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Anna Bessonova : "Gymnastics is everything for me"

We can't quarell with the facts - the end of the season from the representatives of rhythmic gymnastics was done by dominating Ukrainian school. Some years ago in the reality of this fact didn't believe anybody and now we can seriosly start thinking about Ukraine as a strong rivals on future Olimpic games in Athens. It looks much fresher than unbreakable hehemony of Russian gymnasts. The times have changes. That's why we chose Anna Bessonova as the hero of our article. Daughter of famous payer of Kyiv "Dynamo" in Ukrainian team was always considered a second number after Tamara Yerofeeva, but now it looks like her beauty, bright individuality and cleaness of lines are again asked by subjective judges.

- Anya, with father it is clear without commentary. Mother (Viktoria Serikh) was famous as well, having won group World Championships. Brother as I know is connected with tennis. So I think your sports life was chosen before you were born.

- You noticed it quite well. And the biggest enjoy in my childhood was when I was watching my mom's photos where she is shown as active gymnast. Of course, as loving daughter I always wanted to be a little like her. At first my mom was against my trainings, because she knew how difficult it is to train. And so she gave me to some dancing club.

- I don't think it's much easier.

- Nobody put big mountains in front of me. Studying choreography is very good for any child. But I didn't stay there for long, I made my mom bring me to gymnastics hall. Then I was so little that there was no group where I could fit by my age. And then Albina Nikolayevna Deruigina asked my mom to prepare me

- She was happy perharps. 

- Yes! If you only knew how hard she trained me. I couldn't go away from gymnastics path anymore. And I don't complain about it

- Did you like gymastics from the very beginning?

- Definitely yes. At the beginning I didn't have actually any talents, so everything I got by my hard work. My mom taught me some base elements, then Albina Nikolayevna gave me good technique. So that's how a new gymnast appeared

- Is it plus or minus that your mom knows everything about gymnastics?

- Its more a plus. In any moment she can help me, she can see all my mistakes and check them

- But do you ever talk to your mom about something difficult?

- Earlier we were concentrated only on gymnastics, what was disturbing a lot. Now she understands that I grew up and I get to know many things myself and at home we have a rule not to speak about gymnastics. Work questions we solve in gym

- Smart. And when did you start to feel that you are old?

- You will laugh, but I still can't feel that I'm a mature girl. Everybody is caring about me a lot, like I'm a baby. I understand that people wish me only good things. I think it can't be in our sport in another way - a lot of factors influence the result. Gymnast, even if she is extremely talented, can't go on without anybody. She is a product of view of spectators. Always.

- It's an interesting thought. And when in your childsh mind your hobby turned to be a part of your life?

- Since the time my mom gave me to the school of Deruigins. There everything was put on professional way, only serious work at trainings. You can call me a robot, but it's not. The individuality must be at first place. Yes, not everybody can reach high results, not everybody can manage the big requirements, but nobody can say something about rudeness and callousness of coaches, because they put their soul in every of us. Those people, who could go through the whole cycle of deruigins, can be called that they became real indvidual people. In all senses of the phrase.

- There are many points of views about the way Deruigins work. Somebody talks about that with delight. somebody with opened hostility, but one thing is true - they are, of course, great figures in the history of rhythmic gymnastics. Albina Nikolayevna and Irina Ivanovna - who are they in life and work?

- As for me, I can't thinking about only 1 of them They are just a single unit, sometimes I even get surprised, how these coaches live without each other in the period of not synchronized trips. In genral, Albina Nikolayevna and Irina Ivanovna are very strong, strong-willed people, who were coaches of a huge amount of wonderful sportsman, who became the face of world rhythmic gymnastics. Sometimes I get to know the obvious only  in the gym : hey, stop, turn around, you are just in five steps from the legend. And with the whole scale of their achievements they have big heart. They are always near in difficult moment, they wise allows them prescribe unmistakable reciepts.

- In Ukrainian team there are 2 strong gymnasts - Tamara Yerofeeva and Anna Bessonova, where you were usually playing the role of 1st number, leaving the leadershop to more stable Toma. Were you depressed by this status?

- No way. You said everything correctly and I knew it. The main reason I see in my stupid mistakes, which don't allow me to show myself in all-round. I even can't explain how do they come - I do the most difficult elements with great easiness and on empty place I drop. Perhaps it's because I don't have much experience and problems of psychology in my mind

-  Are you rivals with Yerofeeva in life too?

- We are great friends, go to each other very often, even though there was a little period when we could have turned to be rivals.

- Why?

- Well, we had some rows, but it happened long time ago and coaches very quickly felt that something happened between us. It's easier to reach the top with a friend and I understand it pretty well

- Do you talk to Belarus gymnasts?

- Only on competitions. They are normal girls, but I don't have much friendly attitudes. After competitions we don't usually call each other by phone

- Since 2 years 2 gymnasts from Ukraine came to Belarus team. What will you say about them?

- It's difficult for me to judge because we didn't train together. I can say that Sveta Rudalova, who trained for some time in Deruigins school, as I think, is a very good gymnast, who loves her work and can get really absorbed in the trainigs. Usually all doors open before such girls. Her talent allows her go far. I talked a lot to Lesya Tkachenko on Ukrainian national competitions. She is a fan of gymnastics and will never give it up. I know she has problems with meniscus right now. I wish her to recover fast.

- Let's return to you. Why unique talent, aristocratique cleaness of lines, which allows to look beautiful on carpet, couldn't find agreement from judges for a long time?

- Let's start from that I didn't have a gymnastics name. Only with it you could talk about high results. Since 2 seasons which came after Olimpic in Sydney, I went to many competitions. Judges saw me. Plus my masterpiece grew a lot. I say it without any shy in voice because I worked very hard on trainings. You can count that I waited in a long queue for recognition of this year

- How fast did you get used to the new rules?

- I worked a lot, but still I couldn't understand the way. It wasn't comfortable, the composition seemed to be impossible to do, if to speak shortly, bad feelings. But as it is said, the gods burn pots. Now I take the changes quite normally, like I worked under them for a long time

- In the programm of 2002 we could see that all your routines were of dramatical style. There was new style on the carpet since 2 years. Deruigins went for it intentionally ?

- I think, yes. Anyway, our sport is still called rhythmic gymnastics. And so, the esthetic and artistic value of the composition, it's expression must stay the main thing. Nowadays everybody is chasing the speed, rhythm, tried to show that it's not true. Of course, it's not easy to combine. Try to think at once about difficult element, it's clean execution, about apparatus, about how to express the musical fragment, but first how to get it in...And all this porridge must be liked by judges and spectators. Gymnast has computer instead of head. 

- It turns out that you had a lot to do as individual gymnast. What a wind blew you to World Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics?

- Typhoon. Hehe. The point is that in summer we had a break in individual competitions. And not to lose shape, Deruigins send me and Toma to group for one kind of apparatus - balls/ropes. But then coach decided that she doesn't have a swan in ribbons. I didn't want at all. What a deal : instead of rest - official competitions. And so I became full-time group member

- And so, what's the difference?

- These professions are totally different. To the thought in your head listed above is added control for synchronizing, exchanges, you can't do them wrong. Enormous responsibility. Better I drop just for myself, then make the whole group receive a bad score. 

- And so comes your doping case..Wrong statements of FIG about your disquallification, announced just before European Championships.

- I don't even know whose merit in it, to whom I is obliged by the so raised attention. If to be true, I was shocked. I thought to leave everything that I'm so bad and give everybody only dissapointment, but the coaches calmed me down - why do you need to care about it when you were made a free advertising company. Thanks for that

- Championships brought you your 1st medal in all-round. You should be happy about it, but I'm sure you are disapointed with your routines.

- I was very disapointed. Such mistakes can't be explained. I can't say that I was very nervous. But I remember very good the feeling of emptyness - now I will come to the carpet and will just fall down. I don't remember what I did having finished the routine. You said something about expression, but I must say that I was more a robot there.

- European bronze isn't "Oscar", but it seems you were given it even in not very good view.

- Well, Zarina Gizikova and Simona Peycheva were making even more mistakes. I was just lucky

- Stuttgart World Cup was your best competition of the year, I think...

- Yes, I wanted to so something special. I tried to leave good impressions of me before going in winter competition holidays. Now I'm very tired. But it was strange, after 1st routine I felt much strength and self-confidence in me. It was my day in Stuttgart, I could do everything. Judges thought so as well, having given me 3 gold medals and one silver. And Tamara Yerofeeva won 3 medals as well. So it was great Ukrainian success.

- You parents worry about your results a lot?

- My mom holds everything inside, I can never guess her mood. It is known that it's much easier to compete yourself than watch the competition of your gymnast...of your daughter. And what to say about my dad...At last he understands rhythmic gymnastics, he watches it as professional

- And Vladimir Bessonov can easily point of not good pivot or balance to Anna Bessonova?

- Of course. He doesn't allow such mistakes

- Did sports glory of your father reflect on you?

- When I first started to do gymnastics, came 1st competitions. Commentators was announcing my routine with such phrase : "And now on carpet will come daughter of famous football player". And everybody turned to see me. I couldn't do everything, but start competiting way.

- Are you a football fan?

- When my father played it, it was my favourite kind of sport. When he retired, I started to hate football because tv wasn't turned off at home until father doesn't look all the matches. Now I'm neutral

- And what does your father do now?

- He has a contract with Turkmenian football federation. He coaches national team of this team for half a year now. And as I heard, quite successfully. 

- Do you have time for private late?

- Now I have very little time for talking to young man. It's a big gap, but Im sure not fatal. I'm only 18 and I will never run away from private now. Gymnastics is everything for me. 


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