Verniaiev on AA: I didn’t know whether I’d be able to compete

Yesterday, Oleg Verniaiev became the all-around champion at the Universiade. In an interview to XSport UA Verniaiev said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to compete because of a bad fall on parallel bars in qualification. The gymnast hurt his tailbone during the fall which made further training and competing painful.

“I didn’t know whether I’ll compete or not. I couldn’t do the warm-up. In qualification, I hurt my tailbone on parallel bars. This is not the type of injury you can just forget about in gymnastics – it reminds you about the injury with every bending and stretching, it was painful to run. It was harder psychologically, but it was difficult physically as well. I am happy that I could compete.”

Verniaiev says that his score in the all-around at the Universiade would not be enough for the Worlds:

“At the Worlds, I’ll need to add about 1,5 points in order to win. I have work to do.”

On competing in the AA:

“For me, the important thing is to start well – do floor and pommel horse. If I do them well, it’s easier afterwards, I’m less nervous on the rest of the apparatuses. Another checkpoint for me is the vault. It was painful to run. When I did the vault, the competition became easier, because I gained some extra points”.

“[High bar] is not my strongest apparatus. I lose a lot of competitions because of it since it’s the last one. I have to work extra hard to get through my routine. Sometimes I can do it, sometimes not.

“I’m competing [here] with myself. Especially since their [Japanese] leader fell already at the beginning. I just needed to do what I’m supposed to. I knew that if I could do it, I’d win.”

On Japanese fans:

“After the Rio Olympics, I started getting lots of messages from Japan. Even our embassy there says people react a lot. They really liked me, so we’re going to create a fan club there before Tokyo-2020. I hope there will be support [from the fans]. This makes me happy.”



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