Angelina Melnikova yesterday won the all-around at the Russian Cup. She was second to Elena Eremina on the first day but won on the second day and by the combined results of the two days of competition. The gymnast has been struggling with consistency since the beginning of this year, however, she managed to hit all her routines at the Russian Cup without falls or major mistakes. She said that the results gave her new confidence and now she feels ready to compete at Worlds:
“For me, this win is very important because the previous competitions I had [this year] didn’t go very well for me. There was this feeling sometimes that I just couldn’t get my things together, but here, at the Russian Cup, I started feeling confident in myself, that I can focus, can perform the elements and can fight. And if I will go to Worlds, I will feel more confident there.”
Melnikova said that she was more nervous on the first day of competition, during the qualification and team final:
“I was nervous that I could compete not so well and then it would be harder to get focused. But we won medals and I was very glad. And today, in the all-around, I felt much more confident and managed to do a lot.”
She is aware that there will be serious competition for medals in Montreal, but she thinks she has good chances:
“I’m not thinking in advance whether I’ll be able to win or not. There’s always a chance and I need to fight for it, the goal is always the same and I have to strive for it.”
Melnikova was pleasantly surprised with crowds attending the competition since usually gymnastics competitions in Russia are met with empty stands even though admission is free.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect so many artistic gymnastics fans. It’s the third competition day and every day the stands are packed with spectators. It’s very nice to feel the support, that fans love you, cheer for you, are nervous for you. It’s very inspiring and gives me a confidence boost and I really want to compete for my fans, because when I compete well it makes them happy.”