GZT Interview

“I know nothing in life except gymnastics”

(Original Source Here) (Russian)

European champion in gymnastics in 2010 Alia Mustafina talks about her long-awaited 16’th birthday, about her new vault for the World Cup, her battle with nerves and weight, and about the fact that because of the gym she doesn’t have friends.

Line-up of the Russian gymnastics women’s team is permanently changing. Too many young talented girls began to show good results, and the coaches are trying different gymnasts to form the optimal line-up for the Olympics 2012. But there are gymnasts who firmly took place in the team. One of them is Aliya Mustafina, celebrating 16 years only on September 30 and, finally, waiting for the opportunity compete at the World Championships in Rotterdam where the team departs on October 10. Mustafina was noticed a few years ago. The girl shocked specialists by her availability and dedication in gymnastics. She won the junior international competitions, and now will be the main hope for the Russian team in the adult world championship. About her goals and hobbies Aliya said in an interview GZT.RU.

Q: Probably you can’t wait to your 16’th birthday to go to the World Championship?

A: Yes, I did. For a long time, I felt ready to perform at the WC. At least I really wanted to go to competitions last year. Therefore, the 16-years has been especially joyful for me. Now, I will go there! But I’m still very excited, maybe because I waited so long.

Q: What are the goals set for yourself?

A: I want to succeed as much as possible so that I will be happy. I plan to win medals at the uneven bars, the vault and all-around. Vault and bars are my favorite events, and I have the most difficult programs there. But generally, my specialization is All Around, so I will try to win medals in it.

Q: Did you have some changes in your programs compared to the European Championship?

A: From the European Championship, I just changed the vault. Now I have it much harder. I will perform a jump Yurchenko. It’s difficulty cost is 6.5 points. Today it is the most difficult vault, and almost nobody does it. My other programs remain unchanged.

Q: Was it hard to make such a difficult vault?

A: Of course, the workings of such difficult elements takes much time and energy. It was very hard, but i don’t regret it. It’s me, I wanted to train for it, I felt that I could overpower on it, and coaches agreed with me. And now I do it stable enough, so we decide to do it on World Championship. I have a big hope on this event. If I’ll do it good, it’ll be a success and i will be satisfied with myself.

Q: Have you prepared a special leotard for the World Cup?

A: On tuesday we got many new leotards. They are all different, and I like all of them. Every day at the World Championship, we will wear a new leotard. I don’t have a favorite. For me it doesn’t matter which of them I compete in.

Q: You have a young team. Who is the leader and the captain?

A: The captain is Ksenia Afanasyeva, but the leader… i don’t really know. We have a team, that’s why we have only a captain. Ksenia is the oldest and the most experienced gymnast on the team, so she is chosen by the girls and coaches.

Q: Do you have a close friend on the team?

A: We have a great team! I’m friends with all the girls, but I don’t have a best friend. For me, they’re all the same. Maybe it’s because I spend too much time in gymnastics.
Sports for me is my priority.

Q: The world championship is very long, and the competition is on a very difficult level. Who helps you adjust to the competition?

A: Yes, it’s tough both physically and psychologically. The girls help each other, cheering, saying that should gathering. Coaches are also trying to adjust. And all our recovering, relaxing procedures help too. But I do not like to talk with relatives before the competition and do not like when fan for me. My mom even is afraid to watch because when I compete, she’s too worried.

Q: Really the Chinese gymnasts are not the leaders already? And what is the secret of success for the asians?

A: In my opinion, in the women’s gymnastics, the leaders are still the Chinese. They are small and lightweight, make less mistakes than all the others. It’s clear that’s these are the reasons why they win. I would not say that they have the most difficult programs in the world. The point is they make no mistakes. Perhaps they have some kind of crafty methods in training.

Q: In Russia there is enough serious competition among the gymnasts now. How do you manage to win?

A: Yes, we have a lot of great girls, and fighting for a place in the team is very serious. This spurs more challenging workouts every time. For myself, I believe that more training leads to better results, but of course you require talent and ability in gymnastics. This is my success. From childhood I love it, it is now the meaning of my life. In general I know nothing in life except gymnastics. Even I go to school only when there is free time. During preparation for a competition I vacate from the school.

Q: And is there is a gymnast, which is an idol for you?

A: No. I’ve never had any idols. I’ve always wanted to be unique and like no one else, ever. I have my own way in gymnastics.

Q: The Olympics will take place just less then two years. In theory it should get to the peak of your career …

A: Yes. I think that the Olympics will coincide with the peak of my career, as long as I dont’ get injured. I will be almost 18 years old, have time to go through two world championships, and have much experience. And the awkward age will end. I will form the nervous system, the ideal weight. Because now I sometimes have to work hard at it: My nerves are acting up, and there are weight problems. But I don’t use diets because training is the best.

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