Ksenia Semenova was staying up during the Worlds and watching the competition, cheering for her husband and the whole Russian team. She talked to Sport-Express about her opinion on the competition. Earlier Semenova also said on Facebook that Abliazin’s vaults are completely ready but the coaches decided to try Dalaloyan instead of Abliazin at Worlds.
Q: Your spouse, Denis Abliazin, became the silver medalist on rings. Did you believe that he’d be able to win this medal?
A: I thought that if Denis does everything in his routine, he’ll have a medal. It wasn’t easy for him to prepare for this competition where he only competes on one apparatus – rings. He usually competes on three apparatuses but this time he didn’t perform very successfully at the Russian Cup and managed to be selected only on one apparatus. It’s hard mentally, but if you have even only one chance – you can use it. Denis proved this.
Q: David Belyavskiy had a real chance to win the all-around, he was first before the last rotation but fell from the high bar and ended up fourth…
A: We were actually messaging each other with his wife and you can’t put it in words how nervous we were. When David fell, we were stunned. It was clear that he only needed to perform his routine without major mistakes and he’d win a medal. Maybe not gold, but silver or bronze was almost in his pocket. It’s very upsetting and it hurts that this is what happened. But David is a champ, he showed that he’s a fighter and after this he became second on pommel horse. I think it’s very important psychologically and it’ll help him to believe in himself in further competitions.
Q: 16-year-old Elena Eremina became a revelation of this competition after winning bronze in the all-around and silver on bars.
A: Lena is surely a champion. She found her place in the adult gymnastics after competing at her first Worlds.
Q: Back in your time you actually won at your first Worlds.
A: I was 14 then. And, honestly, I didn’t even think about the competition status. It was a regular competition, I went and did my routines. Only when I became older I realized that Worlds are actually huge.
Q: It’s interesting that by the side of our 16-year-old Eremina, there was a 42-year-old representative of Uzbekistan, Oksana Chusovitina, competing in the event final.
A: Oksana creates miracles, I can’t wrap my head around it. Look, she’s 42, while our Masha Paseka is 22. How can this be? And Paseka is an experienced gymnast, there are younger girls, too.
Q: Why didn’t these Worlds work out for Angelina Melnikova, of whom a lot was expected?
A: I want to wish Gelya good health and lots of luck. She actually has everything she needs to compete sucessfully but somehow it doesn’t work out again and again. Melnikova is a very good gymnast already and she can learn a lot of elements. Unfortunately, this time she got injured before the Worlds which didn’t allow her to compete at full strength. Let’s hope that her bad luck will end with this.
Q: Our experienced athletes Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina are currently preparing to return to their previous levels. Do you believe they’ll be able to do it?
A: I’m less in touch with Vika now, but I have a lot of common topics with Aliya, we’re both young moms now. I think she’s capable not only to return to her previous level but to become even better. I’m trying to support her, telling her she’ll absolutely be able to do it. Even though, initially, when she said she’s going to start training again, I said: “What? Stay at home with your daughter for a little while, these time will never return”. Many thanks to Aliya’s mom who’s helping her with the baby and gave her the opportunity to do gymnastics again.