Ekaterina Bekh has decided to switch back to Russia after competing for Ukraine until the invasion ©Getty Images

Russian rhythmic gymnast Anastasia Simakova has made an application to represent Germany in international competition, whilst Russian born biathlete Ekaterina Bekh has returned to her homeland from Ukraine.

Simakova, who turned 18 in September, was born in Omsk and was part of the Russian team which won gold at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Moscow. 

She added an individual gold in rope later.

She won individual honours at the Russian national championship earlier this year.

Simakova reportedly moved to Nuremberg in the summer in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which saw the International Gymnastics Federation issue a ban on competitors from Russia,

She has had a German passport for three weeks and is currently at boarding school.

At the weekend, she competed in a league event with the ribbon and scored 28.40.

"I can do better" she told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper.

"I would like to train here," she added.

"She has a training deficit and is not yet in shape, but she is a good gymnast with great talent," said Yuliya Raskina, the trainer in Schmiden where Simakova was competing today.

She has applied to join the training group for the German national team.

Team manager Isabell Sawade insists she is keen for Simakova to join the group when the formalities are complete.

"However, the medical checks and the release from Russia have not yet arrived," Sawade confirmed.

Meanwhile Russian state media has announced that Russian born biathlete Ekaterina Bekh is to switch from Ukraine to Russia and is set to be able to compete for the land of her birth in three months time.

Bekh had been born in Russia’s Solnechny in the Khabarovsk territory but had moved to Ukraine as a junior. 

She had won gold at the 2019 World Junior Championships at Osrblie, Slovakia in both 7.5 kilometres and 10 kilometres sprint events.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she decided to return to the land of her birth.

She won selection for the Moscow regional team and competed in both the Commonwealth Cup and Russia’s summer biathlon events.

"On November 1, Ekaterina received a residence permit. She must receive citizenship within three months," the federation told Russia's official state news agency TASS.