Gymnast of the week: Vlada Nikolchenko

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Vlada Nikolchenko is currently Team Leader at National Ukrainian Team of Senior Individual Rhythmic Gymnastics. She was born in Kharkov (Ukraine) 17 years ago. She was brought to gymnastics by her mother and grandmother. Once she realized that she enjoyed a lot doing gymnastics, she focused on serious goals. Then, she was invited by Irina Deriugina, National Team Coach, to train in Kiev.

The beggining of my career at Deriugina School in Kiev was really hard, but the whole team is indeed really friendly. My coaches always understand my situation and support me

 

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Vlada Nikolchenko and her coach, Ireesha Blohina

Her favorite competition is Deriugina Cup Grand Prix, which usually takes part in spring. These year, Deriugina Cup was cancelled because of the COVID-19 health emergency. But Vlada’s goal is definitly to become an Olympian.

“I dream to reach Olympic Games. This idea motivates me to train every single day.”

Vlada is in National Team since 2017, where she placed 8th in all around junior groups competition at European Championships in Budapest. Just a year later, in 2018, Vlada made her debut as a senior individual gymnast, placing 4th in all-around competition. She was one of the youngest gymnast of this competition since she was only 15 years old. Vlada’s best result was becoming 3rd (bronze) at World Championships in Baku in 2019 with clubs.

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Vlada at Grand Prix Marbella 2019

 

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Vlada Nikolchenko at Grand Prix Thiais 2018

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Vlada at Grand Prix Thiais 2019 (7th position at All-Around Competition)

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Vlada’s Ukrainian signature leap

Gymnast of the week: Ekaterina Selezneva

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Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS) at Grand Prix Tartu 2020

Ekaterina Selezneva, two-time World Champion in 2019 in rhythmic gymnastics, was awarded with the title of Honored Master of Sports of Russia. This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation. She is currently world champion in hoop. Selezneva has competed as a senior since 2011, but she was not in National Team.

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In addition of two gold medals, Katya has won the bronze medal of the last World Cup with her ribbon routine. Also, 24-year-old Selezneva won last Universiade in Naples (all-around, ribbon, ball and hoop)

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Currently, Katya is in National Team, fighting for and Olympic place and she is still training with her mother as a coach, Olga Nazarova.

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Facts about Dina and Arina Averina

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Dina and Arina Averina are the most popular twins in Rhythmic Gymnastics and they are currently World and European Champions. These are some facts about them:

We started rhythmic gymnastics because of our sister, Polina

Dina and Arina Averina have an older sister, called Polina Averina, who was also a gymnast. Once, when she came back home, she showed to her sisters her new skills and the twins were interested on going also to gymnastics school. Nowadays Polina works as a coach in Dubai and is three years older than Dina and Arina.

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Dina and Arina were invited to live in Moscow and train in the National Sports Center, Novogorsk, because of their talent. They moved at the age of 13 years old. Their family continued living in Nizhny-Novgorod. In Novogorsk also live the gymnasts who compound the National Team, including groups, senior individual and junior individual gymnasts.

Our daily routine starts very early, at 7:30 am

They usually wake up at 7:30 am and have breakfast around 8:10 am. The next step is getting ready and work on the computer. This computer shows us our basal conditions to train. We have a break of two hours and then, we are back on training at 4 pm. They usually go to bed at 11 pm. In Novogorsk, the gymnast have the chance to visit the doctor, psychologist…

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Arina Averina (RUS)

Our main goal is to compete at Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020

They support each other in every single competition. If one of them doesn’t succeed, then it is up to the other to hold up the Russian flag. At the beginning of the year, the gymnast that place from 1st to 8th position make the National Team. Those who reach the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position, will go to Grand Prix Series. But it is the main coach (Irina Viner-Usmanova) who decides the gymnast that will compete in every single event. They have a weekly control training, who is directed by Irina Viner. She also chooses the music and the main composition of the routines.

Vera Shatalina is the coach of Dina and Arina Averina, who also has the help of the main choreographer of the team, Irina Zenovka. They discuss together, with the sisters, which music and elements could fit better with the routine.

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Dina Averina (RUS)

In some years they don’t want to be linked to gymnastics. They are not planning to become coaches either. Their main plan is to go to the University. They have really different points of view: Arina is more calmed and relaxed, while Dina has more strengh and nerve. Arina is the “angel”, while Dina is the “demon”

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10 Facts about Aleksandra Soldatova

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Aleksandra Soldatova is one of the most beloved gymnast of the world by the audience. Would you like to know some facts about her?

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“My idols are Alina Kabaeva and Aleksei Nemov”
Both are Russian gymnastics star: Alina is currently a politician and Nemov has his own gymnastics show.

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Aleksandra broke two teeth during trainings last week because of a club.

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She would choose a landscape as a holiday place. She loves the nature.

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She respects Dina and Arina Averina and thinks they are both very strong gymnasts.

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Sasha loves animals and, in fact, she lives with a cat.

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She shares a room in Novogorsk with Olympic Champion in 2016 in group, Vera Biryukova.

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She really appreciates her relationship with her coach, Anna Dyachenko (Shumilova).

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She is one of the Under Armour sports brand ambassadors in Russia.

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At the beggining of the season, she chose this black leotard for her hoop routine. Irina Viner advised her to choose another one instead of the black one since this was too dark.

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She tries to eat really healthy and avoids any kinds of fattening food and sweets, but she loves hot chocolate drink.

Yulia Bravikova announces her retirement

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Russian rhythmic gymnast, Yulia Bravikova, have just announced her retirement due to a foot injury.

Yulia is the European Champion in 2014 with hoop and winner of the Summer Universiade in 2017. A few months before Youth Olympic Games, she suffered a leg injury so that Yulia could not compete. She was withdrawn and replaced by Irina Annenkova, who won gold.

In her senior season, she had a new coach, Daria Kondakova. 2017 was maybe the most succesful year for Yulia: 5 Golds (clubs, ribbon, hoop, ball and all-around) at Grand Prix Eilat (ISR), and All-Around winner of Summer Universiade in Taipei.

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In 2018, Bravikova began her season at the 2018 Grand Prix Moscow, where she got injured again.

“Since 2013 I suffered an injury in my left foot, and then, my recovery was really tough. Right now the doctors advise me to stop doing gymnastics. Thank you so much to all the people who believed in me.

 

Anna Rizatdinova’s life after retirement

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Anna Rizatdinova (UKR)

It’s been a while since Anna Rizatdinova announced retirement in 2017, a year after her most beloved year in her career as a gymnast. She won medals at European Championships, World Championships and she is the current bronze Olympic medalist.

In early 2017 she stops professional sports career, she flashed everyone in Pesaro World Championships showing off she was clearly pregnant. She gave birth to her son, Roman in Barcelona, Spain.

A few months after becoming mother, she is already fit and nearly eith the same weight she had during Olympic Games (just two kilos of difference.

“I worked out during the whole pregnancy, but the last month was tough. Now I feel fit again”

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Rizatdinova’s work out routines “Dream Body Work by Anna”

Anna’s aim is to open a School of Rhythmic Gymnastics under her name. By now, she’s showing up all her rhythmic gymnastics skills on her Masterclass World tour, were she already visited Spain, Poland, France and Ukraine.

Life as a gymnast

Rizatdinova explained that life as a professional sportswoman is not as easy as it looks. “My life was only focused in rhythmic gymnastics. My body and mind was all about sports. It is very difficult to be always ready to compete. I remember I had really difficult times.” In 2014, Ukraine was involved in a political conflict so that Deriugina School was forced to change its location.

“Nowadays I feel plenty happy. My life totally changed after I became a mom. I really focused on my baby, every single decision is made thinking about Roman.”

Anna Rizatdinova’s next Masterclass stage is in Puebla, Mexico this July.

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Anna Rizatdinova (UKR) and Viktoriya Mazur (UKR)

Almudena Cid Euskalgym Gala 2017

And then, Almudena’s Gala started, claimed by the crowd. It was announced that she would surprise the audience once again. So she did. She is one of the most beloved former gymnast of RG in Spain and in the whole world. Even current gymnasts admire and respect Almudena as a shining RG star she was. Olympians Anna Rizatdinova and Anna Bessonova from Ukraine adore her. At the end of the gala, Aleksandra Soldatova hugged her as a fan could did. Everybody loves her, who else could not?

Almudena’s gala was focused on Rhythmic Gymnastics history through the time:

“Rhythmic Gymnastics has changed through the years: now our costumes are gold, silver (they were not allowed in 90’s) with feathers and Swarovski stones on them. We wear pieces of art.” And then, Nessun Dorma was played on a piano live. This was the last song that Almudena performed with ribbon in 2008 at Beijing Olympic Games.

After this emotional moment, Almudena talked about the different RG schools of all around the world:

  • RUSSIA: Represented by Aleksandra Soldatova
  • MEN’ RG: Represented by Eneko Lambea
  • SPAIN: Represented by Polina Berezina
  • BULGARIA: Represented by Neviana Vladinova
  • BELARUS: Represented by Melitina Staniouta
  • UKRAINE: Represented by Viktoriya Mazur and Anna Bessonova, who ended the gala with Almudena
  • GEORGIA: Represented by Salome PazhavaALMUDENA CID (2)

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Gymnast of the week: Katrin Taseva

Katrin Taseva was born in Samokov, Bulgaria in 1997 and right now is one of the top rhythmic gymnasts of the whole world. She recently finished second in Bulgarian National Championships just behind olympic gymnast Neviana Vladinova. Since 2010 she is representing Bulgaria.

Her aim is to become Olympian. She even has a tattoo on her arm with the Olympic Rings. Her best result this year was last week in World Cup Pesaro, ranked 5th in All-Around.

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