The Deruigins. The flight

Everything what happened in the spring of 2002 in Deruigins school looks more like a swing. In the beginning of march - failure on Grand Prix competition in Moscow. 2 weeks passed and here goes the triumph on the next competition in Kyiv. All the gold and silver medals take Yerofeeva and Bessonova. The beginning of April brings 7th and 8th places in the all-round and the scandal on this competition because of the subjective judging. After the competition in Greece Ukraine is self-satisfied : 4 gold medals brought home (including the main one for all-round), 3 silvers and 2 bronze. All the other things are the same : training goes after training, new programms are being made, music is changed. And after 11 years of pause an all-round World Champion is again training on the carpet of the school

- Albina Nikolayevna, the title of all-round World Champion of Tamara Yerofeeva was won not on the competitive carpet, but received as a results of the decision of FIG. Does it make difference for you - gold medal is still a agold medal

- Of course there is a difference. You can get full satisfaction only from the fight on the carpet. Nobody is guilty in here, the fate did so. We need to give away the bronze and take the gold, I understand this. Toma dreams of another medal, the medal she will be given on the podium under the anthem of Ukraine, and she can do it. Unfortunately, there are factors which can prevent her from winning again. They don't depend on her or on her work.

- What can prevent her?

Irina Deruigina : I think like that : there were 3 gymnasts all the time, which were on the same level. Today one does a mistake, tomorrow another one. And the gymnast, who has no mistakes, who is the best at the moment, won. It was always - a tiny difference made the results. Last year Kabaeva and Tschaschina did drop on the competitions. They had obvious and big drops. And I'm not even speaking on the hops, mistakes, but they weren't deducted for that. The question is like that : should all the gymnasts be treated the same. However, there are some things, which nobody can explain, when not a gymnast, but her country competes. Even though these rules try to be against it. I think that if they require amplitude from everybody and everybody needs to leap and to show the shape of the leap during the flight - only a few do so. But the worst is that ALL the judges see it. Amplitude has it's value only on the paper. The gymnast can do same elements on a little amplitude and the gymnast, who is working on the great amplitude, with fantastic masterpiece and expresiion, won't win. That's what I can't understand

- A year has passed since new rules were approved. Lots of routines from last season created impression of composed fast, being not harmonic and interesting. This year everybody can see a big progress. Does it mean that you coped with the new rules or just accepted them?

Irina Deruigina : My opinion is that we can't bent from side to side. It was a revolution when these rules came. And they had to do small steps to them. We can't change the gymnasts in one day, they need to do more graceful, more beautiful and female elements. Why do they do a circus out of the gymnastics, which was earlier loved for its beauty? Earlier gymnasts worked greatly with apparatus and it was liked by everybody. And it was always stated in the rules that work with apparatus is the main. Everything has changed since last year...How many elements look simply ridiculous because girls don't have enough physical strength. Girls need to do male elements, male leaps, but they are not as strong as them. We coped with this programm, I don't critisise it, we did it. We try to do something. It was really very difficult last year, now we got used a little bit and I can create something unusual, but for me, as a coach, it is not interesting

- However, the routines of Ukrainian Team are wonderful this year...

Irina Deruigina : These new rules led to the fact that we change the elements, but not the routines. As a choreographer I feel a little bit nervous because I have only about 10 seconds for the composition and I need to put some kind of character in it and to decorate the usual elements, done by everybody. You try to change, try to think about somethink new, do everything differently and frankly speaking, that's why we all cut our nerves. That's not right and not comfortable. The composition must be put under the music and the rules don't give us such an opportunity. Girls are very emotional, they have bright music and they want to show themselves. I'd say that these rules create big pressure and they can't show themselves as they would like to

- What way out do you see?

Irina Deruigina :  I want the gymnastics which was on Olimpic Games in Sydney, plus they could add new elements. I'm not against! But I want to see the expression, I want to see the soul and the beauty of the gymnast. And I want the masterpiece, mature and execution to be the main feature for the places of gymnasts. I'm happy because rules change a bit. It was a negative experience. It is not right to change so fast and so often the rules in one or another side. Spectators can't understand it, it is not beautiful and not interesting. Some new elements came - I agree, but they would have come anyway

- Now we have quite a funny situation when some gymnasts, having enourmous bonuses for their original elements, can do big mistakes, drops, but they still can win. Why Ukraine has no points for the originality?

Albina Deruigina : People risk their life in artistic gymnastics, doing elements ultra-c, but they get only 0,1 as a bonus for originality. We can't understand why FIG gives points to one girl and creates such a big gap between her and 2nd girl that even if she loses a point, she can still be 1st. The audience can't understand that and for me , as a coach, it is simply unfair. Let the originality be, but it must be only 0,1 and that's all. We send lots of elements to FIG, but they accepted only the pivot of Yerofeeva. There is not representative from Ukraine and it's our painful side. Nobody prepares people for FIG here and Ukraine suffers from it

- In your opinion, where is the strongest side of the Ukrainian Team right now?

Irina Deruigina :  I can't mix any of our gymnats, for example Timoshenko and Skaldina. They couldn't even been compared! Every gymnast has it's own character. Yerofeeva can't be set under Skaldina, Timoshenko or Vitrichenko - they are all different. In Ukraine we can create different routines for every girl. They don't even do the same elements. I can't explain that. We try to open and to show the individual qualities of every girl. Nowadays lots of people say that natural talent is the main in gymnastics. But you can't say that our children are not skilled - Yerofeeva and Bessonova are great. Maybe Anechka is not so flexible, but she leaps so great! nobody can repeat her leaps. However, we don't use only her leaps, we use her expresssion so that spectators had an impressions that they had seen a kind of a performance. They are different things. It is not interesting for me to underline only the talent

- If the natural gift is not important, what do you pay attention on when you get a new kid?

Irina Deruigina : we don't see anything at once. We take the kid and watch how she trains. Yerofeeva didn't have anything from the start, she showed herself afterwards, in the beginning she was simply a duckling. And you haven't seen Timoshenko when she came to us for the first time! Nothing, except her eyes. We took her only thanks to her eyes. Sasha had many deseases. Her parents risked and brought her to gymnastics and she cured herself. That's why the conditions of a child vary a lot. Of course, there are children, which show themselves from the very beginning, but I'm even afraid of it. I like when everything is got in the work, during the process

- You school has an unforgettable family atmosphere. It seems that you came not in the gym, but in the house, in the family

Albina Deruigina :  I learned a lot when I studied in Novogorsk. I've worked there for 20 years and that sports base was something special. All the workers obeyed the sportsmen. I learned it quite well. Novogorsk was something holly for me. Everything was done for the gymnasts there. I wanted to show it in my school. For example, when late in the evening we came from the trainings or competitions, a big pot of tea was waiting for us. Such a big one. It was really pleassant

- And now you have that pot?

Albina Deruigina : yes, but not that one. We always brought famous Kyiv cakes to Novogorsk. And now we cook for our children, we have small kitchen and people cook for girls. We don't have a big variety of staff here. We are simply one family. My first requirement - there must be an ideal cleanness in our school . We wash the stairs with hands, not with a mop. And everybody thinks it's their second home. If something goes wrong, we might have rows of course. I want us to be a small family. And we try to teach the children to take everything with great carefullness what was done for them. We do everything so that they liked it. However, sometimes children can't understand it

- The children look very much alike in every family. Where are the individual qualities?

Irina Deruigina : They do all the elements differently and that's were their individuality is. But every girl has a very high degree of execution. We try to follow our rules. And sometimes I hear some stupid things on Russian TV like "Bessonova looks like Deruigina. And it's very bad that she is similar, it is very old and not interesting". Then I can't sleep. I can't even understand what they wanted to say with it. Is it bad that she looks like me? I think she is really different. We don't have anything in common. And I wish everybody could do what she can. We know her downsides and we are working on it, but we won't spread it. Ealier it was easier to show our rights on the carpet, now it is more difficult, but we still try

Albina Deruigina : Our children are similar because they like rhythmic gymnastics. They are all hard-working. And another common thing - all our former pupils come to us when they retire.We often meet them, talk to them by the phone. And they all tell us : "We would like to return into our childhood, where everything was so difficult, but so great.

- Whose competition is the most difficult for you?

Albina Deruigina : You know, we are not afraid of real, sport competition. We are afraid of other factors. Only them. And the real competition is a great plasure, when gymnasts compete fairly. It only makes them work more and more. But I don't like when they create obstacles, give definitions, what judges should do, and it only harms the sport. If our gymnasts will be given 7th-8th places, we won't be silent. We never, never rose a hand against Alina Kabaeva. Never. Even if we judge, think and see that she doesn't do the difficulty here and that...But we thought she is a God, she is a Queen. We never said a word against her, we alway gave her the victory. Whatever we do, we must always think. Maybe we don't need to be friends with you, but we must execute our part of the job. We don't need to have friendship, but we must respect each other at work. That's what we always think about, we always remember it.

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