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Elena Tkachenko : "I''ll have enough time to be on the podium"

Emigration is usual for sports. Year and a half ago Elena Tkachenko came to Minsk. Elena has already forgotten about how she had trained with Olympic Champion Ekaterina Serebrianskaya - Leparskaya's school is no worse. With Irina Leparskaya Olena had success on European Championships and Universiade. Next objection is World Championships to be held in Madrid in October. Negotiation with Lesya (her nick) was made just after her coming to Ukraine

- Are you nervous before World Championships?

- Why should I be nervous. Gymnastics is my job, like you are journalist Are you nervous, when you come to the editor's office? 

- No, I amn't

- You see. So amn't I

- Aren't you afraid of the rivals?

- Well, who do you count under rivals...

- For example Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tschaschina

- Surely they are the best in the world. They are fantastically flexible. I'm happy with two bronzes on European Championships enough

- Who do you think to be stronger - Alina or Irina?

- Well, I don't even now. Kabaeva had more success on European Championships - 3 golds our of 4 possible. On Aeon Cup she was stronger too, though there are gossip that Alina was helped by the judges. She had enough mistakes in the first and second competition days. But in the last part she was excellent

- Though you should agree that Kabaeva isn't in her best shape. She put on some weight

- Yes, but she still can do a lot of difficulties. Ira Tschaschina, as I think, is born for the new code. By the way, with new code routines are different, they became more difficult and dynamic

- But there can be more mistakes.

- You should just be more careful with apparatus. On Universiade I didn't lose the apparatus. Surely there were some mistake, which I hope the spectator and judges didn't see. On Aeon Cup I didn't have rude mistakes too, but didn't get in top 3. The technique should be higher, I hope to add to World Championships

- Is Belarus team solved yet?

- Unfortunately, Yulia Raskina won't go to Madrid. I wish her fast recovery and returning to the gym! In team on the World Champs will be Inna Zhoukova and either Alesya Efremova or Natalia Palchevskaya. In AA I will get Elona Osiadovskaya in company

- But she has recently broken her leg!  

- But anyway Elona trains, as everybody, twice a day, in the whole strength, she does even leaps. It's a pity she has broken her leg before Universiade

- By the way, you had success on Universiade - you won five medals

- I'm very happy, because I got them with such rivals as Toma Yerofeeva, who is the 1st number of the Ukrainian team and very strong Russian Olga Belova

- Is Yerofeeva stronger than Anna Bessonova?

- I don't think so. Toma is two years older, she is 19 and so she is more artistic. Anya prefers leaps, she is still a girl

- What differs you from another gymnasts

- Oh, I have a rule - not to talk about myself. 

- Ok, did you like Pekin?

- I though I'll see something like Akita, where I was in August. Akita differs with a lot of narrow streets and a lot of buildings. In Pekin it is the opposite. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to go on the great China Wall

- And could you? Do you know that it is more than 10 meters in height and 7 thousand kilometers in length?

- Do you check how I got the school program? I know, that it has very original acoustic thing. If somebody will whisper something very near to this wall, then another person on the opposite side of the wall, will hear everything quite well. And it has 10 meters in width!!!

- Did you like Chinese food?

- Though, I didn't really get what I was eating

- And if somebody would have served you masked pork?

- And what is bad in it?

-  It is forbidden gymnastics food.

- I allow myself even cakes and other tasty thing. I don't put on weight

- Do you even eat after 6 o'clock

- Should I be hungry for the whole evening? Second training ends only in 8.30. Sometimes I come home so tired, that I even refuse to eat my favourite fried potatoes. In this case I make myself eat something, because I won't have enough strength for the morning training

- Tell me about your working day

- I get up at 7 o'clock. Having had breakfast, I go to the gym. First training usually finishes at 1.30 p.m. Then I go home, have dinner. If I'm mood, I practice English or read some books, because I'm a student of the Kharkov's physical institute?

- Why don't you study in Minsk?

- I left Ukraine, being a student and I don't want to study in Minsk. And the head there is so nice! He is fond of rhythmic gymnastics

- So why do you to study something? After the training it is more pleasant to lie on the sofa near the TV

- I do so. I watch TV, soap operas

- What is interesting in soap operas?

- Nothing really. But when you watch them each day, you get used. So I have a rest and then again go to the training. I train to the 8.30 and then go home. I eat something and go to bed. I rarely read something, because after the training I'm extremely tired

- You have strict days. How Sunday goes for you?

- I go  shopping with my mom. In the evening I tidy the flat, iron, wash. I cook my meal potatoes with eggplants in sauce. The recipe I got from the famous Russian program

- So you are a good hostess, could be a good bride!

- Well...I don't have time to think about boys, though they phone often, ask to go out.

- And you...

- Go out. But with girls. Usually we go to the cinema. I can watch everything.

- Lesya, I get the though that you are a bit tired of RG, do you have any alternative?

- Maybe, I'll go to the model business, but having retired. I think I'd be successful. I'm 176 height and my weight is 49 kgs. A lot of people ask for it, especially Canadians and Russians 

- Did you refuse to work with Vyacheslan Zaytsev and Valentin Udashkin?

- Well, I'm not such a good model, to be asked from these people

- Don't worry, time will pass and you will receive the glory of Claudia Shiffer.

- Let's see. But if I won't, I won't give up. I'll become visagist. I'm quite experienced, because gymnasts make up themselves on competitions. Though those are only dreams. Maybe I'll be just a coach. On 11th of September Natalia Stepanova gave birth to a daughter. Someone has to coach her

Yulia Vanslav

"Pressball", Minsk 2001


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