The head coach of the Russian men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics teams Andrey Rodionenko sums up the performances by the teams at the London Olympics.
- Andrey Fedorovich, will you admit that you did not expect Aliya to win four medals in gymnastics at London-2012?
I wouldn’t say that. You can lose on accident, but there are no accidental wins.
- I saw that Aliya got better with each passing day. If the all-around had been today or yesterday, could she have won?
It’s hard to say. The all-around is a completely different kind of competition. That’s the problem – we have four kinds of meets: qualifications, the team final, the all-around and event finals. That’s four different kinds of meets and we have to fill in four different documents. And for all of these four types we can only submit five team members.
- What happened to Viktoriya Komova?
She just got tired. The main thing is that Vika did all she could for two days of competition: team and all-around. the rest isn’t important.
- Which of these types of meets satisfied you the most?
All of them. It can’t be any other way.
- Who would you like to highlight?
Foremost, the team. Thanks to the team, Aliya made it. The team gives birth to a leader, and without a team, there can’t be a leader. Take any of the teams at the top — they all have a leader. There may be other, individual little stars, like in Australia, but there is no team.
- What can you say about the boys?
This is a young team, one that has a very bright future. This was their first try. We gave up everything that the last Olympic cycle could have given us and put in everything that will be in the future cycle. This is a team which will make itself known. They have already made themselves known. They were second after qualifications, but people haven’t valued that yet.
- Why wasn’t Garibov able to medal today?
The last time we were in a final on parallel bars and high bar was a long time ago — during the Soviet Union. He was the first of the Russian generation to do it. It’s a new country, new people and the gymnasts have a new way of thinking.
- Do you think the judges were hard on him?
It’s hard to say. Really, you shouldn’t talk about the judges. Those are the rules and we have to subject ourselves to them, like it or not.
- There was a scandalous precedent yesterday…
We don’t have the right to protest anything but our own gymnasts’ scores.
- So, let’s go back to Garibov. Why didn’t you submit a protest like the Americans did for Raisman on beam?
The protest can only be submitted for one part of the score — difficulty. For execution, you can’t even approach them. And the judges almost never make a mistake on the difficulty score. That’s the problem with judging today. You can’t compare Raisman and Garibov.
- Are you satisfied overall with the Russian team’s performance?
Our objective was to present good routines, and we did. And we got what we got.
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