Alexandra Merkulova and Alina Kabaeva
Youth Olympic Games champion and silver medallist in all-around European Championships, Alexandra Merkulova from Russia announces her retirament. After her Gala show in Moscow Grand Prix 2015 she decided to stop doing gymnastics.
“Alina is my greatest idol since childhood. But I have never tried to imitate her. People say that my smile is similar to hers. I think that for both of us, to smile during the performance is quite natural, because we have a great pleasure during the performance.”
Her international debut was in 2008, but her top year was 2010, where she got gold at Youth Olympic Games. She was also one of the favorites for fighting for a medal in London Olympic Games, but she was replaced by Daria Dmitrieva due to Sasha’s foot injury.
In 2013 season, Merkulova returned to competition where she ranked 4th at Moscow GP. She won gold medal at International Trophy Ciutat de Barcelona and silver medal at Summer Universiade. This was not the best season for Aleksandra: she sprained her ankle during World Cup Lisbon and she couldn’t stop crying during the tranings. After Grand Prix Brno,she got injured again.
Irina Viner-Usmanova decided that Merkulova was not going to be part of the Russian team. Alexandra finished 8th at Russian Championships All-Around
Irina Viner-Usmanova, head coach of Russian Team
Alexandra said goodbye to her sports career as a gymnast at Grand Prix Moscow 2015, where she performed a gala. Besides, she wants to help Irina Alexandrovna Viner as a coach.