Irina Deruigina : "You have to quit beautifully"

Unfortunately different problems have been in Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics for five years already. First problems started before Atlanta-1996. when Ekaterina Serebrianskaya didn't find a "right language" with the head coaches of our Team, with Albina and Irina Deruigina. Four years passed.....Practically in the same time as four years ago, appeared a question who will go to Sydney : Tamara Yerofeeva, Elena Vitrichenko or Anna Bessonova. If to think about perspective of Ukrainian RSG, it will be right to send Bessonova. I shouldn't write about Yerofeeva, to my mind, if not now, when will this grace get experience? Well, much more better, will answer those questions Irina Deruigina, vice-president of FGU:

- I will begin, if you allow, from past years. In the year of Games 1992 in Barcelona, two participants from Ukraine, Oksana Skaldina and Alexandra Timoshenko had their 20th birthday. From successful for both Olimpics , we said for both something like that : "Girls, thank you very much, but we will work on Katja Serebrianskaya and Lena Vitrichenko". And now, before Sydney, we worry what will be tomorrow, not today. Each sportsman have to feel when he has to quit. I still remember when after I won my second AA gold medal, I quitted RSG for a year because of the serious injury. A year passed and I've returned, but on the first competition judges put me on the 12th position. It was the same if they said to me : "My dear, that's all for you"

- Let the people who will read this interview to understand what is the problem....How were 2 gymnasts for Sydney selected?

- Selection to Sydney was from the January till June of this year. The results from 1999 year weren't looked at. There were 6 competitions, according to which, the RSG team was selected. Those competitions were : 4 Gran-Prix competitions, national championships and European Championships . All members of FGU accepted this. We added to that list and Olimpic Test Event in Sydney. But the World Cup competitions weren't included there because the dates of those tournaments are changed for many times. But if to loook from the side of "Deruigins School", then we will be glad to include World Cups in the list, because Yerofeeva and Bessonova got the places higher than Vitrichenko there. So, to my mind, all was fair to Lena. In the same time, it wouldn't mess to do 2-3 control trainings between our three top gymnasts, this is my opinion. 

- To your mind, Vitrichenko loses and against young Anja Bessonova?

- There is a new star in our gymnasts, Anna Bessonova. This girl is often compared to Sasha Timoshenko, whose leap was so big too. For sure, Lena loses against Anja for her amazing leap and technique, in general. 

- But you will agree that Vitrichenko was unfairly judged on the European Championships in Zaragoza 2000?

- I agree only with the fact that judges were more subjective than to other gymnasts. But it isn't accidental : there weren't enough difficulty in Vitrichenko's routines. Yes, her compositions were clean, but the program doesn't look good in general. And as a result, the next year Ukraine will be represented on European Championships only by one gymnasts. And if Anja is out of Sydney. the next season is out for her too...When will this talented child be able to show all she can do?

- You say that on European Championships 2001, Bessonova won't compete. Then, Tamara Yerofeeva will compete there, yes?

- Yerofeeva now is the leader of the team. I want to make this clear. All think that her positions in Olimpic Team can't be crashed. And if Vitrichenko is first number of the team and even if Bessonova is second one. To my mind, Tamara has to be the first number of the team, even if Lena will go on the floor to compete. 

- We talk just before our team is leaving for Sydney. So the last question asks him himself: Can you forecast who will be first, second and third there?

- Advantage of Russian Alina Kabaeva is very well seen today. She keeps herself in the hands, put off some kilograms and now her little height isn't seen so brightly as before. The program of Viner's pupil is rather successful. Unique elements, which other gymnasts can't even do, have been in her routines since earliest childhood. But Toma Yerofeeva also has some difficult elements, which are hardly done and by Alina. And the smile in 32 teeth helps Kabaeva a lot. So for a gold medal that's all. Well, but still the real "headache of Kabaeva is that she can do a mistake in one routine and the other can do absolutely clean. If she doesn't lose anything, she will get gold for sure.. The same. should do and Belorussian Yulia Raskina. Not bad girl, but I liked the previous stars of Belorussian school more : and marina Lobach, and Larissa Loukiananeko, and Tatiana Ogrizko. Here, I think, first roll played the work of the coach. Galina Krylenko made Lobach Olimpic Champion-88, gave a lot to Loukianenko, well and she also could work with Tatiana Ogrizko, when she was junior. If to say about bronze, it can be won by Russian Yulia Barsoukova, French Eva Serrano and Ukrainian Tamara Yerofeeva. Yes, Tamara Yerofeeva, not Vitrichenko. But it will be very hard for Ukraine to get this medal. Unfortunately, Ukraine has lost it's great authority in the last few years. And for sure, angriness on Ukraine because of the judging scandal after European Championships, when the judges, to my mind. were unfairly punished. Why the angriness will be on Ukraine? But in the roll of the spark, who made the fire, played Elena Vitrichenko. It is unknown if judges won't revenge to each participant from this country.


                              Marina Karelskaya


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