Katsiaryna Halkina: her sports career in pictures

Just a few weeks before Tokyo Olympic Games announced her retirement.

I started doing rhythmic gymnastics when I was only four years old. I was a gymnast for twenty years. And now, the day has come: I am free. I don’t have to go to the gym for trainings.

Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR)
Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR), Euskalgym Gala. She is very grateful for all the support that all her fans fave to her during sports career.
Black and white caption, Marbella Grand Prix
She wants to work on theatre, cinema and concerts
One of her top routines, “Geisha”
She won bronze medal at European Championships in 2018
In September 2021, Katya announced she will start planning the calendar of Masterclasses
During Euskalgym Gala 2019
Her routines were full of artistry
Katya’s signature turn
Portrait of Katsiaryna Halkina
End of her Hoop 2017 routine, executing under the music of the composer Mariya Tchaikovskaya,

Katsiaryna is performing this routine with a love song by the Belarusian composer, M.Tchaikovskaya. The song is about a girl that asks her lover to take her away and all of her memories.

Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR) at first day of qualification; 35th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships 2017
One of her last competitions, Miss Valentine 2020
Katsiaryna Halkina, second day of qualification; 35th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships 2017
European Championships Budapest 2017
Grand Prix Thiais 2018
Her Gala in 2019, choreographed by Yuliia Markovskaya
“I want to say thank you to my fans, because you always have warm words for me, I am very glad and grateful for have you all. All I want to show you is my way to do Rhythmic Gymnastics, my emotions”

Dina and Arina Averina: impressions after Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Dina and Arina Averina (RUS)

Dina and Arina Averina were the top favorites for becoming Olympic Champions in Tokyo 2020. However, Linoy Ashram from Israel made history winning the first gold medal for this country in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

What do fans mean to you?

When we came back from Japan, a lot of fans were cheering us up in the airport. They are an important support, they write message to us after competitions, even poems. – Dina Averina said

Do you want to continue to Paris (Olympic Games) 2024?

First of all we need to rest, but who knows, we need a “revenge”. – Arina Averina said

Dina, how do you feel towards your results in Tokyo?

I feel sad, I wanted to become Olympic Champion. Linoy Ashram had a mistake with ribbon and I felt that I had an opportunity for gold. For the first moment, I think the judges were giving me low scores. My ribbon routine was clear and unfortunately it was not possible to win.

Dina, do you think that the gold medal should have been yours?

I think that my four exercises were without big mistakes. My consciencie is clear, I should have been the winner. After the last performance, the judges took more than usual to give my score. I understood that they didn’t want me to win this competition.

What were your words in the kiss and cry?

Dina asked to me if they were going to give me the gold. I just said “no”. – Arina Averina said

Dina Averina
Arina Averina

Do you have any injuries?

In 2020 I had a serious spine injury. I talked to my doctors and they said to continue for a few months. Anyway the solution was about surgery and I flatly said no. I didn’t want to miss the Olympic Games. This injury is very painful, even when I walk. When I start to warm up I feel pins and needles. – Dina said

Do you think about retirement?

If both of us had won Olympic Medals, 100% we would have retired. Maybe we would continue until World Championships (October 2021). Arina doesn’t want to continue and I have a serious injury in my back. We still need to think about it.

Do you think that other gymnasts are happy of these results?

We felt that judges were against us. They are tired of our victories. We have a cordial relationship with other gymnasts, but we felt that some of them were happy about this result.

Dina Averina
Arina Averina

Dina, do you think that the scores were fair?

I feel hurt, the scores were really low for both of us. The gold was for a gymnast who made a mistake with ribbon (drop). This was not fair at all. I just could not understand the scores. This time, I wasn’t paying attention to the total scores. Irina Viner Usmanova (head coach) said to me just before the last exercises: “Dina you have to fight until the end, you have still chances to win. Show how the real rhythmic gymnastics is.”

“Unfortunately, the miracle has not happened”

Dina Averina

You were training for five years looking forward Olympic Medals. What are you going to do in the future, after these results?

We are not going to make a hasty decision. We need to think about our future. When you are dissapointed, you should not think about the future. We should wait and then, think about the future.

Interview to Stiliana Nikolova

Stiliana Nikolova (BUL)

Stiliana Nikolova is a promising rhythmic gymnasts from Bulgaria. She is the current 2020 European Junior champion with ribbon and silver medalist with ball. This year, she is already competing in senior level, looking forward to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games.

When did you start doing rhythmic gymnastics?.

My mother is a coach, so I grow up in the gym. I was always playing around with apparatus and looking to the other girls as they were stars. My mum is my inspiration and I would like to be like her. She is twice world European Champion.. I started doing gymnastics at four years old.

How do you calm down before competitions?

I get really nervous before competitions, but I need to manage all this stress. I even cry before competitions. I try to open to myself but sometimes it doesn’t work.

My mother was twice European Champion and World Champion

Which is your favorite apparatus?

I like all my routines, but my favorite one is clubs, especially my clubs 2021 exercise.

Do you like the current code of points in rhythmic gymnastics?

Not really, if I could do it, I’ll change all those throwing and catching. I would rather prefer to have more artistic and body difficulty. I feel like we are in the circus right now. I would also add more rhythmic steps.

Is your family living with you?

I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and my family is living over there. I have a lot of friends from Egypt and even if they are not living in Bulgaria, I feel that they close to me.

Stiliana Nikolova at Kiev European Championships 2020

Valeriya Yuzvyak needs our help

Valeryia Yuzvyak (Ukraine)

Ukrainian senior group member, Valeriya Yuzvyak (21 y.o.) was recently diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer. This type of sarcoma made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal (voluntary) muscles.
For the last weeks, she was not training and the fans started to be suspectful of this situation. Yesterday, she confirmed what was happening. Valeriya needs an urgent and expensive treatment in Germany.

“To be honest, I write and my hands are shaking … I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. I know that there are many kind and sensitive people among you, so I want to ask you for financial help, as the amount is really very large. Thank you very much in advance. I love you all very much. Be healthy. “

Valeryia Yuzvyak


DONATIONS:

▶️ 5363542015389795 UAH

▶️ 5363542015389787 EUR

Valeriya Yuzvyak

Bank Name: Privatbank

Account Holder Name: Yuzyak Valeriya

IBAN: UA633052990000026202898581190

SWIFT Code: PBANUA2X

Adress: UKRAINE, Kyiv, 1D Hrushevskoho str.

PayPal: vynogradna@gmail.com

Российская карта Тинькофф: 5536 9139 1788 2702, получатель Наталья А.

Achievements:

  • 2016 Olympics: reserve team.
  • At the 2020 European Championships in Kyiv: gold at Team Competition
  • 2020 European Championships, European Champion in 5 balls with Senior Group
  • 2020 European Championships: Bronze in the group exercise. all-around. As a result, the national team of Ukraine won a gold medal in the team championship.
  • Yuzviak also won two silver medals in the team competitions at the 2018 European Championships in Guadalajara and a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup in Sofia.
Ukraine won gold at European Championships 2020

Aleksandra Soldatova announces her retirement

Aleksandra Soldatova in 2017

Four-time world champion in rhythmic gymnastics, Alexandra Soldatova announces retirement. She still wants to be linked to gymnastics, but not in a competitive way, because as she said, Rhythmic gymnastics is my life, my love, my passion. will never go anywhere from my life. She confirmed this information on December 24th.

The last time she gave an interview, to Russia Today she talked 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.

“I officially announce the end of my sports career. It was a wonderful journey of 16 years. Now I remember only good things, because the other simply cannot be. I have nothing to regret and nothing to be sad about – I have achieved what I could not even dream of in childhood. “

Soldatova was one of the gymnasts most beloved by the audience. She has lots of fanclubs all around the world. “Thanks to my fans all over the world. You have always been my support and motivation. I performed for you! I ask you not to be sad, but to be happy for me and wish me luck in my new life stage!”.

She really appreciates her relationship with her former coach, Anna Dyachenko (Shumilova). The path was not easy. Soldatova injured her leg two years ago and missed the European Championships. The doctors confirmed that she had a fracture.

Anna Dyachenko and Aleksandra Soldatova

 “Special thanks to my personal coach, Anna Dyachenko”

Soldatova is a very taleted gymnasts and she realized about this since she started doing rhythmic gymnastics. Her inner flexibility and her charisma made her unique.

When I started doing gymnastics I didn’t know Kabaeva, Kanaeva… I just liked gymnastics and that’s why I focused on it. I even wasn’t interested in Olympic Games or World Championships.

Aleksandra Soldatova

Interview to Vlada Nikolchenko

Vlada Nikolchenko, Bronze European Medallist in 2019 with clubs

Current Ukrainian Champion, Vlada Nikolchenko recently talked to European Gymnastics Website about her Rhythmic Gymnastics career.

Just three weeks left to go to until the Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships kick off!

Last week, several countries declined their participation at this event, including one of the favorite team, Italy. At the end of September, Russia also confirmed they won’t compete at European Championships this year due to the health crisis. Russia was already qualified for Olympic Games

“For us, the pandemic is affecting both physically and emotionally. Many competitions were cancelled. We are still training, went to a training camp this summer and got fit for the competitions. We are glad Irina Ivanovna Deriugina could manage to hold the Deriugina Cup last September.”

“The worldwide health crisis is affecting us both physically and emotionally”

“After everything was closed because of the lockdown in March, we had three months to prepare for competitions. The situation in the country remained difficult even at the beggining of the summer. At the moment, we are intensively preparing for the main date of this year – the European Championships. It is very important for us, the athletes to feel the spirit of the high level competition. We believe that everything will work out, despite all the hard times and the latest news.”

“My aim is to to compete at Olympic Games and win a medal. Right now I am also studying to become a coach, looking forward the future.”

“Many fans wrote us and supported us during quarantine, when everybody in Europe was at home. We were also asked to shoot some videos as an inspiration and support for all the gymnasts, who couldn’t train. In Instagram, they are creating groups to support us and fanpages. I have 30 thousand subscribers on my Instagram fan page. In Ukraine, we have a Telegram channel of the national team, but the interest for rhythmic gymnastics never subsides.”

Kiev host the European Championships with the absence of the spectators in the stands.

Source: European Gymnastics

Interview to Viktoriia Onopriienko

 

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Viktoriia Onopriienko (UKR)

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.

VIKTORIIA ONOPRIIENKO

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.

VIKTORIIA ONOPRIIENKO2

Viktoriia Onopriienko at Grand Prix Marbella

Interview to Daria Trubnikova

DARIA TRUBNIKOVA6

Daria Trubnikova (RUS)

“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.

MARIIA_SERGEEVA

Mariya Sergeeva (RUS)

Yulia Bravikova

Yuliya Bravikova (RUS)

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.

margarita-mamun_hero-image_ap

Margarita Mamun (RUS)

Which was the most difficult competition for you?
Definitely, The Youth Olympic Games in 2018. This year was really difficult for me. The beggining of the season was not very good. And also, 2019, when I become a Senior Gymnast.
Have you ever think about becoming Olympic Champion?
No. But I dreamed about it.
Are you supersticious?
I have a teddy bear which I kiss before competitions. A Cheburashka, that flies with me to every single competition.

DARIA TRUBNIKOVA5

Daria Trubnikova (RUS)

Yanika Vartlaan announces her retirement

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Ukrainian gymnast Yanika Vartlaan announced last week the end of her gymnastics career. Yanika was born in Donetsk, Ukraine. Her mother is Ukrainian and her father is from Estonia, that’s why Yanika represented Estonia in her early years as a gymnast. However, Yanika have never trained or lived in Estonia. Right now, Yanika is focused in her career as a stretching instructor and doesn’t want to be a coach.

Her Life in Ukraine

In 2018, she decided to compete for the country she was born in. She was invited to train in Deriugina School (Kiev) with the National Team as individual gymnast.  She was the fourth gymnast behind Vlada Nikolchenko, Olena Diachenko, and Yeva Meleshchuk. Yanika is very flexible and has her own designed leotards, partially made by her mother. She even lent her leotards to top gymnasts such as Dina Averina.

35th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Pesaro, 31.08.2017

Dina Averina (RUS)

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YANIKA VARTLAAN

Yanika lent this leotard to Dina Averina

Results

Throughout 2018, she participated in three World Cups: Tashkent, Portimão, and Minsk. At World Cup Portimao she could qualified in three of four finals.

At the World Championships in Sofia, she finished fifth in Team Competition. She also qualified for All-Around Final. She finished in 22nd position with two strong exercises with ball and hoop.

At the end of the season, she fell and injured her leg during her ribbon exercise at Italian Serie A.

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