tamara yerofeyeva

looking at the current generation of ukrainian individuals, you come to wonder how the hell they produced gymnasts like Godunko, Besso, Toma Yerofeeva and Maksymenko over the last decades.

I just can’t stop imagining what could be if Maksy and Godunko were given real chances to work as coaches for the national team..

I love the Ukrainians to death but I’m getting tired of the lack of originality and dynamism in the routine’s building, the poor apparatus handling and the unconsistency.. Godunko and Maksymenko were such fierce performers (even though Alina was also a headcase..) with strong apparatus technique and a unique style. Their experience and expertise could actually help the current team improve.. Especially individuals like Diachenko and Mazur (to me Meleshchuk is a work in progress and I expect her to get better with the years and the experience)

It’s a shame because Ukraine can produce gymnasts with incredible and unique body technique, but that won’t matter if they’re not taught how to catch a ball without both hands

So, here is a translation of the latest Tamara Yerofeeva’s interview on the channel “Kyiv”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDcO663-6aE&list=FLfAUvTSkS8n7BDJ4tFe5h7g&index=4

Sorry, at some points the translation is not that good. And I’ve made some questions shorter. Ehm, should I sign it somehow? Well, you know who the author is =) And it’s not that professional to sign))

I: Tell us about your latest victories, particularly about one that happened in 2010.

TY: In 2010 it was really a vey significant event in my life, I would say, the most important one. My little son was born. This October he will be three years old. And I took him with me. Now he’s with my parents.

I: Will he be a sportsman in future too?

TY: We don’t know yet. But I want to say that he’s very active, he likes to dance. He’s always dancing when the music plays. Therefore, we’ll see what he likes the most, but we will not force him. I don’t want to incarnate my ambition in him.

I: How is your life in USA? What are you doing there?

TY: I peform in a show. I live in Las Vegas. I feel quite comfortable there. I like everything.

I: Now about the main topic, about the Worlds we were waiting for 50 years. Have the expectations justified itselves?

TY: Absolutely. I was a pleasure to come back to Kyiv, especially for such a reason. I was born here. I’ve grown up here. I was training at Deriuginas’ School for a long time. My whole childhood was concerned with rhythmic gymnastics. It was very nice to remember everything. The organization is definitely on a very high level. I liked everything.

I: What would you say about the judging at this Worlds?

TY: In my opinion, the judging was objective at this WC. But I haven’t seen the first day, because my son didn’t want to stay with my parents and called for mom. So, I had to come back to him. But the parts that I’ve seen were objective.

I: Was the Russians’ placement always fair?

TY: Well, as for me, when Russian gymnasts made mistakes they were punished for that and the marks were much lower. On the other hand, when they did well the marks were too high, in my opinion. But yes, they were punished for mistakes.

I: Ganna Rizatdinova said this was the performance of her life. All four routines seemed perfect for a simple spectator. Why was she second then?

TY: Russian gymnasts are very strong too. They have good apparatus skills. That’s why the rivalry was strong. I was rooting for Alina Maksymenko, because I wanted her to get some medal. And I’ve got very upset on the first seconds of her clubs routine. The drops have actually happened on nothing. It was a pity.

I: Both Yana Kudyavtseva and Ganna Rizatdinova were perfect. Where is the difference?

TY: First of all, they are absolutely different gymnasts with a different style. And to say that one is better than another is not right. In some apparatus one gymnast is stronger than another. Anya was first after the first rotation. Yana Kudryavtseva has a very strong ball routine. I’ve been going in for RG for so many years, and what she does seems unreal to me. I don’t know how she does that. It’s so difficult. Every gymnast had her stronger side. They are all different, but everyone is strong.

I: For a simple viewer it’s hard to understand which routines are more difficult. Our girls, for example, always have lower D-scores.

TY: Talking about Ukrainians Alina and Anya I’d say they are two very different girls. In my opinion, Alina has the most difficult hoop routine from all the gymnasts. Anya, as for me, lacks difficulty a little bit in some routines. On the other hand, she does everything clean so it’s impossible to carp at. She does all the elements exactly the way they are written in her required elements program. Therefore, she does a good job. I’ve heard she’s diligent and hard-working. But Alina’s routines are more complex. She’s closer to Russians, who have a high difficulty too.

I: So, how can a viewer understand the difference in marks if everything seems to be clean.

TY: It’s very hard for a simple viewer. Because they don’t have a gymnast’s elements program, which judges have, where every element is written down. Even if a gymnast did 3 pivots  but with a wrong form that doesn’t suit the rules the mark becomes lower. And a viewer will not always understand that. It’s hard for one to see all the mistakes. The drop is obvious to everyone, of course.

I: It means the FIG President has kept his word?

TY: I think so.

I: What do you think abut Margarita Mamun, Yana Kudryavtseva. Yana’s only 15, and she’s an AA champion.

TY: 15?! Wow!

I: Is that right to say that they are deserving ones to continue the well-known Russian traditions?

TY: Of course.

I: And in which way they are better than Ukrainians?

TY: I would not say they’re better. As I’ve already said, every gymnast has her strongest apparatus. The point is who makes fewer mistakes. That is judges’ job to decide. But you’re right, they continue Russian tradition after Alina and Ira Tchaschina. The Ukrainian, Russian and Belarussian schools have always been the best. And they still are.

I: What do you think about the new rules?

TY: I like the way RG looks today. Because, for instance, in 2001, when the rules had changed too we had to do a lot of elements, which could hardly find room in the music 1-something minutes long (I don’t remember now). We were supposed to do many things on one leg… Anyway, it was horrible for everyone then. And I think they looked at it at decided that it doesn’t look good when poor gymnasts do dozens of elements in such a short time. I like it much more now. It includes dancing steps, which are a must now. A gymnast is able to express the music and the style of the routine better.

I: Alina’s performance with clubs in AA final was a shock. What happened? Was it because of nerves?

TY: Oh, yes. Well, everyone was nervous. We saw that in first rotation every gymnast from every country was very nervous. Even a Bulgarian Silvia Miteva, who is usually stable, has made mistakes. Our girls had a huge responsibility on their shoulders. I remember our home European Championships. Before the competition we were sitting together in the evening with Anya and Natasha, and we were extremely worried about the next day: “What will be tomorrow? Such an enormous responsibility! How will we conquer our nerves?” It’s hard for me to say. I don’t know how Alina was warming up, how she was preparing. I like her a lot. But I don’t know why she had those drops. I think, she was simply too nervous.

I: Again about the difference between Russian school and ours. The results of the competitions are still predictable. Are Russians really better than Ukrainians?

TY: No, they are not. When gymnasts have such a high level they all deserve to compete with each other on equal terms. The one who makes fewer mistakes gets a higher mark. That is it. It’s hard for me to say anything, because I don’t know the new rules very well yet. I judge mostly by what was before. So, I can’t give a proper answer.

I was so excited to listen to it! Finally some attention not only to Bessonova! And I agree about everything with her!

Haha my favourite gymnast is rooting for my another favourite gymnast! Can you believe that???!!! Awesome!