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Viktoriia Onopriienko is the current Ukrainian Champion and vice-champion of the European Championship. Last week, she answered many questions and also thanked everyone in a Livestream conversation on Instagram with her fans.
How did you get into the national team?
I joined the National Team after National Championships of Ukraine, in Sumy in 2016. We did a group exercise and 4 individual exercises. After this, they called my coach and said that Irina Ivanovna Deryugina wanted to see me. The next day we arrived at the October Palace. Anna Rizatdinova, Victoria Mazur (the leaders of the current past National Team) were there. My heart just jumped out of my chest. Irina Ivanovna asked me to warm up and show off my exercises. She wanted me to be in the National Team.
Which is your favorite exercise from 2017 to 2020?
I really liked the exercise with the ball “Fever”. This year I like all my exercises, but I would highlight last year’s exercises with a ribbon and clubs.
– How long does your training last?
The first training session starts at 9-10 am and we work out for an hour or two. Then we have a break. The second workout depends on how we are released, usually until 7-8 pm. In general, we train 8-10 hours a day. Sometimes we also have one training session on Saturday.
How hard was for you to get back in shape after quarantine?
It was quite hard, especially to prepare yourself for the Ukrainian Championship. During the quarantine we also had to work out.
Which are your favorite gymnastics element?
I have no favorite elements, but my top elements, as they say, are ring balance and back balance.
Do you prefer unitards or leotards?
I have both, even leotards with or without a skirt.
Have you ever thinked about stop doing gymnastics?
Yes, in the past when the workload increased in training, and I began to take part in competitions more often. At the same time I also went to school and I was very tired. My parents help me a lot, they know how to motivate and support me.
Who is the strictest coach in the national team?
All our coaches are strict in their own way. We have good behaviour to all the coaches and we have mutual understanding.
What do you do in your free time?
My favorite hobby is cooking.
If you could remove or add some rules in rhythmic gymnastics, what would it be?
I would like to add more elegant movements. According to the rules, there is a lot of work with the apparatus and, I would like to relieve this a little bit, so that the emphasis of the exercise focuses in the artistry.
Which are your plans for the future?
So far, the future for me is the Olympic Games. I really want to represent the Ukrainian National Team at the Olympics and raise up the flag of our country.
Do you speak Ukrainian? Which language do you use more: Russian or Ukrainian?
My whole family speaks Ukrainian. At home with my parents I speak Ukrainian, but in trainings I prefer to speak in Russian.
In which country did you like to perform the most?
Spain. Spanish fans adore this sport, especially gymnasts from Ukraine. They really like our school, our performances and exercises.
Aleksandra Soldatova, Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics World and European champion has been interviewed by Russia Today about her long-lasting battle with an eating disorder. She recognised that she needed help against anxiety, that was caused by a rigorous weight control. This issue has seriously damaged her mental and physical health.
She realized that she had a serious problem when her thoughts were only about food. She even starved herself for several days.
“I was always out of energy and didn’t have the power to train. But I was afraid to admit that I had an eating problem,”
She became lonely and unsociable and she tried not to meet people at cafes or restaurants, since this implied eating. Then she realized that she was over the limit and has to tell her problem to her coaches, who managed to stop her bulimic behaviors.
There were recent reports led Soldatova to open up on her battle with bulimia for at least, two years, that has constantly affected her. She confirmed she told to her coaches that she was suffering from this disease in summer of 2018. Anna Dyachenko, her coach, talked to her for up to three hours.
The alarms lighted up when in September of last year, Soldatova lost consciousness at a World Cup event in Portugal, leading to her being left out of the Russian team for that month’s World Championships. She confirmed that she ate alone and went everywhere alone, ignoring what was going on with her while her health condition was getting worse.
“I still has nightmares in which I gain weight, which remains a fear.”
Soldatova said she is taking a career break and not in a rush with her treatment, acknowledging that “professional sports and bulimia are not compatible, especially when you need to prepare for the Olympic Games.”
Source: Russia Today
39 countries sign up for European Championships 2020 in Kiev, Ukraine. This means that close to 30 gymnast will compete in this event:
- 44 Senior Individual Gymnasts
- 17 Senior Groups
- 138 Junior Individual Gymnasts
The surprising fact is that team Russia did not sign up for this event, that is scheduled from 26 to 29 November 2020 in Kiev. A final decision, due to the global health crisis, will be taken on 28 September.
European Championships of Kiev is a part of the Olympic Qualification Proccess.
Those Federations who did not qualify yet could register one gymnast in the senior individual all-around. These gymnasts will compete in separate rounds from the top 24 that qualified to the all-around final at last year’s Europeans in Baku (AZE).
“During quarantine, we connected to each other using Skype, Zoom…We trained in our rooms. The coaches could also watch us, so that they could correct our trainings”
The Olympic Games are postponed. How did the Russian National Team manage this situation?
Of course these were bad news. We felt really sad for this situation overall. We though that the Olympic Games would be cancelled. For the moment, they just changed the dates. You have to look forward positive situations, so that we think that this is a great opportunity to improve our work.
How is Irina Alexandrovna (Viner) towards you?
Two years ago, when I was still fourteen years old and I competed in Junior competitions, I was really proud of myself because Irina Viner chose me to compete in several competitions. She is a great person. I am looking forward the future and my aim is to compete in World Championships.
How is life in National Training Center?
The first gymnast that I met there was Yuliya Bravikova. We started talking to each other. She was recovering from an injury and she always supported me. I also have a good relationship with Masha Sergeeva. My coach was Amina Zaripova. Right now, this is my third year in Novogorsk.
Could you talk about Amina Zaripova?
She talked to my mother:
“If you don’t like the way I am as a coach, then we won’t find things in common.”
But I felt really good sensations between us.
Were you scared of training with Amina Zaripova after watching the film “Over the Limit”
Over the Limit is an intimate portrait of the world’s most outstanding rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun, the main representative of the prestigious Russian National Team.
No, I wasn’t scared at all. But honestly, I have to say that after watching “Over the Limit” I thought about stop doing rhythmic gymnastics. I have never talked to Amina about the film.
Natalia Godunko is one of the most successful gymnasts from Ukraine among others such as Anna Bessonova. Godunko finished 5th in Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games : Ribbon 26.125, Clubs 26.375, Ball 25.800 and Hoop 25.500.
A week ago, Natalia confessed her experiences during her career as a gymnast.
“2007 was the most difficult year for me in sports. I injured my calf during World Championships in Patras. My coach have never believed in me. I could even say that preparation for Olympic Games were so tough. We were told that we needed to loose weight before Olympics. In my opinion, if we had a different psychological approach, we could have been more efficient. There was constant psychological pressure”.
“My experience at Olympic Games was awful. We couldn’t wait to the end of the Games. Because an athlete should be thrilled about going to an Olympiad. We counted the hours and seconds for the end of our performance. I think this is so wrong. ”
About Irina Deriugina
Irina Deriugina is the daughter of Albina Deriugina, owner of the biggest and the most popular school od Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine.
“Really few people could deal with Irina Deriugina. Anna Bessonova wasn’t able to get ready with her at all. She was always with Albina. The only one who had a good relationship with Irina was Tamara Yerofeeva, World Champion in 2001. I can say that my relationship with Irina was just okay, I could be with Albina and Irina. They loved me but the preference was given to other gymnasts. I can’t say I didn’t feel some kind of love from Irina Deriugina.
Her friendship with Anna Bessonova
My best friend was Anna Bessonova. She was the number one in the team. Sometimes I could win competitions but she also accepted this situation. We could not have time for friends or boyfriends.
1 For each additional or missing second on the time of the exercise – 0.05
2 For music not conforming to regulations 0.50
3 For each additional music with words 1.00
4 For each crossing of the boundary of the floor area by the apparatus or one or two feet
or by any part of the body touching the ground outside the specified area or any
apparatus leaving the floor area and returning by itself -0.30
5 For any use of non-conforming apparatus (Individual and Group exercises) – 0.50
6 For using any apparatus not previously placed 0.50
7 For excessive delays in routine preparation which delay the competition 0.50
8 For unauthorized retrieval of the apparatus 0.50
9 For an unauthorized use of replacement apparatus (original apparatus still in the floor area) 0.50
10 Dress of the Individual and Group gymnast not confirming to the regulations (one time per exercise) 0.30
11 For emblem or publicity not conforming to official norms 0.30
12 Bandages or support pieces not confirming to the regulations 0.30
13 For early or late presentation by the gymnast(s) 0.50
14 For gymnast(s) warming up in the competition hall 0.50
15 For Group gymnasts communicating verbally with each other during the exercise 0.50
16 Entry of the group to the floor area is not confirming to the rules 0.50
17 For coach communication with the gymnast(s), musician, or judges during the exercise 0.50
18 Wrong apparatus chosen according to start order; penalty deducted one time from the
final score of the exercise performed in the wrong order 0.50
19 For Group gymnast leaving the Group during the exercise 0.30
20 For “use of a new gymnast” if a gymnast leaves a group for valid reason 0.50
Olympian and International Master of Sports in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Ekaterina Galkina from Belarus will impart an Online Masterclass. “MyRhythmic” and Club Gimnasia Rítmica Castrillón (Asturias, Spain) hold this exclusive event.
Ekaterina Galkina is the 2018 European bronze medalist. This probably was the best, most consistent competition of her life. Hitting one routine after the other she came close to the silver medal but had to settle for bronze medal in the all-around.
She won gold in hoop at the 2012 Pesaro Junior World Cup. At European Junior Championships in 2012, she and Team Belarus won the Team silver medal, she won silver in ribbon and ball final. Halkina then won the all around gold medal in the junior division at the 2012 Aeon Cup in Japan.
She also finished 6th in the all-around final at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In September 2019 at the World Championships Baku, Halkina, along with Alina Harnasko and Anastasiya Salos won team Bronze.
At age 14 she had heart surgery after it became clear she would pursue a career as an athlete. “My operation was done so that I could continue competing in high level sports. Nothing terrible had happened. I had a condition that closes the valve of the heart. If the problem was left as it was, I would not be able to withstand heavy loads. I missed a year in recovery, then got back in shape.” (Source: FIG)
“My motto is: first of all I compete with myself and if I give 100% then it does not make sense to me to be worried about competing with other people.”
Based on the updated code of points, a rhythmic gymnastics leotard must accomplish the following rules:
- Non- transparent. Some parts in lace will have to be lined from the trunk to the chest. It must be tight fitting in order to enable the judges the correct positions.
- They can have sleeves but narrow straps are not allowed.
- Leotards for groups must be identical. However, if the leotard is made of a patterned material, some slight differences due to the cut may be tolerated.
- The neckline of the front and back of the leotard must be no further down than half of the sternum and the lower line of the shoulder blades.
- The cut of the leotard at the top of the legs must not go beyond the fold of the crotch (maximum); undergarments worn beneath the leotard should not be visible beyond the seams of the leotard itself.
From 2017, the code of points also allows:
- Tights under the leotard
- Gymnasts may perform their exercises with bare feet or gymnastics slippers.
- Forbidden: to wear jewellery or piercings which jeopardize the safety of the gymnast. Also a skirt that does not fall further than the pelvic area over the leotard, tights or the unitard is allowed.
Penalties by Coordinator Judge:
Leotards will be checked prior to the entrance of the gymnast in the competition hall and if this does not conform to the code of points, a penalty is applied by the Coordinator Judge.
- -0.30 points for individual gymnast and one time for the Group at fault.
- -0.30 points if emblem or publicity not conforming to official norms.
- -0.30 points in case of bandages or support pieces are made of colors (it must be of skin color)