Angelina Melnikova talked to R-Sport reflecting on her results in qualifications. Melnikova was able to qualify only to the all-around final, since her 4th place on bars was the third result among the Russian gymnasts. Nevertheless, she feels very positive and hopes to do well in the all-around final. She believes her unsuccessful performance on floor was a result of the recent ankle injury. She is also wondering how the judges arrived at her execution score on beam, as she feels she had a decent performance there.
“My feelings towards the [AA] final… I think I’m always thinking positively! I’m happy with my bars, very-very happy! Vault was also fine, I guess, but all this was normal for me. And, of course, I’m not happy with my floor performance. I hoped for better, but my leg was hurting, it’s injured, so I almost didn’t train on floor. I hoped to do it well nevertheless, but this didn’t happen.”
“I did beam fine – for me. It was hard on beam, hard to calm myself down: you’re shaking and can fall because of it. Beam is the hardest apparatus. Looks like they didn’t credit me with a connection, a special requirement. I did a 5.9 difficulty but got a 5.4. We’re thinking they didn’t credit the jump connection. But even with this difficulty, my execution score was too low. I rewatched beam, it wasn’t that bad, not for 3 points in deductions. It’s the judges business, I better not say anything”.
Right before leaving for Worlds, Melnikova gave an interview to MatchTV saying that she feels more confident now than at the beginning of the year and hopes that the Worlds will go better for her than the Euros. At Euros, she wasn’t able to qualify to the all-around final because of the falls on bars and beam, however, she qualified to floor and vault finals and ended up winning gold on floor. Here at Worlds, it’s one less final for her but she still has a chance to medal in all-around if she does well on Friday.
She said in the interview before Worlds:
“I realize that Worlds are practically like the Olympics, so I understand it’s going to be hard. After the Olympics, I’m more known around the world and this gives me confidence. I got more confident, I guess, after the Russian Cup, because there everything got together for me as it was supposed to be. So that’s why I’m now more confident than I was before Euros”.
In the same interview, Maria Paseka, the current team captain, said that she sees herself as a calming presence for the younger girls on the team:
“Gelya was very upset, she even cried a bit in our room, said: “I don’t know why it’s not working out for me”. We sat together, talked, and the next day she competed and won floor [laughing]. Well, I am calming them down because some of the girls get very nervous”.