Komova; gold on balance beam with a 13.466, ahead of Ksenia Kamkova and Polina Fedorova; and gold on floor exercise with a 14.500, ahead of Simakova and Alexeeva.

In late June Melnikova competed at the Russian Cup. She was originally only going to compete uneven bars and balance beam due to nagging injuries, but later decided to compete all-around, where she finished first despite a fall on balance beam in qualification and a watered down floor routine. She also finished first with the Central Federal District team in the team competition and in the uneven bars final. Melnikova did not compete in the remaining event finals due to her knee injuries.

In August Melnikova competed at the European Championships in Glasgow. Together with her teammates Simakova, Alexeeva, Lilia Akhaimova, and Yuliana Perebinosova, she earned a gold medal in the team event. While Russia qualified into the team final behind France after a shaky qualifications performance, the team hit 12 out of 12 routines in the final to decisively win the title. In event finals she placed second on vault behind Boglárka Dévai of Hungary, third on uneven bars behind defending champion Nina Derwael of Belgium and Jonna Adlerteg of Sweden, and sixth on floor exercise.

On 29 September, Melnikova was named to the nominative roster to compete at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar alongside Akhaimova, Alexeeva, Mustafina, and Simakova. On 17 October the Worlds team was officially announced and was unchanged from the nominative team. During qualifications Melnikova qualified to the all-around final in fifth place and to the floor exercise final in third place. Russia also qualified to the team final in second place. During the team final Melnikova competed on vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise, helping Russia win the silver medal. In the all-around final Melnikova finished in fifth place, just a tenth of a point behind silver medalist Mai Murakami of Japan, 0.034 points behind bronze medalist Morgan Hurd of the United States, and 0.001 points behind fourth-place finisher Nina Derwael of Belgium. She was later awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance alongside compatriot Artur Dalaloyan. She finished fourth in the floor exercise final, only 0.033 points behind bronze medalist Murakami.

In mid-November Melnikova competed at the Arthur Gander Memorial in Chiasso, Switzerland. She placed fourth in the 3-event all-around behind Jade Barbosa and Flávia Saraiva of Brazil and Eythora Thorsdottir of the Netherlands. She then competed alongside countryman Nikita Nagornyy in the Swiss Cup, a unique mixed pairs event. After advancing to the final in first place, they won the silver medal behind German pair Elisabeth Seitz and Marcel Nguyen.

2019

In March Melnikova competed at the Russian National Championships where she placed second in the all-around behind Angelina Simakova. She won gold on the floor exercise, silver on vault and balance beam, and bronze on uneven bars. As a result, she was chosen to compete at the 2019 European Championships alongside Simakova, Maria Paseka, and Anastasia Ilyankova. Later that month Melnikova competed at the EnBW DTB-Pokal Team Challenge in Stuttgart. She won silver in the team final behind Brazil and in the individual all-around behind Brazilian Rebeca Andrade.

Angelina Melnikova RUS Floor All Around Final EC Szczecin 12 04 2019
Melnikova competing at the 2019 European Championships

At the European Championships Melnikova qualified to the all-around final in first place, uneven bars and floor exercise finals in second place, and vault final in sixth place. She won bronze in the all-around final behind Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos of France and Ellie Downie of Great Britain. She placed fifth in the vault final and won the silver medal on uneven bars behind compatriot Anastasia Ilyankova. The next day, she competed the most difficult routine in the floor exercise final and won the bronze medal behind the defending floor exercise champion Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos and Eythora Thorsdottir of the Netherlands. This third medal tied her with de Jesus dos Santos as the most decorated female gymnast of the championships.

In May it was announced that Melnikova would compete at the European Games alongside Aliya Mustafina (later replaced by Anastasia Ilyankova) and Aleksandra Shchekoldina. During qualifications she finished first in the all-around and third on vault and balance beam, qualifying to those three event finals. Additionally she finished eighth on floor exercise and was the first reserve and finished sixth on uneven bars but did not qualify to the final due to teammate Ilyankova scoring higher. During the all-around final Melnikova won gold, finishing ahead of Lorette Charpy of France. The following day Ilyankova had to withdraw from the uneven bars final due to an allergic reaction and Melnikova replaced her. During event finals Melnikova won silver on vault behind Slovenian Teja Belak, gold on uneven bars, and silver on balance beam behind Nina Derwael of Belgium.

On July 9 it was announced that Melnikova would be featured in a year-long documentary series on the Olympic Channel titled All Around, alongside American Morgan Hurd and Chen Yile of China, which will follow their journeys and training leading up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

In August Melnikova competed at the Russian Cup. After two days of competition she placed second in the all-around behind junior national team member Vladislava Urazova. On the first day of event finals Melnikova won silver on vault, finishing behind Lilia Akhaimova and won bronze on uneven bars behind Daria Spiridonova and Urazova. She later withdrew from the floor exercise final, citing health reasons. Shortly after the conclusion of the Russian Cup Melnikova was named to the nominative team for the 2019 World Championships alongside Akhaimova, Spiridonova, Anastasia Agafonova, Angelina Simakova (later replaced by Maria Paseka), and Aleksandra Shchekoldina. This announcement made Melnikova the only Russian gymnast to be a member of all three world championships teams during the 2017-2020 quadrennium.

During qualifications she helped Russia qualify to the team final in third place behind the United States and China. Individually Melnikova qualified to the all-around in fourth place behind Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee of the United States and Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos of France, the uneven bars final in eighth place, and the floor exercise final in third place behind Biles and Lee. Despite Valentina Rodionenko's, the head coach of the Russian women's gymnastics team, low expectations for the team, they won the silver medal in the team final with Melnikova contributing scores on all four apparatuses.

During the all-around final Melnikova finished with a score of 56.399, earning the bronze medal behind Biles and Tang Xijing of China. This was Melnikova's first individual medal at a world championships. She recorded the third highest score of the day on floor exercise behind Biles and Lee and the fourth highest balance beam score behind Biles, Tang, and Flávia Saraiva of Brazil and tied with Canadian Ellie Black and Li Shijia of China. During the uneven bars final Melnikova performed a clean routine and earned a score of 14.733, finishing fourth behind Nina Derwael of Belgium, Becky Downie of Great Britain, and Lee. The following day, she competed in the floor final and earned the bronze medal behind Biles and Lee.

In late October Melnikova competed at the Brabant Trophy where she was partnered with Ivan Stretovich. They finished in second place behind the team from the Netherlands composed of Sanna Veerman and Bart Deurloo. In December she competed at the Tokyo International Cup in Aichi, Japan where she won gold on vault, uneven bars, and balance beam and placed seventh on floor exercise.

2020

In mid January it was announced that Melnikova would compete at the Italian Serie A competition as part of the Lissone LAG club. Later that month it was announced that she would compete at the Stuttgart World Cup taking place in March. The Stuttgart World Cup was later canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. In late September it was announced that Melnikova would be competing at an upcoming competition in Hiroshima to take place in November alongside Lilia Akhaimova (later replaced by Aleksandra Shchekoldina), Elena Gerasimova, and Yana Vorona. At the Friendship & Solidarity Meet she was on the Friendship team and they placed second. While individual titles were not being contested, Melnikova scored the highest all-around total with 56.700 and recorded the highest uneven bars and floor exercise scores and the second highest vault and balance beam scores behind American Shilese Jones and Zhang Jin of China respectively.

2021

Melnikova competed at the Russian National Championships in March. She finished third in the all-around behind new seniors Viktoria Listunova and Vladislava Urazova. During event finals Melnikova won gold on vault and floor exercise and bronze on uneven bars once again behind Urazova and Listunova. Melnikova was later selected to compete at the European Championships in Basel alongside Urazova, Listunova, and Elena Gerasimova. During qualifications Melnikova qualified to the all-around, uneven bars, and floor exercise finals in first place and the vault final in second place behind Jessica Gadirova. During the all-around final Melnikova fell off both the uneven bars and the balance beam but still managed to finish in second place behind Listunova. On the first day of event finals Melnikova won bronze on vault behind Giulia Steingruber and Gadirova, and won gold on the uneven bars. On the final day of the competition Melnikova won silver on floor exercise behind Gadirova.

Melnikova competed at the Russian Cup in June. During qualifications she finished in first place. During the all-around final she fell off the balance beam and finish third behind Listunova and Urazova. After the competition Valentina Rodionenko, the senior coach of the Russian national artistic gymnastics team, announced that Melnikova would be on the Olympic Team along with Listunova and Urazova.

At the Olympic Games Melnikova qualified to the all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise event finals. Additionally she helped the Russian Olympic Committee qualify to the team final in a surprise first place, ahead of the United States team. During the team final Simone Biles withdrew after vault; Melnikova competed on all four apparatuses. Although Melnikova and teammate Urazova fell off the balance beam, the Russian team performed well on all other routines and finished in first place, over three points ahead of the second place American team. This marked the first time Russia had won the Olympic team gold since 1992. During the all-around final Melnikova hit all four of her routines and finished third behind Sunisa Lee and Rebeca Andrade to earn the bronze medal, her first individual Olympic medal. On the first day of event finals Melnikova finished fifth on vault and eighth on uneven bars. The following day Melnikova performed a clean routine and won the bronze medal on floor exercise behind Jade Carey and Vanessa Ferrari and tying with Mai Murakami, winning her second individual and fourth overall Olympic medal.

Competitive history

Junior

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2013 Russian Hopes (CMS) 1 2 2 2
2014 L'International Gymnix 1 2 2 3
National Championships (MS) 1 1 7 1 1
European Championships 1 1 6 2 1
Top Gym 1 1 1
2015 National Championships (MS) 1 2 5 1 2
ITA-RUS-ROU-COL Friendly 1 2
Elite Gym Massilia 2 1 5 6
Voronin Cup 1 2 1 1

Senior

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2016 DTB Pokal Team Challenge Cup 1
National Championships 1 1 5 1 1
European Championships 1 5
Russian Cup 1 1 2 1 3
Olympic Games 2
Arthur Gander Memorial 1
Swiss Cup 3
Toyota International 4 1 2 2
2017 National Championships 2 11 3 3 8
Stuttgart World Cup 2
City of Jesolo Trophy 3 6 3 7 3
London World Cup 5
European Championships 8 1
Russian Cup 3 1 3 4 1 5
World Championships 16 R2
Mexican Open 3 1 1 6 3
Voronin Cup 1 1 2 2 8
2018 Stuttgart World Cup 4
Birmingham World Cup 1
City of Jesolo Trophy 1 4 2 3 3 5
National Championships 2 1 2 1 1 1
Russian Cup 1 1 1
European Championships 1 2 3 6
World Championships 2 5 R3 R3 4
Arthur Gander Memorial 4
Swiss Cup 2
2019 National Championships 2 2 2 3 2 1
EnBW DTB-Pokal Challenge 2
European Championships 3 5 2 3
European Games 1 2 1 2 R1
Russian Cup 2 2 3 WD
World Championships 2 3 4 R3 3
Brabant Trophy 2
Toyota International 1 1 1 7
2020 1st Italian Serie A 9
Friendship & Solidarity Meet 2
2021 National Championships 4 3 1 3 1
European Championships 2 3 1 2
Russian Cup 3 2 2 3 2
Olympic Games 1 3 5 8 3

International scores

Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2016 European Championships Bern Team 1 175.212 2 173.261
Uneven bars WD 3 14.866
Balance beam 5 14.166 2 14.500
Floor exercise 18 13.533
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro Team 2 176.688 3 174.620
All-around 22 56.499
Uneven bars 13 15.100
Balance beam 54 13.266
Floor exercise 53 13.200
2017 European Championships Cluj-Napoca All-around 15 52.257
Vault 8 14.000 7 14.166
Uneven bars 43 12.025
Balance beam 18 12.633
Floor exercise 1 14.100 6 13.233
World Championships Montreal All-around 16 51.341 10 53.132
Vault 10 14.116
Uneven bars 4 14.966
Balance beam 18 12.600
Floor exercise 91 11.166
2018 European Championships Glasgow Team 1 165.195 2 161.462
Vault 2 14.233 3 14.166
Uneven bars 3 14.366 6 14.033
Balance beam 16 12.766
Floor exercise 6 13.166 1 13.833
World Championships Doha Team 2 162.863 2 165.497
All-around 5 55.698 5 55.465
Vault 11 14.012
Uneven bars 12 14.300
Balance beam 36 12.866
Floor exercise 4 13.833 3 14.033
2019 European Championships Szczecin All-around 3 55.065 1 55.166
Vault 5 14.133 6 14.099
Uneven bars 2 14.533 2 14.600
Balance beam 18 12.800
Floor exercise 3 13.466 2 13.533
European Games Minsk All-around 1 54.498 1 54.266
Vault 2 14.133 3 14.083
Uneven bars 1 14.466 6 14.100
Balance beam 2 13.600 3 13.133
Floor exercise 8 12.800
World Championships Stuttgart Team 2 166.529 3 168.080
All-around 3 56.399 4 56.599
Uneven bars 4 14.733 8 14.700
Balance beam 13 13.366
Floor exercise 3 14.066 4 14.100
2021 European Championships Basel All-around 2 55.432 1 55.991
Vault 3 14.416 2 14.450
Uneven bars 1 14.500 1 14.625
Balance beam 25 12.466
Floor exercise 2 13.900 1 14.300
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