Angelina Melnikova gave an interview to Soviet Sport about her performance at Worlds. She said that she now feels much more confident on bars and beam – the two apparatuses that weren’t going so well for her at the beginning of the season. She is also planning on adding upgrades and wants to get back to training as soon as possible. Currently on vacation, she’ll be back at the Round Lake in a week.
Melnikova started with apologizing to her fans about not the most successful performance:
A: I want to apologize to my fans, I knew that I was representing my country but it didn’t go well… Even with this injury, I could’ve competed well! Perhaps, I should’ve paid more attention to specific elements since I fell on floor, on the element that I don’t normally fall on – I guess my thoughts were elsewhere, in how to get through the routine physically. I wasn’t prepared physically because of the injury and I let my thoughts carry me away.
Q: What is the first thought that you have when you make a mistake during your routine?
A: First – anger at myself, and then I realize that I need to do another element combination, there are more elements ahead, so I forget about the mistake.
Q: And what do you need in order to stop reminding yourself about the mistakes and worrying about them?
A: I want to start training as soon as possible – that’s what always happens when I have an unsuccessful competition.
Q: Now, after some time has passed, can you explain what happened on floor?
A: The routine didn’t go well. I think my injury played a role – I twisted my ankle and couldn’t fully train the last week before the competition.
Q: A lot of the gymnasts and coaches complained about the lights that were too bright in the arena. Did they really bother you?
A: The lights were indeed unusually bright, but I don’t think it affected me.
Q: The experts noted before the Worlds that your floor routine shows a unique balance between difficult acrobatics and beautiful performance. Do you think that you’ll be able to demonstrate beautiful gymnastics if you continue to upgrade your difficulty?
A: That very much depends on the choreography. If the routine is well composed, you can have both difficulty and beauty. We have a choreographer at the camp, she listens to the gymnasts in order to make the routines most comfortable to do and beautiful at the same time.
Q: Have you ever thought about the fact that what you do on the competition floor cannot be done by the majority of people?
A: No, I haven’t thought about that. We also can’t do a lot of things that others can.
Q: What do you plan on changing next in your routines?
A: I need to change my beam composition, add connections – this is all possible. I can also upgrade my floor.
Q: Were you happy that you almost made the final on vault?
A: Yes, but my ankle was really bothering me on vault – I wasn’t able to vault for a week. I’m going to continue training two vaults and will try to make finals on this apparatus.
Q: Do you plan on learning more difficult vaults in order to compete with the best [vaulters]?
A: Yes, but I don’t really want to talk about it in details yet.
Q: Does it matter for you in which country to compete?
A: You know, when we travel abroad to compete – doesn’t matter whether in Europe or somewhere else – it always seems that everywhere people love gymnastics more than in Russia. There are such huge crowds coming to look at us and we like it. And there are never such crowds in Russia.
Q: Each competition is a new experience. What is that you took home from these Worlds?
A: I’m glad that I now have confidence on bars and beam. Recently, I’ve been falling from these apparatuses often and now I’m competing with confidence.
Q: If you had an opportunity to work with a psychologist – would it help you?
A: I don’t think that anyone can help except for me. Of course, it’s nice when my personal coach tells me she believes in me, that I can do anything – this brings me confidence. But generally it’s an individual feature – someone has it, someone doesn’t. In my case, physical shape plays a big role, even though lately I’ve become stronger mentally, I’ve learned to control my elements better during competitions and I enjoy it.
Q: What are your non-gymnastics plans for the near future?
A: I’m graduating high school this year, I’m mostly home-schooled. Then I’ll apply to the Voronezh State Institute of Physical Education so that I’ll be able to continue training [while studying].
Photo: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana