Komova hopes to win team gold in Tokyo

Viktoria Komova did an interview with MatchTV after Voronin Cup. She talked about her reasons for coming back and her plans for the future, which include winning a team gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Q: Why did you decide to retire and why did you decide to come back?

A: In 2015, I competed at Worlds for the last time, I brought back a gold on bars, and in 2016, during the preparation for the Olympics Games, I had to give up my spot, unfortunately, because I had huge problems with my back and I just couldn’t go to the competition and fail the team. So, it was my own decision, I had to give up the spot in order not to fail the team.

Q: So, it was because of the injury, right?

A: Yes, it was all because of the injury.

Q: Do you feel now that you can again compete at the highest level?

A: Yes, now I’m sure that I can compete because as soon as the doctors gave me the green light, told me I can do everything, I ran to the gym right away.

Q: Your goal seems clear – you’ve won, basically, everything except for the Olympic gold. So, are we talking about Voronin Cup but looking at Tokyo?

A: Yes, it’s true that Voronin Cup was a very important competition for me because I haven’t been competing for two years already and it’s the first step to Tokyo-2020.

Q: Let’s talk, then, about Moscow and not about Tokyo, about Voronin Cup that has just ended. What do you think of your performance?

A: Well, I’m judging myself very strictly, and, of course, I’d like to…

Q [interrupts]: Were you nervous?

A: Honestly – very much. In these two years, I’ve got so much adrenaline stored in me that all this adrenalin just spilled out in one day.

Q: What did you feel going into the arena?

A: I was very happy. This very nice excitement before the competition, I like it very much. I like when I come out and do everything well and the spectators are applauding. I was missing this when I was recovering from the injury, when I was retired. And, I guess, I came back only because of that, because I like when people appreciate our work, when they applaud, when they write to me afterward. That’s the most pleasant thing, I guess.

Q:  What do you think of your performance here?

A: I’d like a better performance, of course, there were mistakes, but my coach says not to worry: everything’s fine, everything’s according to the plan, it’s the first competition, no need to worry. He says: you had a goal of only going out and doing everything you can. Right now, I only have to work, upgrade and upgrade.

Q: But the Russian Championships are coming soon already?

A: Yes, and our training camp continues, we’ll be training.

Q: Let’s talk about another significant come back in the artistic gymnastics world – Aliya Mustafina. I know that she also plans on competing at the Russian Championships and I know that you’re already training together.

A: Yes, Aliya is already with us at the camp, she’s on the team, she’s been training with us for three months, she has no privileges, everything is the same as for all of us, and she really wants to recover already. She actually wanted to compete already at Voronin Cup but then she thought about it and was like “no, it’s too early, let’s wait”.

Q: It’s important to say that she had a different reason for her pause, but also very respectable – a birth of her baby. Is it easier for her [to come back] than for you?

A: You know, it’s hard to say. Generally, when you don’t train for a long time, it’s hard to come back afterward. We’re in sort of similar situations, only I’m after an injury and she’s after a childbirth.

Q: Were you happy with the fans’ support at Voronin Cup?

A: Of course, I’m happy, everyone was supporting me a lot, I didn’t even expect it. But, of course, it would be nice if more people came [to competitions], there are still not a lot of people coming to see gymnastics.

Q: If we’re talking about Tokyo, what would be the desired result for you? Are you setting a goal to fight only for the first place, to fight for gold? Or do you have any additional goals and ambitions?

A: You know, of course, every athlete wants to win gold, but I don’t know what will happen. I hope to survive till the games, till Tokyo [laughs]. But, of course, I hope for a gold, and, first of all, for the team gold, I really want the team gold. Individual… if there will be the team gold, then there will be an individual one, too.


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