Nariman Kurbanov won silver on pommel horse at the Universiade, placing behind the World bronze medalist Lee Chih Kai. He hasn’t had much success international this year, placing outside of the medals at every final he made. Kurbanov says he, unfortunately, was sick at most of the international competitions he went to this year, which affected his performance. He’s also been struggling with his full difficulty on pommel horse but hopes to become consistent by Worlds:
“I’m happy that I won silver at the Universiade. At the same time, I didn’t manage to do everything I was supposed to. Everything went not according to my plan. After seeing the competitors that made the final, I knew that I could win a medal even without doing my full difficulty. This year, I’ve just been unlucky. I competed with fever at three out of four international competitions. At the Koper World Cup, I had a fever of almost 40°. A week later we went to the Asian Championships and I didn’t have enough time to get into the optimum shape. So, I treated the Asian Championships as preparation for the Universiade. At the end, everything worked out and I got to the Universiade in good shape. Since 2003, our gymnasts had not been able to win a medal at the Universiade. 16 years later, I’m the first one who broke this dry spell. I’m happy that I’m making a contribution to the development of artistic gymnastics in Kazakhstan.”
“For the first place, I didn’t have enough difficulty because I’ve been not able to do [my full] difficulty this year. I just can’t do it. I have a 6.6 routine but at the Universiade, I did a 5.9 routine. I just can’t manage to do the full difficulty just yet. With it, I would’ve been able to fight for the gold. There are still three months until the Worlds. I am perfectly capable of preparing this routine.”
“The goal to qualify to the Olympics was set for me back in 2019 and I’ll do anything to achieve it. Besides the individual qualification, we were given a goal to qualify as a team. It will be hard but anything’s possible.”
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